Better than your average Marvel Movie
Black Panther has exploded onto the entertainment scene as the biggest movie of 2018 thus far. While a huge financial success and a great action movie that fulfills the typical Marvel formula, Black Panther is also somewhat deeper and more of a work of art than other, more superficial films in its Cinematic Universe. Raising questions highly relevant to our own times, it tackles the difficult issues of race, family, nationalism, and imperialism in a manner that is blunt and head-on without being a trumpet for whatever current strain of progressive ideology happens to be flowing through Hollywood. But make no mistake; Black Panther has a message to send and a statement to make. It is an unabashedly African and African-American glory stage, but one that comes across as timely and with substance beyond the gorgeous African scenery and culture portrayed in the film. It is all about black power, but with a methodology that celebrates its own culture rather than create unnecessary violent divides. The social commentary from the movie certainly gets a little political, but other filmmakers would do well to take a lesson from the way in which director Ryan Coogler frames a tone that is temperate, moderated, and respectful while at the same time being powerful, unapologetic, and direct. All of this is on top of Black Panther having some of the best action, storyline, and characters Marvel has come up with to date. If you’re looking for something as thought-provoking as it is entertaining, this is Marvel’s best work yet.
Jack Ferguson is a sophomore majoring in the Program of Liberal Studies and double-minoring in Italian and Constitutional Studies. He greatly enjoys feeding the squirrels and O’Shag.