Midnight premiere shows impact of iconic film even before release

Lee Cervantes, Staff Reporter

With the nearing premiere of Marvel’s “Black Panther”, the hype for the Ryan Coogler’s film only grew. The film’s headlining stars: Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan, all took to social media to hype their film. This, along with Kendrick Lamar’s album, helped the hype for the film rise.

Spoilers will be kept at a minimum.

The atmosphere for the midnight premiere was electric, many of the movie-goers were dressed in traditional clothing, a red carpet was rolled out and comic books were being sold during the wait for the theater doors to open. The film had already made an obvious impact and it hadn’t begun yet.

As someone who follows the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), I was aware of the basic premise of the film and how it would impact the upcoming Infinity War films, the excitement for the film was plentiful as we awaited the start of the movie.

To my surprise, we started with the backstory of the antagonist, Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger. This helped develop Killmonger’s role as an anti-hero, not a villain, something that the MCU had struggled with in the past, in a beautiful way that helped the audience sympathize. The accompanying music, a mixture of the modern superhero brass and African ties, helped emphasize Killmonger’s conflicts and roots.

We are next introduced to T’Challa, the Black Panther, and the nation of Wakanda. The initial fighting scene was not on par to the usual flashy dramatics that the MCU is known for, instead it focused on T’Challa’s development and implies the issues outside of Wakanda. It was impressive to see the extent of awareness that the film went through to push the main conflict of the film, the Wakanda vs the World mentality intention was to make a bold statement to modern politics.

The fight scenes are crafted beautifully. Coogler’s stylistic production shines bright throughout the whole film. The fights are fun, but still let the audience be made aware of the circumstances behind the fight. Leading to an insightful, but entertaining, sequence of events. Colorful fight scenes and the use of the vibrant soundtrack, hype the audience and leave them at the edge of their seat. After the backlash of the dull fight scenes of Russo’s “Civil War”, Coogler took a refreshing step in the right direction.

The film was not without its limitations. The MCU is not known for groundbreaking plot, “Black Panther” was not an exception. In order to fall into place for the Infinity War arc, it was obvious that sacrifices were made. There is no denying that Coogler took a step in the right direction, but this limitation held back the film from reaching its full potential.

The social commentary in the film had initial controversy, along with its execution. The mentality that the film was only for the African American community led to a divided view on the film, but the film itself was entertaining for everyone. Social commentary is not new for the MCU, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” also received similar backlash for it’s commentary on government surveillance, Wakanda versus Killmonger brought an entertaining and impactful commentary.

“Black Panther” is a breath of fresh air for the MCU. Even with the future lineup of superhero films, “Black Panther” will stand out among the stars as one of the most iconic. The opening weekend success leaves the door open for more films with minorities as lead roles and an optimistic future diversity.