If you follow me on twitter, you know that I've been going on about the Black Panther
(BP) movie for a few weeks now. Having watched the movie (once, so far), I'm going to dive into a short-ish review as well as an expanded SPOILER-HEAVY one.
Before I begin, I gotta say that my thoughts and opinions are coming from someone who identifies as Afro-Latinx. And, that although I might have slightly more insight than someone who is white, I implore y'all to seek out critics and essayists of color. ESPECIALLY, people from Africa, African-Americans, and Afro-Caribbeans.
BP is a movie that's also a movement and so, there are deffo things I will
miss and/or not know about because my experience is nothing like that of someone who is from Kenya, Barbados or (here in the US) Atlanta or Compton (for example.)
I can deffo rec The Nerds of Color
, Black Girl Nerds
, and The Root
as starting points for good writing about this movie.
Also, YouTube and Twitter (don't ask me about the Book of Faces, I don't know her) have tons of POCs throwing out super on point things to say.
The truth is that, like it or not, white people will never be able to understand how mindblowingly great it is to see people who look like you
on the screen and in a movie that's made of amazingness. Therefore, reviews and criticisms about it that come from a white person's POV are invalid.
Like, maybe if the opinions are kept on the superficial level, it's...OK. However, an in-depth breakdown of themes and meanings in BP?
THAT'S A NO. (Thank you.)
And now, I'm gonna give you a bit of context and setting up of the scene...
T'Challa's introduction to the MCU (via Captain America: Civil War
) was one of the standouts of an already good movie. So you bet I was HELLA READY for the Black Panther
movie. Once Marvel Studios began to work on it, I kept an eye on it. My hope was that they would get the best possible director, producers, designers, actors, and screenwriters to make this movie. This movie was going to be a big deal no matter what. The more I heard about it, the more shiny-eyed I got.
And then, the teaser dropped and I LOST MY FUCKING MIND
! My reaction was even MORE OTT when the official trailer went live. The one thing I kept thinking was "If this movie turns out to be even 1/10th of what's shown here, I might need to bring my smelling salts to the movie theater."
The early buzz (once the movie premiered) was super positive. As the day of the official US premiere got closer, I decided to put nearly all social media on ice. I wanted the movie to be as much of a surprise as it could possibly be.
Unfortch for me
, I watched a supposed non-spoiler YouTube review that dropped two minor spoilers. *facepalms self, makes a mental note to freeze out YT for A:IW*
FTR, I tried to get my movie ticket as soon as I could only to find out that the last available shows at my local theater were the 11:50 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. ones on Friday. Thursday had already
sold out and most of Friday shows had as well! The only time something like this had happened was for SW: The Force Awakens a few years ago.
(BTW,My show, the 12:15 p.m. one, sold out
about ten minutes before the previews began rolling.)
The majority of the people in the theater were Latinx followed by Black people and one older white guy. Oh, and slightly more women than men. The trailers suuuuucked. The only ones I was minutely interested in checking out were Mission Impossible: Tom Cruise vs. Henry Cavill's 'stache
and the Ant-Man and the Wasp
movies. My :-/ abt the trailers doubled because I'd been expecting to see the one for A:IW and to check out the Janelle Monáe teaser for her new album.
One random thing that happened was the young black woman who sat to my left and texted throughout the previews all the way until the end of the second post-credit scene. In her defense, she'd dimmed her cell phone's screen and had it on silent. I
knew she was texting because she was next to me, but I don't know if anyone else noticed? THAT SAID, I did think it was strange that someone would spend approx $30 (between the ticket and the nachos + soda she bought) to go to a movie...only to act as if she'd been chilling at home? (I did give her a few nasty looks--which she ignored.)
Another random thing: the audience was about 65% vocal (laughing, gasping, and clapping--myself included) and 35% v. quiet. I'm not sure if those who kept quiet did so because they didn't know if it'd be OK to react some ways?
Oh, and only 2 people left BEFORE the post-credit scenes.
When I got back to Twitter on Friday morning and I went about scrolling through my TL, I started to get super nervous after reading other ppl's squeeful reactions. WOULD THE HYPE BE WORTH IT???
And then, it was time for the movie to begin…Non-spoiler Review
This movie stands out even more than Thor: Ragnarok
when it comes to aesthetic and themes that are filtered through a POC perspective. (Personally, I can't wait to see BP and T:R back-to-back cuz that's going to be hellaciously fun.)
It does deal with topics that will make you go O__O and then nod your head in agreement.
It's a spectacular movie with an amazing cast, wonderful sets + costumes, A+ directing, and a script that kicks, punches, and (again) makes you laugh. With the exception of one character (that I won't point out cuz it'd be a spoiler), everyone has a solid story arc so you end up finding empathy and a measure of connection with everyone.
Do you have
to see it on 3D? Eh, that depends on how much you like that format. I saw it on regular 2D cuz I'm not a "3D or BUST" type of person. Hopefully, next time I go see it, I'll be able to catch it on IMAX 2D since it will look a million times sweeter.
Whatever the format, GO SEE IT! Short of being Racist McBigot, there's legit no way
anyone wouldn't enjoy this movie. IJS.( And now for the SPOILERS )