Movie Review | “Black Panther”

Black Panther movieSam and I hope you enjoyed the Oscars this past weekend.  One of my favorite comical lines from host Jimmy Kimmel was about the “positive nature” of this past year of films: “This is a night for positivity, and our plan is we’re going to shine a light on a group of outstanding and positive films each of which got crushed by ‘Black Panther‘.

The latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, aka “Black Panther.” T’Challa is king of the secret nation of Wakanda.  Secret because the Wakandas use the superpower-infused vibranium to hide their technologically advanced nation from the world by appearing as a third world country.

MCU enthusiasts will know that Black Panther’s suit is made of vibranium, just like Captain America’s shield and the robotic Ultron.  Shuri (Letitia Wright) is T’Challa/Black Panther’s sister and Wakanda’s chief technology officer. Playing a role similar to Q in the Bond films, she introduces and showcases the new version of Black Panther’s suit by describing how it is “lighter, completely bulletproof, and able to absorb energy for redistribution.” The symbolism is rich and empowering: the bullets that are being shot at Black Panther are not only not killing him, they are making him stronger.

The Wakandas speak what seems to be their own fictional language in the film.  However, it is notable that they are actually speaking Xhosa, one of the official languages of South Africa that is currently spoken by 8 million people. It is also the official language of Zimbabwe.

“Black Panther” has been coronated 97% Fresh by the Tomatometer and widely embraced by MCU fans and cinematics aficionados alike.  What it impressively achieves in cinematography and strong character inclusion, it only mildly lacks in robust character development.  It also seems that vibranium is a convenient super power.  Whatever miraculous ability is needed to move the story forward, vibranium delivers without any limitations.

“Black Panther” (135 minutes) is showing at the Marshall Cinema with a kid-friendly PG-13 rating for prolonged sequences of action violence, and a brief rude gesture. Call (903) 935-5662 or visit www.Jimplecute1848.com for a full list of show times.  Then, know that it is your time to experience and enjoy “Black Panther” in a theater soon.

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