The “Black Panther” film retells the narrative of Africans if colonialism or the slave trade had never happened, which is a powerful story that is definitely something Americans should look to, especially given the racial tensions developing in the country at the moment.
“Black Panther” also proudly celebrates black excellence, giving young African-American kids growing up today a superhero that looks like them. “Black Panther” is expected to dominate the box office and to continue its success from there, creating a legacy for powerful black films for years to come. Here are five reasons why the film is expected to succeed:
1. It’s one of the first modern Marvel movies to have a black protagonist.
Marvel films are notorious for having action-packed crossovers with a cast that consists of white males named Chris. “Black Panther” is expected to be different from any Marvel movie ever created. The Black Panther was introduced in the Marvel movie “Captain America: Civil War,” but ever since the comic book was released in 1973, the black community has been waiting for his movie debut.
Although “Black Panther” is the first modern Marvel movie to have a black protagonist, it isn’t the first black superhero movie. Even so, “Blade,” which was a Marvel film in the late 90s that stared a black vampire hunter, still did not celebrate black excellence and was seen as a dark horror film rather than a superhero movie. “Black Panther” is expected to redefine the role of black people in superhero films, making them the hero, not the villain or someone to be killed off.
2. Hollywood has been scrutinized for its lack of people of color.
Not only Marvel has been scrutinized for the lack of people of color in its films, but all of Hollywood is currently under fire for not casting ethnically diverse actors. During a time when racial relations are tense in America, Marvel’s move to create the “Black Panther” movie was a risky yet crucial step in resisting those who do not think people of color belong in Hollywood, or even the country.
The movie is, rightfully so, jam-packed with a number of great African-American actors, men and women alike, such as Michael B. Jordan, Luptia Nyong’o, Forest Whitaker and a bunch of other excellent actors. The all-star cast helps explain why and how the movie is expected to skyrocket in the box office, as well as make a large political statement to those in Washington and Hollywood.
3. Black excellence is celebrated.
The movie is centered around African culture and celebrates it, as well as praising black intelligence and capability. The Black Panther, or T’Challa, is one of the most intelligent Marvel characters, with only a few coming close to even matching him. According to the Washington Post, the world that encompasses “Black Panther,” Wakanda, is supposed to “represent this unbroken chain of achievement of black excellence that never got interrupted by colonialism.”
4. It’s causing black communities to come together.
Many schools around the country are celebrating “Black Panther” by having the whole school go to see it in theatres. At the Valley View Boys Leadership Academy in Cleveland, Ohio, one principal who decided to take the entire school to the movies said, “We really want to expose our students to what heroism looks like.”
The town’s local news source got quotes from some of the kids who attend the school and almost all of them spoke about how amazing it was to finally see a black superhero movie. The school was participating in the #BlackPantherChallenge, which encourages people to take as many African-American kids to see the movie as possible.
A viral video circulated last week of an Atlanta elementary school class dancing and celebrating because they were just told they were going to all see “Black Panther.” Their school, Ron Clark Academy, organized a day to celebrate Black History Month with activities that include African dancers, historical African history lessons, as well as a trip to see the movie “Black Panther.”
Schools all around the country are contributing to the #BlackPantherChallenge to get African-American kids into the theatre to see that their lives matter and that they can have superheroes that look like them, even in a country where the President calls their home countries “sh*tholes.”
5. It already has one of the highest ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and it isn’t even in theaters yet.
Still a week away from the release of the movie, Rotten Tomatoes has given “Black Panther” a 97 percent rating, one of the highest ratings a movie has ever received. Critics have been raving about the movie; Marc Bernardin, of the Nerdist, said in his review that the film was “the first comic-based studio movie with a black hero at the center since 1998’s Blade, would represent the chance to fill every corner of their fictional Wakanda with the same level of craft and detail usually reserved for British-star-studded period pieces. An opportunity to tell a story about black lives, which matter and are not defined by their pain but, instead, by their glory.”
Critics are praising the movie both for its political statement and its essence as a superhero-action film in general. Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers called the movie “an epic that doesn’t walk, talk or kick ass like any other Marvel movie — an exhilarating triumph on every level from writing, directing, acting, production design, costumes, music, special effects to you name it.”