We were introduced to Black Panther back in CAPTAIN AMERICA : CIVIL WAR. My first impression was of an angry, vengeful young man who wouldn’t listen to reason. It wasn’t until the end of the movie that we saw just a little more softness in him.
First and foremost, I will tell you that BLACK PANTHER is a completely stand-alone movie. Even if you have never seen a single Marvel movie in your life, you can watch BLACK PANTHER and not feel like you have missed something. The focus here is on T’Challa, his family and the fate of Wakanda.
The newly crowned King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) faces a challenge to his throne. We’re introduced to a new villain, Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). Who he is and how he knows the secrets of Wakanda become clear as the story unfolds.
Y’all, this cast is amazing. In addition to the aforementioned Boseman and Jordan, you have Oscar winners Forest Whitaker and Lupita Nyong’o as well as Oscar nominee Angela Basset.
For a movie that is primarily about challenges and clashes, it is refreshingly gender balanced. In addition to the male warriors, there is plenty of action for the females in the cast.
Danai Gurira (Walking Dead) is the whole package as general of the elite all-female security guard, the Dora Milaje. Okoye is completely dedicated to protecting the royal family and her country with the heart of a warrior but she does it with compassion and a healthy amount of attitude for her king.
Nyong’o’s Nakia is a fierce Wakandan War Dog – a spy sent out to different parts of the world to report back. While fierce, she has a heart for the abandoned and victimized and thinks that Wakanda needs to do more to help.
Letitia Wright is a stand out as T’Challa’s little sister Shuri. Although young, she is a tech wizard and responsible for Wakanda’s amazingly advanced innovations. She has sass and spunk but the affection between brother and sister is clear from the beginning. T’Challa depends on her and she holds his confidence.
One of the things that sets BLACK PANTHER apart from other Marvel Studios films is the real-life issues. Wakanda may be a fictional country, but the topic of have and have-nots is a very real one. If you are a country that has, what is your responsibility to the countries that are lacking? The movie also brings up the question of race in an interesting way. While Wakanda is an African country, they are isolated. What is T’Challa’s duty to other Africans and people of color around the world?
Can I Bring The Kids?
This is a tough one. There is zero nudity / sex and I don’t recall any foul language. The issue here is violence. There is a lot of hand to hand combat with spears, knives and such. The wounds they inflict may seem a lot more real to kids than alien laser beams; the reality and gore of it could be a little scary. One character in particular shows no mercy, no compassion.
There is also a theme of violence and discord between family and friends. The losses this creates could be disturbing for some children if they are sensitive.
You know your child(ren) best. I’m allowing my nine year old to see it because he is not particularly sensitive to the above themes. As long as there is not a zombie or vampire in sight, he’s good to go. If you have any concerns at all, I would pre-screen it before taking any younger children.
Check It Out!
BLACK PANTHER arrives in theaters everyone on February 16, 2018! My family is about to head out to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration next week. Part of this conference takes place on the Disney Dream. My kids can’t wait to catch BLACK PANTHER in the theaters on the ship! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the movie after you see it.
PS – it was fun to see that the Museum of Great Britain looks A LOT like the High Museum of Art here in Atlanta! See if you can spot any other local Atlanta spots in the film.