People are going to be arguing about this movie for a while to come. That much is obvious, but the fact is that a lot of folks are putting a great deal of emotional investment into this movie for a couple of big reasons. One is that it’s meant to honor the late Chadwick Boseman, who played the original Black Panther years before, and another is that this movie is going to be ushering in Phase 5 of the MCU, and as such, it was vital that this movie fire on all cylinders to provide the kind of connection that would lead to the next phase of the franchise. Well, it’s definitely leading to the next phase, but at this point, it’s kind of clear that Wakanda and Talokan, the two major nations in the movie that are featured in anything but a suspicious way, are going to be very important nations in the movies to come. The issue of vibranium and the fact that it’s only located in these two nations is bound to be a worldwide concern that might end up being a small part of each movie going forward. But the general consensus that diversity and inclusion are going to take over in a big way is something that has already been seen to happen.
The movie definitely has its issues.
It’s tough to root entirely for Wakanda since, despite the reality that other nations are attempting to steal vibranium, Queen Ramonda comes off as a little too righteous at times, even if she has lost her son and does lose her daughter at one point when Namor’s people kidnap her. But at one point, it almost feels as though the movie wants the audience to root for Namor as well, since the common enemy of the two nations, namely the USA, is apparently untrustworthy apart from Everett Ross, who feels indebted to Shuri for saving his life. Other than that, the movie does feel like a giant virtue signal that makes its point clear a few times, especially when both Shuri and Okoye use the term ‘colonizer’ in reference to Ross. Some folks might say to lighten up, but then again, the same could be said to them when it comes to using other terms that might not be appreciated.
A lot of fans and critics will be claiming that people who criticize this movie are ‘missing the point’.
There have been a few critics that have already been called out for using terms that some people felt proved that they didn’t get the whole point of the movie. The problem with trying to be deep in a cultural manner, however, is that one has to realize that to every person that watches the movie, there’s a point of view that will fit their way of thinking. The point of view that talks about ‘Marvel nonsense’ actually makes a good point since the MCU has gone to a few very insane lengths when it comes to showing favoritism to certain characters, and it would appear that the Black Panther story is feeling the benefit of this since Wakanda’s apparent superiority, coupled with Talokan’s, could very easily prove to be a rather big problem in the MCU when moving forward. To be fair, it’s not an issue that these nations exist. It’s simply the point that their superiority has led them to believe that they can come and go throughout the world as they please, while no one can step within their borders without their say-so. That’s a rather harsh imbalance.
It was a fun action movie; that’s undeniable.
Much like the first movie, the action scenes were fun, the effects were well done, and it told a story that was entertaining. But calling this movie an important cultural addition to the MCU is hyping it up a little too much. In regards to saying goodbye to T’Challa, it’s nice since it honors Chadwick Boseman and the character that he made popular. But the manner in which the character went out was kind of, well, saddening since, as many other people have already made it clear that it would have been better to see a stunt double in the Black Panther suit being taken out by an enemy, rather than hearing how he was waylaid and killed by a sickness that could have been prevented by the heart-shaped herb. Seriously, the action was fine, but thinking that it was far and above any other MCU feature is kind of ridiculous since each phase has had movies that have defined the franchise. This is just the next in line.
One has to wonder if the future of the MCU is going to be female-driven or if it’s actually going to be equal.
Throughout the last several movies, it has felt as though the future of the MCU is going to be led by women. There’s no issue with this so long as things are going to be equal at some point. The idea that the future is female in this franchise feels a lot more divisive than it should, but the idea isn’t that bad, so long as the general idea is that things will balance out sooner rather than later.
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