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'Black Panther' is worth the hype

After his debut in "Captain America: Civil War," a film starring Black Panther was imminent. Now that "Black Panther" has been released, we can see if it was worth the wait.

The film is mostly set in the fictional African nation of Wakanda, a country built upon the world’s only reserve of the rare, durable metal vibranium. This metal has a multitude of useful properties and the Wakandans have been using it for thousands of years, thus they have found out how to use it to accomplish things other nations in the world can only dream of.

The film begins with T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), returning to Wakanda after a mission as the Black Panther. Since his father was killed by a terrorist bomb in "Captain America: Civil War," T’Challa is now king of Wakanda.

After the coronation, Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) steals an ancient African artifact from a museum with the help of Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) They steal the axe because, unbeknownst to the museum staff, it is made from vibranium.

T’Challa dons his Black Panther costume with the help of his ex-wife, Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), and bodyguard Okoye (Danai Gurira).

Klaue and Killmonger escape capture and try to fly to Wakanda, but when Klaue has second thoughts, Erik betrays him and leaves on his own. Upon his arrival in Wakanda, he challenges T’Challa as king, and wins.

Now it is up to T’Challa and his allies to act against the traditions of their culture, and attempt to remove Killmonger from power.

The character who deserves the most discussion is Erik Killmonger.

Considering his ideologies lie in creating change through strength and violence, he wants Wakanda to use its advanced technology to arm disadvantaged people all over the world. Although that is an inherently bad idea, his reasoning is understandable and makes him more sympathetic.

Although Killmonger’s means of helping the world through Wakandan technology might be destructive, he does bring up a good point that T’Challa and his people take to heart: they should use their technology to help the disadvantaged people of the world in a more constructive way.

One other aspect that makes Killmonger such a good villain is that he really wants the same thing as T’Challa: for Wakanda to play a more prominent role in the world.

Another aspect of the film that is very effective is the soundtrack. It gives "Black Panther" a unique atmosphere and ambience that is not only memorable, but also serves to communicate scenes’ tone very well.

Another aspect that really heightens the atmosphere of many moments is the visual design of Wakanda itself, and the technology present there. It’s a very unique aesthetic that combines traditional ancient African design themes with a more sterile, futuristic sensibility that is memorable and unique. That, coupled with the stunning colors on display, make "Black Panther" an undeniably pretty film overall.

Although this is a given for most Marvel films, the fight choreography is unusually good here, as many scenes have a lot of characters on screen. None of the action is ever confusing or hard to follow, and it’s almost always interesting.

Overall, I can’t complain about anything in "Black Panther." T’Challa is very charismatic, the villain is very strong and complicated, the visual design and atmosphere is impeccable, and the plot itself isn’t too fast-paced, giving the audience time to breathe and reflect without ever being bored. I don’t know if "Black Panther" is the best film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far, but it’s definitely a great one.

Quinn Zack is a junior at Hamburg High School.

 

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