Why “Black Panther” is such a popular and profound film


I saw Black Panther yesterday, which makes me anything but unusual. The movie took in an estimated $192 million over the weekend domestically, making it the highest February film debut in history. It has already grossed $169 million overseas as well.

It is the highest rated superhero movie of all time. After viewing the film, I can see why.

Ryan Coogler, already famous for Creed, directed an astounding cast in one of the most gripping films I’ve seen in years. Part of the movie’s appeal is clearly its amazing action sequences and outstanding performances. But its deeper message is one I believe to be especially significant for Christians in America.

Why superhero movies are so popular

Black Panther is the eighteenth movie connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, beginning with Iron Man in 2008. DC Comics has made dozens of movies over the years as well.

Superhero movies are extremely popular these days, in part because the news reminds us daily how much we need protection.

Nikolas Cruz has confessed to attacking Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, one of more than 140,000 schools in the US. In addition, there are more than 5.6 million commercial buildings and more than 107,000 shopping centers in this country.

Most have multiple access points and little if any armed security. The cost of protecting each of them against an armed attacker would be astronomical.

A list of the deadliest single-day mass shootings in modern US history includes schools, churches, businesses, a cafeteria, a McDonalds, a postal center, an immigrant community center, a casino and resort, a gambling club, a nightclub, a navy yard, a street, a movie theater, two brokerage houses, a Buddhist center, a nursing home, and a government center. Clearly, securing every vulnerable location is impossible.

In our post-9/11 world, the promise of superhero protection, even though fanciful, is attractive. But there’s an element central to the plot of Black Panther that helps…

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