THE LATEST THINKING
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An Unpopular Opinion of 'Black Panther'
Marvel's Black Panther is really not worth the hype.
Last summer when Marvel released the teaser trailer for Black Panther, I was ecstatic. Finally, a superhero movie not dominated by white male actors. Subsequent promos and a 97 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes cemented my need to watch this film. But now that my ticket stub is lost somewhere in my purse and I’m sitting here at home looking back I feel disappointed and unsatisfied with Black Panther.
First off, my feelings toward Black Panther have nothing to do with race. I loved that the cast was almost entirely black and took place in Africa (c’mon I majored in anthropology!). The colors were vibrant and aesthetically pleasing and the film touched on important issues regarding race today.
Part of my discontent comes from that it’s a Marvel film. To me, Marvel films seem to lack something that I can’t quite put my finger on. I get bored easily and tend to zone out while watching them and, with the exception of Iron Man, rarely watch one multiple times. Perhaps they lack heart, soul, or meaning. When DC’s Wonder Woman was released last year I was floored. It had such an incredibly different feel than any superhero movie to date and struck a chord with me and so many others. It was refreshing to see a superhero fight for love and to see a woman kick butt. Marvel, and unfortunately Black Panther, lacks this spirit.
Another issue I have with Black Panther again involves the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Films in the MCU are all interconnected, so you pretty much need to watch every single one in order to figure out what’s going on. Since I’m not a die-hard moviegoer, I’ve missed quite a few Marvel movies. Apparently you need to see Captain America: Civil War before Black Panther, but I don’t have the attention span or desire to watch it on Netflix, so there’s that. And yes, I have no idea who that Bucky dude is in the post-credits scene.
Expanding more on the MCU (Okay, I just really hate extended movie universes. It’s just too much to keep up with!) Black Panther uses quite a bit of screen time to set up its role in the new upcoming Avengers movie. The technology was cool but it seemed purposely placed so that it can be used again as a side or focal point in Infinity War (which I’m not looking forward to because it looks like a huge mess).
And finally, my biggest groan moment was the standard superhero movie outline of introducing a villain, fighting them, and everything is okay again. Seriously, everyone knew that Killmonger was going to be defeated by T’Challa. COME UP WITH SOMETHING NEW MARVEL UGH. At least Wonder Woman threw some curveballs before finally defeating the villain.
Maybe it’s because I’m not black or male so I wasn’t able to get the most out of Black Panther, unlike virtually everybody else. Please don’t crucify me.