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Guest writer Slade Wilson – “Black Panther: A (relatively spoiler-free) review”

It’s 3:33 pm

I know many of you were wondering why I,the man with a cheetah,had yet to do a Black Panther review on here. Well there are a couple of reasons,first being that since MJR Westland theaters won’t allow a well mannered cheetah into the building and our reviews are called “Have Cheetah,Will View” for a reason….one can’t expect me to review a movie about a cat without my cheetah,know what I’m saying?
Second and most importantly on why I didn’t review “Black Panther” is because I asked my good friend and fellow fanboy Slade Wilson to drop his thoughts on the film. It’s an important film on so many different levels and honestly,I don’t think I’m qualified to speak on just how much this film has come to mean so much to so many.  And with that….read on:

A little history first: I’m a Black man. No, not African-American. Black. And yes, there is a difference. I’m also a geek/nerd/sports freak/musician. So I’m a tad bit in my own little pocket universe. I’m what my friends would call, “a little cracked” (that’s one of the nicer ones… heh heh heh). And it’s okay. It’s who I am and why my perspective on this particular film is unique. Also the fan boy in me, the 10 year old comic book fanboy in me, has been waiting for this movie for close to 40 years, so there’s that.

When Falcon premiered in “Captain America: Winter Soldier”, I smiled while my heart did cartwheels. And while he was way more Ultimate Universe Falcon than Marvel 616 Falcon (which means more soldier than social worker/pimp) I had no problem with that because that Sam Wilson is a “cleaner” copy for the MCU to absorb. When “Luke Cage” debuted on Netflix, I smiled while my soul danced. The vision was on point. Again, way more modern Luke than that silly yellow shirt, tiara, chain belt “dude” yelling “Sweet Christmas”. And again, I was very happy with that. But when I heard T’Challa was going to premiere in “Captain America: Civil War” I was pins and needles because there was NO margin for error here. You either do T’Challa right or leave him be. And then the movie premiered….

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They got it (mostly) right. Well MCU got it okay, Chadwick Boseman took it over the top and made it right.

I didn’t just smile this time. I cheered.

But the test wasn’t over. “Black Panther” had to be released. That would truly be the test. Whose version would they adapt mostly? How would Wakanda look? Yeah, it’s his first movie but it has to incorporate all the origin and parts of the history of the Black Panther. What to leave out? What to incorporate? How to do it?

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Ryan Coogler did it masterfully. He fundamentally changed T’Challa from a tech/science/political figure to a more political/tactician/warrior figure while he de-aged T’Challa’s sister, Shuri and made her the tech/science genius. He totally embraced the Dora Milaje and gave them a front row while he also made what could be the biggest change to the mythos and a character I’ve seen in quite some time. He eliminated the truly racist name of Man-Ape and simply used the character’s name, M’Baku, and made him an anti-hero. Perfect. He made Killmonger a blood relative and made a movie that embraced a simple age-old curse: The Sins of the Father will be bestowed upon the Son.

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For the hardcore comic fans: did you miss the love interests we’ve all known for so long? Did you really miss Monica Lynne? How about Storm/Ororo Munroe? Or did you find it amusing and somewhat cool that finally poor Nakia really did have her “beloved” truly in love with her? Nakia is NOT Dora but her mindset and purpose is just as strong and this time her purpose is more singular but absolute.

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The introduction of the nation of Wakanda and all it’s characters are not only a welcomed addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe but a much needed one also. Vibranium will be a most needed commodity in the upcoming war. Coogler also introduced themes rarely seen in a “superhero” movie and again, this was all welcomed. So what happened when I first saw “Black Panther”?

I did not smile (at first).

I did not cheer (at least on the outside).

I cried. Tears of absolute resounding joy. For I finally got to see MY hero on the big screen. In all his glory. And now so would young children. Representation. It also left one other feeling:

Anticipation for Black Panther 2.

 

Read Slade’s first guest post on the state of the romantic comedy by clicking the link   “A Guy’s Guide to Rom-Coms”

My thanks to Slade for taking his time to grace the blog once again.
How about you? What movie completely moved you the most? Share it in the comment box below,we would love to hear from you!

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