The Marvel train seems like it can’t be stopped and Black Panther is another great movie to join the ever expanding roster in the MCU. Black Panther has what you would expect from a Marvel movie: perfectly cast actors, the proper amount of comedy, incredible action sequences and amazing world building. You can tell before the credits start rolling that this film is about to take you on some trip. And what is great about Black Panther, is that it is nothing like what you would expect. The trailers and TV spots were good, but they leave the best stuff for the movie itself.
Black Panther was first introduced to us in Captain America: Civil War. When that movie first came out, I wasn’t sure what to think about introducing a new superhero without getting a proper origin story. Although it was epic to see Spider-Man finally become a part of the MCU in Civil War, in my opinion, the character that really shined was T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and his portrayal of the Black Panther. His character went through so much in Civil War and at the end you understood why he was meant to be King of Wakanda. And getting back to Black Panther not having an origin story in Civil War, this is definitely Black Panther’s origin story.
I don’t want to give away any spoilers for this film, and believe me, there are a lot. This movie basically occurs right after the events of Civil War where T’Challa returns home to Wakanda in order to rule as King. And without a doubt, T’Challa is a wise, noble and good king; but, one of his biggest weaknesses is his heart and his love for the people of his kingdom. Of course, things are never easy for a Marvel superhero and T’Challa is faced with many problems that stem from outside and even within his Kingdom. Can Black Panther overcome these obstacles and save the day? You’ll have to wait and see the movie.
Without a doubt, Chadwick Boseman was the perfect choice to play Black Panther. Whenever he is on screen your focus is on him and everything he says is in such a regal manner. Other than Boseman, there are so many great characters and actors that are portrayed in this film. Michael B. Jordan plays Killmonger and it’s nice to see that Marvel is doing a better job with their villains and he is without a doubt a great one. What makes him great is that one moment you hate him and the next, you sympathize with him. Lupita Nyong’o plays Nakia, who in her own way is a hero that helps the people outside of Wakanda. Letitia Wright plays T’Challa’s sister and I love the competitive nature she shows towards her brother, and there are many times she definitely has the edge over him. And director Ryan Coogler did such a fantastic job.
Wakanda is just a site to behold. A simply stunningly represented and technologically advanced city, which was an amazing accomplishment by some CGI wizards. It’s definitely a land you wish existed and hopefully one day Disney will take notice and maybe we will see something like it in the parks one day. And although at times the action occurred outside of Wakanda, I kept hoping we returned there quickly, because it was so beautifully designed and represented perfectly.
It’s rare that a movie is perfect, and this one is no exception. There are times that the movie drags, but it isn’t too often. Although this film feels very original, I also feel it borrows from the James Bond movies and even a little from the Rocky movies. And call me crazy, but I liked Black Panther’s costume in Civil War better. I was not crazy about purple on the new costume and seeing his eyes at times. But I will say out of the recent MCU movies, I would put Black Panther above Thor Ragnarok, Doctor Strange and even Spider-Man: Homecoming. Very close with Guardians 2 and Captain America: Civil War is just on another level with all of them. It definitely deserves to be in the top ten of all MCU movies.
I was worried that this movie was being over hyped after seeing all of the gushing reviews and high scores on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. Is it over hyped? The answer to that is a bit of yes and a bit of no. It is not the greatest superhero movie ever made, as some would make you think, but it is a great one and one that definitely benefits from seeing it more than once. And most importantly, they did Black Panther justice on the big screen. Back in 1978 when I was a kid and first saw Superman: The Movie, I wanted to be Superman, and now after watching this film, I could see kids wanting to be Black Panther.
By the way, there are two “after credit” scenes. One occurs about a minute after the film is over and the other occurs right before the ushers will start coming in to prepare the theater for the next showing. They both are actually quite good and not unnecessary like some can be.
I give Black Panther 8.5/10.
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