3 Ways "Black Panther" Outshined All Other Movies

1. POC representation. I mean…just look at the movie poster for starters.

                                                                                                                 

 

Photo Via Forbes 

 

Or check out these edits of blockbuster movies cut down to just include dialogue spoken by people of color. Suddenly, “500 Days of Summer” goes from 97 minutes to just 30 seconds. “Into the Woods” would be just seven seconds. The entire Harry Potter film series would be about six minutes. I could go on but much more qualified people have covered this better than I ever could. Read more here.

2. Dynamic female characters.

For years, Marvel has thrown a leather-clad Black Widow into a group of men and then patted themselves on the back for their portrayal of “strong women.” Forget the fact that women come from a variety of backgrounds, have a variety of interests and don't always find skintight jumpsuits to be the best combat material. “Black Panther” breaks the mold of a what a “strong female character” looks like by portraying women with different ages, dispositions and skill sets. Luptia Nyong’o’s Nakia is a passionate advocate for social justice, Danai Gurira’s Okoye is a fierce warrior, and we finally get the female tech genius we’ve been waiting for with Letitia Wright’s Shuri. “Black Panther” isn’t notable for just showing a lot of women onscreen, or giving them actual dialogue, but instead for casting women in the interesting and diverse roles that we normally save for men.

Consider that women only spoke 27% of the dialogue in 2016’s top grossing films, and you’ll see why female representation in Hollywood is a problem. Even movies that we consider to feature a strong female character usually surround them with a male ensemble. For example, just 17% of the dialogue in “Rogue One”, a film praised for its strong female lead, was spoken by women, and protagonist Jyn Erso actually had less dialogue than her “sidekick” played by Diego Luna.

3. Layered storytelling.

“Black Panther” is more than just a great action movie- it features a real story that is nuanced and complicated and that functions as more than just a vehicle for cool fight scenes. Consider every superhero movie that has come out in the last five or so years- how many featured actual character growth, shocking twists and real stakes? Yes, “Black Panther” also has fun action sequences and costumes, but they exist to move a gripping plot. I’ll leave it there to avoid spoilers.