Black Panther is the kind of superhero movie you can watch without knowing any of the back history, since it sort of stands alone in the Marvel universe, like the original Captain America, or X-Men, or whatever else.
And, if you follow anything super nerdy, you might already be able to tell from those last titles that there is a huge opportunity for franchising it into multiple stories.
Of course, the Black Panther is just a glimpse into the story of T’Challa and the African nation of Wakanda, since Marvel already has the whole thing laid out from comic books. But, if you’re like me and haven’t read them, it’s a wild and exciting ride to see what’s coming next.
The Black Panther movie spawned from Captain America: Civil War, and if you care anything about the back story, it basically goes like this: America wants superheroes to register their powers for the greater good, so they are held more accountable (this follows some pretty large scale events that saved the world, but many people died), and pretty much it is team Tony Stark versus team Captain America. The Black Panther comes into play, and sides with Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man, in an agreement to have the United Nations oversee the Avengers.
The Black Panther movie itself explains who the king of Wakanda is, how he got his powers, and all of the story that goes along with it, and puts his purpose from Civil War into better focus.
The Black Panther movie is visually stunning, crafting a mix of science fiction and African traditions into a beautiful tale of a resource-rich secret world that exists in Africa, and spreads the message of peace and unity in a totally vicious hierarchical way.
Although it does take quite a bit of focus to really hone in on all of the story, it is worth the watch. Even if you have to watch it twice to pick up on all of the small clues, which you probably won’t catch the first time without someone who has already seen the movie.
That being said, it is totally watchable without picking up on all the small details, and it will grip you until the end of the movie, eventually answering questions you probably didn’t even realize you had.
Then, if you weren’t already, you might be motivated to dive into the wonderful world of Marvel. It’s not too late. If you ask the right person, they can tell you some key films to catch up on to get your head in the game.
For all of these reasons, and in particular that the Black Panther is watchable on its own without any other knowledge, I give the Black Panther eight out of 10 popcorns.