Black Panther Rocks Box Office

Ethan Matthews, Clubs and Activities Editor

Black Panther is a 2018 American superhero movie, based on the Marvel comics character, released on February 16th. It was directed by Ryan Coogler and is already the 14th highest grossing film of all time, making $1.1 billion.

When his father dies, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns to the African nation of Wakanda to take his place as king and the new Black Panther. Through the rituals involved in transforming into the Black Panther, T’Challa discovers an underground crime ring buying and selling Vibranium, the metal which gives Wakanda all of its advanced technology. Soon after discovering this criminal activity, a new foe, N’Jadaka A.K.A Eric ‘Killmonger’ Stevens (Michael B. Jordan), appears and threatens Wakanda’s future as a nation, leaving Black Panther to fight for his kingdom.

“I appreciated Black Panther significantly,” said Sophomore Courtney Hodge, “Being one of Marvel’s best, I think that the picture was well produced and elaborately thought out. The film was very empowering and it did a great job with peaking the modern crowd’s interest, exposing us to a new type of film unlike any other.”

The appearance of the first predominantly African-American superhero movie cast has had a significant cultural impact in our modern-day America. New York resident Frederick Joseph started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to take young kids at a Boys and Girls Club in New York City to see the movie. Joseph, on his GoFundMe page, called the release of Black Panther a, “rare opportunity for young students (primarily of color) to see a black major cinematic and comic book character come to life. This representation is truly fundamental for young people, especially those who are often underserved, unprivileged, and marginalized both nationally and globally.” His campaign started the “Black Panther Challenge,” which inspired over 400 others to create similar campaigns to raise money. Although some critics believe that the movie offers the same negative views of Africa that are held by many, the general consensus is that the movie has inspired many to help change the stereotypical world view of African countries.

Former Menchville student Kathy De Los Santos says, “I like how culturally-centered it [Black Panther] was because that’s something you hardly see, especially in superhero movies. It had a cool soundtrack and great actors and was slightly political but not nearly enough to make it unenjoyable. It also portrayed African culture in a really positive and celebratory way, the action was entertaining and suspenseful and there were lots of plot twists, however, there was a “what are those” joke, which was very unfortunate.”

Overall, Black Panther was an amazing movie and an enjoyable experience. Although I usually dislike superhero movies, this is an exception. Through the wonderfully scored soundtrack, and the creative liberties that were taken, a beautiful superhero movie was crafted, and I would recommend that you see it if you have not.