FamilyTech Movie Review: Black Panther

Introduction

This weekend, the latest movie in the expanding Marvel universe hits the big screen, and it might be the best to date. Black Panther is a Marvel character that was unveiled to film fans for the first time in Captain America: Civil War, but fans of Marvel comics will already be very familiar with King T’Challa.

The new king is beginning his reign as the leader of Wakanda as the film starts and is forced to deal with past mistakes made by former leaders. The king, played by Chadwick Boseman, finds himself on the hunt for a villain named Klaue (Andy Serkis) who Marvel fans will remember from Avengers: Age of Ultron. Klaue is once again after Wakanda’s most valuable resource, Vibranium. You also need to know that Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) is a huge threat to Wakanda and the new king.

Technology

Tech plays a massive role in Black Panther as Wakanda as the most advanced technological city in the world. From their advanced weaponry to the enormous strides they have made in the field of medicine, there are loads of fun tech tools to gawk at in this film. All the items are powered by Vibranium, which not only powers the nearly invincible suit that T’Challa wears but also happens to power Captain America’s shield.


A movie for the whole family?

Black Panther is rated PG-13. The rating is mostly due to the violence throughout the film. There are a couple of very intense fighting scenes that are a bit different than some of the spaceship blaster wars your kids might be more familiar with from other superhero films. That being said, there is almost no blood and gore. The language is also very tame, with only a few bad words and no sexual innuendo or humor. The film is definitely more serious in nature, but this is a good thing and might be an opportunity for some great conversations with your little ones. And it’s also worth mentioning that there is some subtitled dialogue through the film that might be a problem for kids who can’t read. Overall, we would say that if you and your kids are Marvel veterans, Black Panther is okay for them to see, but if you want to introduce them to the Marvel universe, maybe it’s not the one to start with. You know your kids better than we do, so use your best judgment.

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER
L to R: Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Ayo (Florence Kasumba) with the Dora Milaje
Ph: Film Frame
©Marvel Studios 2018

Final thoughts

Director Ryan Coogler and his team have created what might be the best Marvel film to date, and that’s saying something. The movie is not only full of all the things fans love about the Marvel universe: action, battles, technology, and great characters, but it also tells an important real story through fictional characters. This fantastic piece on the New York Times went as far to call Black Panther “A Defining Moment For Black America,” and we couldn’t agree more.

The film is also full of female empowerment. Characters like Shuri, the King’s sister, is the smartest tech mind in the movie. And Okoye, the general and the head of Wakanda’s armed forces (all made up of women), is easily the best fighter in the entire film not wearing a Vibranium suit.

The film is a huge victory for everyone involved, and a fantastic conversation starter for families to talk more about race, gender, technology, and much more.

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Joe Long