The main layer I want to delve into is all the strong women in this movie! OK, so this isn't really going to be a typical review, but more of a reflection (and I'm going to try to keep it brief). I'll probably mention more than just the strong female characters, but don't expect me to pick the movie apart.
Wow, I have to say, wow. I mean, I'd been looking forward to this movie for a long time. It got to the point where my husband was poking fun at me because I'd squee every time a preview came on. It called to me, and I knew it would be different (in a good way) than the other movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And it was. But I had no clue how many powerful women would be in it. This made me love it even more.
Shuri, Nakia, and Okoye -- these three women stole the show. Almost literally. Many times their characters overshadowed Black Panther/T'Challa himself. It honestly felt more like a movie about the people surrounding and supporting Black Panther, not just a focus on Black Panther. And his strongest support are all women.
The beauty of these three women, though, is that they are very different from each other.
Shuri has a razor-sharp wit along with a razor-sharp brain (she totally reminded me of Q from James Bond with all of her awesome gadgets). In a pinch, she's also still willing to jump into a fight. How cool are her panther guns? I may have just ordered a Funko Pop of her yesterday from Hot Topic. ;)
Nakia is the love interest for Black Panther, but she's not fawning all over him, and she makes it clear that her life goals are more important than love. While Black Panther still tries to nudge her, he still understands who she is and needs to be. I love it that he's not trying to protect her the whole movie because he knows she can take care of herself. Nakia also declares she's not a fighter, but a spy, even though by the end she jumps into the fighting and kicks plenty of ass.
Finally, Okoye, is a fierce warrior. One who is devoted to tradition and the culture of Wakanda. She even refuses to support T'Challa's family when he (seemingly) loses the challenge to Killmonger. She fears nothing, and she'll defend whoever's on the throne, unless they break or ignore the rules.
I seriously can't wait until the second movie, and I hope some of these women show up in some of the other movies in the MCU!
One final thought from me, but about Wakanda. I enjoyed the integration of culture and tradition right alongside technological advancement. It was nice to see the technology didn't destroy the culture that existed in this society. There was also a bit of a mix of fantasy among the science fiction with the Heart-Shaped Herb and the spirit realm.
As I mentioned earlier, there are so many layers, and I thought for the most part they were woven together wonderfully.