Black Panther

Corey Ocasio, Writer

From director of films such as Creed and Fruitvale Station pertaining to African-American life and culture, Ryan Coogler, became the newest addition to Marvel’s cinematic franchise Black Panther released on Friday, Feb. 16. Based on the comic of the same name, the film depicts the life of the young T’challa, a.k.a. Black Panther, who must defend the African nation of Wakanda from his enemies and protect its people.


Selling more pre-sold tickets in advance than any other superhero film, Black Panther earned $426.6 million within a matter of days during President’s Day Weekend making it the most successful movie of 2018 so far and officially becoming the top-grossing film with a black cast.


Senior Juan Gonzalez, who watched the film on its opening day, expresses why he thinks the film is becoming an international phenomenon and a must-see for moviegoers.


“I feel like this movie is a breath of fresh air for the film industry thats starts off 2018 with a bang,” Gonzalez said. “It’s also a different kind of superhero movie that no one has really seen before or would expect at such a high caliber.”


With a predominantly black ensemble of cast members ranging from Academy Award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o to Creed actor Michael B. Jordan, anticipated viewers of the film, such as French exchange student Antoine Fermier, were excited to witness a film that could potentially pave the way for the next generation of African-American actors and change the norms of black representation within the film industry.


“I really liked this movie because it showed African-Americans in a positive light playing characters who do good,” Fermier said, “instead of them having to act out roles with stigmas attached to them that they may not even want to perform.”


As highly-anticipated as the film was the release of its accompanying soundtrack, curated by rapper Kendrick Lamar. Featuring appearances from artists displaying their musical talents including Future, The Weeknd, and SZA, the album topped the Billboard charts only within a week of Black Panther’s release.


Javier Diaz, 11, discusses what he likes about the album and why he thinks it captures the story being portrayed in the film so well.


“I think the soundtrack accurately represents the film and all the characters in it,” Diaz said, “and it has a good beat and does a good job at embodying the culture that is being emulated throughout the film and gives you a feeling of power.”


So far, the film has received almost universally positive reviews from critics and fans alike praising its ability to be set apart from other movies in the superhero genre along with its screenplay and visuals. Some even dared to claim it as the best Marvel film yet and now setting the bar for future films in its category.


Andrew Lopez, a junior who has watched the movie twice already, describes his favorite highlight from the movie and why he highly recommends others to watch the film if they have not already done so.


“My favorite parts from the movie were the actions scenes like when Killmonger went against Black Panther because just looking at them you can just tell the film was expensive to make and took a lot of time,” Lopez said. “I would definitely recommend others to go watch Black Panther because it’s just amazing and kept me at the edge of my seat the entire time.”


Priscila Viramontes, 12, who is going to see the film eventually, hopes that Black Panther can live up to the hype.


“I haven’t seen the movie yet, but everyone keeps talking about it and I feel like I’m missing out,” Viramontes said. “I just hope that it’s good when I do get a chance to see it.”

Black Panther, which is a first for Marvel with its black superhero and futuristic theme, has and is continuing to captivate viewers around the world who think of it not only as a riveting film, but a movement as well. Since its release, the film has brought in over $900 million and fans are already speculating that a sequel will follow in the near future due to its breakout success.