Black Panther was the last movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe leading up to Avengers Infinity War. It holds the unique distinction of still playing in theaters when the movie is available for purchase on home video.
Black Panther Review
Place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Black Panther made his debut in Captain America: Civil War. In the movie, King T’Chaka of Wakanda is killed and his son, T’Challa becomes king and the Black Panther. Black Panther picks up the story about a week later as T’Challa returns to Wakanda to officially become king.
While Black Panther occurs after Captain America: Civil War, it is mostly an origin story film. If you have not seen previous films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you should be able to easily follow along with the film. The key events of Captain America: Civil War necessary to understand this film are shown in flashback scenes.
A couple of key information points:
- Vibranium, a metal found only in Wakanda, is nearly indestructible. Captain America’s shield is made of Vibranium
- Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) stole Vibranium at the beginning of Avengers: Age of Ultron. He returns in this movie again looking for vibranium
- CIA Agent Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) first appeared in Captain America: Civil War where he was present at the bombing that killed T’Chaka.
I was a little disappointed that Black Panther didn’t further the overall plot of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The only reference to the ongoing issues came in the second post credit scene (at the very end of the credits). This scene features a cameo by Bucky Barnes aka the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). At the end of Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa agrees to protect and take care of him in Wakanda because of the remnants of mind-control.
Thoughts on Movie
While Black Panther was previously introduced, this serves as a great origin story movie. It delves into the source of his power, and gives more information on the source of Wakanda’s vibranium.
Not only does the character feature a predominately black cast (with the exception of Freeman and Serkis), it also features a number of strong female characters. I loved the character of Shuri (Letitia Wright). She is T’Challa’s sister and a technological wiz – without falling into a nerd stereotype. She has a rebellious streak, is irreverent, and is not afraid of a fight.
The royal guards are an all female troop led by Okoye (Danai Gurira). Meanwhile, Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) is a Wakanda spy and fighter – and T’Challa’s ex-girlfriend.
I thought the film did a good job of balancing the traditions of a tribal African society with a technologically advanced society.
Wakanda has hidden themselves away from society in hopes of protecting their secrets. They portrayed themselves as a poor country while in reality they were rich, technologically advanced society. The film explores their responsibility to help others who are less fortunate.
Black Panther Trailer
Before heading to the theaters, check out the trailer:
About Black Panther
Marvel Studios provided the following description of the movie:
Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king-and Black Panther-is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.
“Black Panther” stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, with Angela Bassett, with Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis.
The film is directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Nate Moore, Jeffrey Chernov and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole wrote the screenplay.
Parental Guidance for Black Panther
Black Panther is rated PG-13 largely due to violence. There are several fights, some gun usage, including one guard shot in the back. The bad language was fairly mild for a PG-13 movie. There is one use of a middle figure gesture. There is no sexual content in the movie.
There are a couple of scenes displaying where the character is fed a potion from a flower and then enters a realm where they communicate with their deceased ancestors. The scene is presented more as a religious ritual and not as use of drugs.
I would recommend the movies for ages 8+ – depending on the child.
Final Thoughts on Black Panther
Black Panther was a great movie. While I wish it functioned more as a lead in to Avengers Infinity War, it did continue the storyline of Vibranium and Ulysses Klaue.
This is a Marvel movie – make sure you stay for two extra scenes. The mid-credits scene is a great scene for all. The second scene is at the very end of the credits. If you are following the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this is the scene you will want to see. It actually sparked a debate in our family about where various characters are at the end of Captain America: Civil War. We are going to have to go back and re-watch the end of Civil War.
We definitely recommend seeing Black Panther whether you have seen prior Marvel movies or not.
Have you seen Black Panther? What are your thoughts?