WOW. Once the final credits ended (do NOT leave until the very last credit rolls) all I could say was ‘wow.’

I’m going out on a limb here and declaring this the best movie I’ve seen in my life. And if that doesn’t mean anything to you, then I’ll add this is BY FAR the best Marvel movie yet.

There is no loss of action, intrigue, thrill, heartache and *insert words I can’t print here* moments. It’s THAT good. Yes, I’m biased, but I honestly don’t understand how someone can’t enjoy this movie.

We were introduced to T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) in “Captain America: Civil War,” where unfortunately we saw his father T’Chaka killed by an explosion. Immediately, T’Challa took control of the helm of Wakanda and another familial legacy — the Black Panther.

From that moment on, I’ve been ready for this film. It has been hyped for well over a year now, and the moments leading up to this premiere week have been full of anticipation and excitement.

We’re introduced to the well-hidden, enriched nation of Wakanda in this film. A place so hidden, the rest of the world perceives it as an impoverished third-world country, yet have no idea the amount of wealth it houses. It is a notion the people of Wakanda pride themselves on and strive to maintain, while there are a few who struggle with not sharing what they’ve cultivated. Vibranium, the strongest metal on earth, is their source of revenue, strength and innovation. It is woven — literally — into the fabric of the Wakanda people's’ lives.

Because of the metal’s potency and unlimited potential, it also makes it the most commodified substance on the black market. While that’s a source of the main conflict within the film, there’s still so much more that becomes unearthed as we saturate ourselves into the lives of these characters.

And about the characters … there is a long list of people who we get to know, love and even hate in the film. And writer/director Ryan Coogler does an excellent job of giving every single main character a well-rounded arc and ample screen time. We really get to learn a lot about them in a substantial way. Instead of being introduced to someone, learning a small tidbit about them and them fading away, each main character has a critical arc within the film and is truly an essential addition to the plot. That had to be one of the best critiques I came away with for the film.

T’Challa is a determined character. Taking the helm and defining for himself what it truly means to be a leader is at the core of his inner conflict. But while he’s wrestling with how to lead, his actual leadership skills are being needed in a waging war that is accumulating against his peaceful nation. So for him, it’s a fine line with protecting Wakanda’s way of life versus extending aid to those in the world who lack the resources he’s accustomed to. This was an overarching theme carried by many of the characters of the film in their own unique ways.

I can’t mention characters and not praise the women-led Dora Milaje, the elite fighting force who protect King T’Challa and Wakanda. Listen, these women are a force to be reckoned with. And their leader Okoye, played by Danai Gurira (“The Walking Dead”), is THE best of all. Danai clearly already had great training coming from TWD, but it was amplified even more with this film, and I honestly can’t wait until you all see her in action. She has to be in more action films, because her precision and technique were natural.

Speaking of women, Letitia Wright is incredible as Shuri, T’Challa’s little sister and also the smartest person in Wakanda. She’s the source of the nation’s technological prowess and provides an avenue for T’Challa to show his humorous side. They’re a true brother/sister combo on film that works.

Visually, the movie was stunning. The editing and CGI were done very well, which I wasn’t worried about because Marvel always hits it out of the park on that aspect.

Honestly, I could go on and on about this film. And I’m sure there are things I’ve left out. But trust me when I say, if you don’t have a ticket I’d be looking to get one as soon as possible. It’s a great movie and if you’re not up on the history of Black Panther, no worries. They do a great job in explaining everything you need to know.

And don’t forget, stay past the very last credit roll. Spoiler alert: there are two end scenes you’ll want to see.


LaTria Garnigan is the Magazine Coordinator for Cobb Life. She has more than 10 years of experience editing newspapers and magazines. When she's not working, she enjoys trying out new recipes, traveling and binge-watching and live-tweeting TV shows.

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