Michael B. Jordan: 'Black Panther shows black kids they can be superheroes'

Chadwick Boseman & Ryan Coogler Talk Making History With Black Panther

All good movies; all move the story along in their unique way. The intriguing thing about Black Panther is that it doesn't look like a superhero film - more a wide-eyed fantasy romance: "exciting, subversive and amusing".

And don't worry, this will be spoiler free.

Black Panther begins in the wake of those scenes in Captain America: Civil War where we were first introduced to Prince T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and his secret superhero guise of Black Panther. Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) is one of the many strong women in this film; layered and more than able to pack a powerful punch. Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Sicario) is to the right of the costumed Wakandan superhero, and he plays W'Kabi, the head of the Border Tribe's security and T'Challa's best friend. Not just to help Wakanda, but maybe different parts of the world I guess. As with the beloved airport slug-out in Civil War it goes on forever and is confidently marshalled by director Ryan Coogler in his first excursion into popcorn filmmaking. Doing nothing, while building its own Atlantis/El Dorado.

"Black Panther" has the unenviable task of being the precursor to Marvel's massive comic book film event scheduled later this year in "The Avengers - Infinity War". The action scenes felt real, and the stunt actors move gingerly amongst each other so well that during their choreography you can see punches and kicks with flawless precision. Everything in the film, from the music to the stylistic choices and the mythology is inspired by the lovely diversity of the African cultures. "I thought that I wanted to make it but only if I got to explore this certain things". He mines the wellspring of history to tell a superhero story born of something much deeper. We are not taught the literature, we are not taught the music, we are not taught the traditions and whenever we embrace them, it is from a distance. It's at this location where fights could change Wakanda forever. His rage, his attitude, his hair, everything about him is wrapped up in the black American male experience, which Michael B. Jordan brings to life with a mixture of righteous tragedy.

He explained: 'I love ironing, it's a stress reliever! It has taken perhaps the safest commercial bet in cinema today - a new Marvel film - to finally give Afrofuturism its blockbuster due.

Into that web wanders Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis), a South African arms dealer and mercenary who has been caught and branded for stealing the miraculous metal Vibranium from Wakanda, the only place in the world it can be mined. It's rich material, pulled from the fiber of Shakespeare and Greek Tragedy, but form-fitted to T'Challa, king of an African utopia. In moments like these, we're reminded just why representation matters. While there are no surprises in the film, there is also no filler. "I sat with that, and I had to process", Coogler says.

It also fixes the one problem I had with Wonder Woman: the lack of female warriors beyond the beginning.

According to the British Board of Film Classification, Black Panther has a run time of 134 minutes (2hrs 14 minutes)! The king is bequeathed enhanced strength, speed and agility through a special heart-shaped herb, and gets a cool panther-themed, bulletproof bodysuit and a cadre of royal bodyguards led by Okoye (Danai Gurira, making her Michonne from "The Walking Dead" look like a walking wimp). Let us know what you think.

If you could pick three people for your superhero lineup who would you pick and why? To honor him would be a tip of the hat towards Black Panther grounding its fantasy world in something tangible and urgent, and a pat on the back for one of our most promising actors.

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