Marvel Studios has broken barriers with their revolutionary movie, Black Panther, bringing attention to talented black actors and giving them the chance to shine, featuring amazing cultures along with jaw-dropping acting.
In the past, primarily white actors were given the opportunity to become stars in superhero films. Take the early movies in the official Marvel Cinematic Universe as an example. Movies like the first Iron Man (2008), Thor (2011), and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) had hardly a single person of color between them. If there was a person of color, then they surely weren’t the main character.
This history of whitewashing is why it’s so refreshing to see Black Panther emerge. Branching into casting more people of color allowed Marvel Studios to bring attention to new, amazing actors that deserve far much more recognition.
Black Panther isn’t simply a great movie for its casting, but it’s also packed full of heart-stopping action, delightfully colorful visuals, and a tantalizing musical score. The cultures focused on are all from African countries. By allowing real-life culture to influence the conception of this movie and its costumes and characters, Black Panther is a true masterpiece.
The fictional land of Wakanda is created with influence from traditional African architecture from various countries while being interlaced with a sci-fi aesthetic. It was glorious to see a skyline made of metal and glass that was still modeled after the culture of the people who lived there. Black Panther perfectly balances the old and the new, with the message that progress is good, as long as you remember your past.
The soundtrack also helped to reiterate this message. By weaving traditional African sounds consisting of drums and soaring vocals together with more modern rap music and synth beats, the movie perfectly melded tradition with the new. It was enjoyable to see such different things meld together so seamlessly.
To top off this movie already amazing qualities, we can’t talk about Black Panther without mentioning how the actors in it were some of the best performers I have ever seen in a Marvel movie. Michael B. Jordan (Erik Killmonger), in particular, was fantastic. He was more than fantastic. Jordan single-handedly changed what it means to be a villain in a superhero movie. The amount of depth that Jordan brought to his character was beyond belief.
If you haven’t seen Black Panther yet, you must do so. This is the landmark movie of the year, and that is not an exaggeration.