Rarely does a movie live up to its hype, even rarer does it exceed the hype, well Black Panther does both. One of Marvel’s greatest film creations hits the big screen this weekend and it’s spectacular. It’s a film that appeals to everyone. Although the significance to the African community is evident in the film and presentation of the story and characters, it is a movie for everyone.
WHAT’S THIS MOVIE ABOUT:
Black Panther/T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) inherits the throne to rule the kingdom of Wakanda after his fathers death. The safety of Wakanda is being threathened by arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) and his accomplice Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). To use a synopsis to describe a quick overview of the movie wouldn’t be doing it justice.
While there is one main storyline outlined above, it branches off to other ones that ultimately make sense and connect. One of the plots involves T’Challa becoming a king and is threatened by outsiders before he can even begin his reign. He just can’t seem to inherit the throne without any drama getting in the way. As much as the initial threat is centered around the desire to steal the vibranium from Wakanda, it’s a family rivalry that’s at the core of the plot.
HOW DID THE ACTORS DO:
The actors play a huge part of taking this movie to another level. Headlined by Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan, a stellar supporting cast surrounding them that includes, Forest Whitacker, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis and Daniel Kaluuya. All the actors including many of the supporting ones play vital roles and important characters in the movie that contribute to the storyline.
Each character has a distinguished personality and purpose. Serkis portrayal of Klaue is reminiscent of the Joker. His wacko laugh and complete disregard for chaos. It’s certainly entertaining and fitting of a top villain, but he’s not even the leading intimidator.
Michael B. Jordan brings this quiet dangerous intensity to his character. You don’t want to mess with Erik. Once again, Jordan is in phenomenal shape and boasts the physique of a UFC fighter. He plays one of the best villains in the Marvel movie universe. Just a raw badass.
Among the many teriffic characters and performances, it’s Leticia Wright who plays T’Challa’s sister Shuri, the one who steals the show. Shuri is wisecracking and sarcastic and provides constant comedic relief, but also has a strong aura of confidence and charm about her.
Women play important role in this film, Florence Kasumba is just one of the other strong supporting female actors that make their presence felt. The confidence and strength these women have and the way their characters are portrayed is refreshing and fitting.
HOW DID THE MOVIE LOOK AND SOUND:
The visuals and sounds are a big part of the presentation of the movie. The city of Wakanda is a character in itself. It’s high-tech and futuristic but with a rural features and characteristics and small town spirit. You get a sense these characters are actually in Africa with huts, sand roads and bazars that locals partake in.
From a large scale view, Wakanda looks like the live action world from Zootopia. I’m certain Disney was inspired with the look and designs of Zootopia’s world and incorporated many looks and aspects from it, such as the fast tracking rail system and building structures.
The soundtrack for Black Panther is definitely worth checkin out, featuring Kendrick Lamar at the forefront. Also featuring SZA and fantastic composition from Ludwig Göransson.
WAS IT ENTERTAINING:
Being entertained is the last thing you’ll need to worry about when seeing this film. There is an abundance of action, intrigue and character interactions to keep you always engaged. The plot blossoms as the movie goes on. The way the characters are tied to another and the backstory that is revealed throughout the movie and how events from the past impact the present.
I was blown away by the fight scenes in the movie. In particular the two battles that T’Challa faced on the way to gaining his throne. They are as brutal of fights as you’ll see in a Marvel movie. It was very un-Marvel like actually. The choreography and intensity of them were top level. In many ways the rawness of the fight scenes and a more serious theme were more fitting of the current DC movie universe than the usually light-hearted Marvel.
IS IT WORTH SEEING:
This is one of the finest superhero movies of the past decade. It has all the elements you could ask for in a movie of this genre. Characters that have depth and defined personas. Intense action that feels and looks authentic. A smart plot that relates to a backstory that’s relevant to the characters present world.
I feel like the rich African culture was handled in a honorable way. The attire, accessories (objects like a necklace), rituals and custom dances were very interesting to see and portrayed. It added depth to the characters.
Ryan Coogler deserves a ton of credit for making Black Panther a real movie, not just a flashy superhero film. This is a movie anyone can enjoy and take things away from.
There isn’t much to dislike, but Michael B. Jordan deserved more and better. I don’t wanna spoil what happens, but he ultimately his character doesn’t get served a proper fate.
There were some jokes and puns that were borderline offensive. For example a line that comes from Shuri saying, “another broken white boy”. There are a few more lines that could be construed as somewhat racially offensive within context. These mentions served little purpose and added nothing to the storyline, besides a potential chuckle form the audience.
Overall, Black Panther is outstanding film that establishes a noble superhero that can be championed by everyone, no matter what your race or ethnicity is. Good writing, direction and performances combine to deliver a film that’s a must-see.
- Movie Rating: PG-13
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
- Runtime: 2 hr 14 min
- Release Date: February 16, 2018