Black Panther is finally here and taking the box-office by storm. Thanks to a complex story, engaging characters, and stunning visuals, Black Panther is easily one of Marvel’s best movies. Wakanda is a vibrant, beautiful setting and everything from the score to the costumes goes back to world-building in the film. Audiences are lucky that many of these exciting characters are set to return to the big-screen in just a few months when Infinity War hits theaters – otherwise, we’d have to wait years for the inevitable Black Panther 2 to come out.
Despite the movie’s strengths, there are still a few things worthy of nit-picking. For such an air-tight film, a few ideas and character actions just don’t make sense. Everyone in Black Panther, from the hero to the villain side, is propped up by solid performances. Unfortunately, not even great actors and Ryan Coogler’s exceptional directing could ensure everything in this movie made sense.
Luckily, none of these things come even close to ruining the movie, but hardcore Black Panther fans can have fun wondering about these puzzling decisions.
It’s time to scream “Wakanda Forever!” and consider these 15 Things That Make No Sense About Black Panther!
15. Nakia Only Grabbed One Heart-Shaped Herb
A lot of the film’s drama emerges after Killmonger defeats T’Challa and becomes the new King of Wakanda. Fortunately for everyone in Wakanda, Nakia – played wonderfully by Lupita Nyong’o – takes it upon herself to make things right.
Unwilling to accept Killmonger as her new King, Nakia sneaks into the caves under Wakanda to steal one of the special heart-shaped herbs. These magical flowers give the recipient the powers of the Black Panther and would give whatever rebel forces a fair shot against Killmonger.
At the exact moment Nakia is sneaking into the chamber, she can hear Killmonger angrily demanding the priests and priestesses to burn down the rest of the flowers. Despite that, Nakia only grabs one plant instead of swooping a couple that could have been used to restore the garden.
14. Black Panther Leaves His Tech In The Field
Wakanda is the most futuristic society on the planet. Thanks to T’Challa’s younger sister Shuri, the country is packed full of amazing tech that makes every aspect of its citizens’ lives better.
Despite the fact the tools could do a lot of good for others around the country, Wakandan Kings have always opted to isolate themselves from the rest of the world. Similarly, King T’Challa is nervous about what will happen if Wakandan tech or any traces of vibranium are utilized by the outside world. Even though T’Challa is steadfastly opposed to any tech reaching the outside world, he actually leaves it in numerous locations.
After stopping the Nigerian militia at the beginning of the film, he leaves the vibranium tech on their cars for anyone to find. Similarly, during the few scenes in South Korea, he leaves a few pieces of tech laying around that anyone can discover and study.
13. How Did T’Challa Survive That Fall?
Obviously, superhero movies are going to be full of moments where individuals with special abilities do things that normal people can’t do. For most of the film, T’Challa has access to the power of the Black Panther and can perform crazy stunts and withstand increased damage. But, whenever T’Challa is forced to participate in ritual combat, he has his powers stripped from him and he has to fight as a simple human.
After Killmonger arrives in Wakanda, he asserts his blood right and challenges T’Challa for the throne. As a result of that, T’Challa has his powers stripped from him and participates in a duel against Killmonger. At the end of the battle, a badly defeated and deeply wounded T’Challa is thrown off a massive cliff and sent falling down into the water hundreds of feet below.
12. Snow Keeps T’Challa Alive
After T’Challa is thrown off the cliffside, Killmonger assumes control of Wakanda and T’Challa’s family is forced to flee for their safety. Nakia, Shuri, Agent Ross, and Queen Ramonda head to Jabari in the hopes to they will help Wakanda rise up against their new, evil King.
Once they arrive M’Baku surprises them and shows the group T’Challa’s unconscious body. After being discovered by a fisherman, T’Challa was left in a pile of snow to keep him alive.
M’Baku states that if they take his body out of the snow, he will die within moments.
While it’s true cooling a body down will restrict blood flow, there’s no reason that snow should keep the King alive. The Jabari tribe doesn’t use any Wakandan tech, so there are no special healing properties in that snow, it’s just regular, cold water.
11. How Did Killmonger Know The Artifact Was Vibranium?
When Michael B. Jordan’s Eric Killmonger is first introduced, audiences see him examining various African artifacts in a Natural History Museum. Pretending to be curious about the artifacts, he asks the resident expert various questions about the different tools and where they come from. When his questions turn to a specific tool, his true intentions are revealed and he tells the curator that he plans to take the item from the museum.
It turns out, the dingy looking tool is actually made out of vibranium, not a basic material from the bronze era like the curator thought. The character’s fascination with African history makes sense, but there is no reason for Killmonger to already know the pick he and Klaue came to steal was indeed made of vibranium.
10. The Militia’s Trucks Should Have Flipped, Not Slowed Down
The first action sequence in Black Panther features T’Challa fighting a rag-tag militia made of Nigerian radicals. After jumping out of a cloaked ship, T’Challa throws a series of vibranium beads that stick to the groups’ trucks and shut down the engine. In the movie, the trucks slowly grind to a halt and the passengers jump out to survey the scene.
From a physics perspective, that moment makes absolutely no sense.
Instead of slowly stopping, if the car’s engine was abruptly shut off while the vehicle was still moving, it should have flipped over. Similar to how when someone squeezes the front brake while riding a bike and causes it to flip, the momentum from the back end of the vehicle is still active, and that energy wouldn’t just disappear.
9. How Did Killmonger Get To Wakanda?
For most of the movie, it’s unclear exactly what Killmonger’s plan is. It’s only when he arrives in Wakanda and challenges T’Challa for the throne do his motivations solidify and he announces his plan for Wakanda to rise up and start a new, global revolution.
No matter how misguided he is, his plan makes sense, but it isn’t exactly clear how Killmonger got to Wakanda.
Sure, he had access to Klaue’s plane and probably learned about Wakandan geography as a kid thanks to his father’s journals, but that doesn’t mean he would know exactly where to go in order to access the country. He even tells Killmonger to take him to Wakanda right before he kills him.
8. Klaue Barely Ages
The film begins with a flashback to 1992 shortly after Klaue successfully stole some vibranium from Wakanda. Audiences see a younger version of King T’Chaka and Forest Whittaker’s character Zuri, both of whom are played by different actors.
Flash-forward to the present, and both T’Chaka and Zuri look like they’ve aged way more than the twenty or so years the story tells us have passed. Andy Serkis’ Klaue, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have aged nearly as much.
Sure, the character has some gray hair, but he still looks primarily the same.
Similarly, while both T’Chaka and Zuri are clearly less physically active than they were in their younger days, Klaue is still running around starting fights and leaning out of car windows. He may look old, but he’s still young at heart and has no problem promoting his new Soundcloud link to whoever’s willing to listen.
7. The Jabari Tribe Is Vegetarian
During the film’s first ritual combat scene, audiences are introduced to the Jabari tribe, a group that once isolated themselves out of disgust over Wakandan technology and culture. Later in the film, Shuri, Nakia and Queen Ramonda flee to Jabari with Agent Ross.
After Ross speaks out of turn, their leader M’Baku states that if he opens his mouth again he will be fed to the villagers, but quickly after that, M’Baku breaks into laughter and states they are actually vegetarians.
Performer Winston Duke absolutely nails this line, and it works wonderfully as a joke, but when you start to think about it, it doesn’t add up. The Jabari live in a frozen climate that doesn’t seem promising for growing plants and vegetables to eat, and they wear fur costumes that must have come from animals, even if they weren’t eating them.
6. Everyone speaks English in Wakanda
For a country that was never colonized, Wakanda sure does speak a lot of English. As a colonial language, English would have been introduced to the country by a group of foreign explorers, but Wakanda was never claimed by a far-off European empire like other nations within Africa.
Despite that, during important moments like ritual combat or sessions with the King’s advisers, everyone is shown speaking English. There are a few scenes throughout the movie where the characters break and speak in their native tongue, but primarily they all communicate with each other through English.
Obviously, a movie made in (and primarily for) the U.S. is going to be recorded in English, but Coogler could have developed a way to make audiences think everyone in Wakanda was actually speaking a different language as they went about their daily lives.
5. Agent Ross Recognizes Killmonger immediately
Martin Freeman’s Agent Ross was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Civil War, but he really came into his own in Black Panther. After both he and T’Challa both set their sights on Klaue, Ross gets pulled into the main storyline and even becomes the first outsider to see the real Wakanda. More than that, he became the first foreign intelligence officer to step foot in Wakanda, a fact that Okoye is not happy about.
He’s clearly a smart guy and a capable spy, but he’s not a living encyclopedia.
When Killmonger’s face is shown on the screen, it doesn’t make sense for Ross to immediately recognize him and know all about his record. Sure, they both may have connections to the CIA, but it’s unlikely that Ross, a field agent, would have completely knowledge of Killmonger’s history.
4. The Wakandans just abandon the Nigerian women after saving them
The opening action scene in Black Panther features the titular hero swooping out of the sky and stopping a group of militants in Nigeria. Traveling with a group of trucks, the militia had kidnapped female villagers and were transporting them to another location to likely be sold into slavery. Fortunately for them, T’Challa, Nakia and Okoye are able to diffuse the situation and free them from their rescuers.
As T’Challa and Nakia chat, Okoye tells the women to return home and speak nothing of the events they just saw. Even though there’s plenty of room in their ship, the Wakandans essentially force the prisoners to traverse thick, dangerous jungle at night-time.
3. How Did T’Challa Notice Killmonger’s Ring?
At the beginning of the film, audiences are introduced to Prince N’Jobu, King T’Chaka’s brother who is stationed in the U.S.. Due to his betrayal, T’Chaka takes his brother’s life and decides to keep the decision a secret from his nation.
Unfortunately, T’Chaka was unable to confiscate all of N’Jobu’s Wakandan items and a very special ring was left in N’Jobu’s Oakland apartment. This ring, identical to the one T’Chaka gave to T’Challa, is a family artifact that pronounces the identity of whoever’s wearing it.
During Klaue’s breakout from prison, T’Challa notices that Killmonger is wearing this special ring around his neck and returns home aware that something is not right. T’Challa may be blessed with increased strength and speed, but there’s nothing special about his eyesight. It makes absolutely no sense for him notice such a small item from 30 yards away and recognize it instantly as a family heirloom.
2. T’Challa’s “Sneakers” Make Noise
King T’Challa may be a sharp fighter, but without his advisers around him he wouldn’t be such a strong leader and successful hero. One of the most important people around him is his younger sister Shuri, who designs all the tech in Wakanda. In addition to designing things like trains and remote-control devices, she also came up with T’Challa’s upgraded suit.
While the mask and necklace are the most noticeable aspects of the costume, she also designed a special pair of shoes for her brother, nicknamed “sneakers,” the shoes allow whoever’s wearing them to travel around silently. While it’s a cool idea and audiences see it work in Shuri’s lab, there are a few moments where T’Challa’s footsteps can be heard as he runs and leaps around while fighting.
1. Why Wouldn’t The CIA Just Try Arresting Klaue?
Agent Ross is dragged into the narrative when T’Challa, Nakia and Okoye travel to South Korea in the hopes that they will be able to capture Klaue. Klaue, who is wanted in Wakanda for stealing vibranium, will be in a specific club to sell the product to the highest bidder. Unbeknownst to T’Challa, the highest bidder ends up being Agent Ross and the CIA, who are desperate to get their hands on some vibranium for themselves.
While it makes sense for the Americans to be interested in Wakandan tech, the CIA could have just tried arresting this recognized terrorist and confiscated the tech. The CIA already has a history of purchasing things from foreign criminals, but going through with the buy instead of arresting the criminal would only further alienate America from Wakanda.
Did anything else stand out as confusing in Black Panther? Well, sound off in the comment section and share your thoughts!
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