Breanna Brink, Staff Writer
“Black Panther” is considerably one of the most exciting, and anticipated, movies to come out this year. Taking over theaters beginning Feb. 16, this power film made sure to strike gold during Black History Month. Within a week, the film had earned 404 million dollars, doubling the production budget of 200 million. To put this in perspective, within a week, this film has made more than “Justice League” made in an entire month. This film has successfully beaten all but “The Avengers” film, “Wonder Woman,” and “Logan,” to name a few. There have been 18 films released within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and with more planned, we can likely expect to see a wider variety of characters soon to come. This film has not only broken box office records, it has greatly surpassed other superhero movies. With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 97 percent, which is based off of a cumulative 335 reviews, the website reveals “Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the MCU’s most absorbing stories—and introducing some of its most fully realized characters.” Currently, it is the highest-reviewed live-action superhero film on the site, beating ”The Dark Knight” and ”Iron Man” (both 94 percent).
IMDb gives a brief summary of what to expect from the film, “after the death of his father (which takes place in Marvel’s Civil War), T’Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king — and as Black Panther — gets tested when he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people.” With this film taking place over several continents, the viewers are exposed to beautiful scenery, as well as some amazing CGI. But what is most impressive is the fictional world of Wakanda, which has such a colorful culture and the ability to take itself seriously at all the right times. With Ryan Coogler spear heading the creative direction of this film, the hype was met with success. Peter Debruge of Variety said, “Black Panther celebrates its hero’s heritage while delivering one of Marvel’s most all-around appealing standalone installments to date.”
Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, “The actors are all seen to very good advantage. Boseman (T’Challa) certainly holds his own, but there are quite a few charismatic supporting players here keen to steal every scene they can – and they do, notably the physically imposing Jordan (Killmonger), the radiant Nyong’o (Nakia) and especially Wright (Shuri), who gives her every scene extra punch and humor.” Andy Serkis plays a slightly psychotic side villain, and Martin Freeman returns as agent Ross, who made his first appearance in Civil War.
This movie has done more than beat records however, The Grapevine released an article in early January 2018, stating that New York resident Frederick Joseph created a GoFundMe campaign in hopes to raise money to help children of color at the Boys & Girls Club in Harlem to see ”Black Panther.” Joseph called the release of ”Black Panther” a “rare opportunity for young students (primarily of color) to see a black major cinematic and comic book character come to life. This representation is truly fundamental for young people, especially those who are often underserved, unprivileged, and marginalized both nationally and globally.” The campaign exceeded its goal, making $42,000 over a $10,000 goal. Once he realized he could reach such a wide range of people, he reopened the GoFundMe with a new goal of $100,000, which was met with celebrity contributions.
“Black Panther” has become more than a film; it has become a message to others that you can achieve more through hope than with violence. That the more we unite the stronger you become, and because of this, we can open up a safe place for conversation and recognition. This film is striking, and even The New York Times called ”Black Panther” “a jolt of a movie,” saying, “in its emphasis on black imagination, creation and liberation, the movie becomes an emblem of a past that was denied and a future that feels very present. And in doing so opens up its world, and yours, beautifully.”