The film that most comic book fans & the so-called black community have been waiting for is finally here. Black Panther has finally hit the big screen & despite the controversy surrounding the film, because of it’s all so-called black cast, the hype around this film is above & beyond what most people thought it would or should be.
Black Panther picks up not too long after 2016’s Captain America: Civil War & follows T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) as he officially becomes becomes King of Wakanda & officially becomes the next Black Panther. Along the way, trouble & secrets come to light when Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) appears at the front door of Wakanda with a dark secret that can shatter the foundation of Wakanda & change the world we know forever.
Black Panther captures the beauty & very foundation of Africa & its people. Unlike the first Thor film, which introduces us to Asgard, Thor’s homeworld, we spend around 95% of the film in Wakanda. Ryan Coogler’s story differentiate d itself from the other Marvel films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This film felt more personal, more relatable than previous films; not because I am so-called black but because it deals with subjects we deal with in the world today. With that being said, the film doesn’t punch you in the face with political undertones, so you can rest easy.
Chadwick Boseman proves that he can stand on his own & stand firm. Even with veterans like Angela Bassett, who plays T’Challa’s mother Ramonda & Forest Whitaker, who plays Zuri in the film, at his side, Boseman shines bright with charisma & maintains the strong presence he brought to the big screen in Captain America: Civil War. Next to Boseman, Danai Gurira, who plays Okoye, Letitia Wright, who plays Shuri & Lupita Nyong’o, who plays Nakia all shined bright if not brighter than Boseman. This isn’t to say that Boseman faltered in any way, but these three so-called black women represented respect for self, intelligence & strength, which is something the so-called black community hasn’t seen much of on the big screen. The relationship between T’Challa & Shuri & the banther that goes on between the two is genuine, which is another thing that Coogler nailed down perfectly. Yes, we do come across comedy in the film, but it’s all well-placed.
Bassett & Whitaker’s characters were mainly in the background but still contribute lightly to the progression of the plot. Daniel Kaluuya, who played T’Challa’s best friend W’kabi, did a solid job but suffered from a non-visible connection to T’Challa, which was necessary for the growth of his character in the third act..
It should come as no surprise that the film falls short with its villains. This has become one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s main issues in their films & it doesn’t seem to be a matter that Kevin Feige is looking to fix. Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger was too generic & the reason behind his villaonous ways was nothing new to the MCU. In fact, I would say that Killmonger’s character & background was very reminiscent to Loki’s in Thor. Andy Serkis‘ Ulysses Klaue withheld his comedic tone that he brought to the table in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but we don’t spend much time with him. I actually found that Winston Duke‘s M’Baku was more interesting than than both Killmonger & Klaue, especially since fans of the Black Panther comics know that he is a thorn in Black Panther’s side. I am looking forward to seeing more from Duke in Avengers: Infinity War & hope they show more of him butting heads with Black Panther in future films.
Martin Freeman‘s Everette Ross has definitely stepped in as the new Agent Coulson, which works perfectly. I hope we see more from Freeman outside of the Black Panther films.
Ludwig Göransson, composer of the film, did an excellent job with the score & overall music in the film. The music adds more life to the scenes & keeps the authenticity of African music intact throughout the film. Göransson traveled to Senegal & South Africa to record local musicians to form the core of his soundtrack.
Black Panther will be a powerful film to some & a solid entry in the MCU to others. It isn’t without flaws, but it’s still a beautiful & powerful film that any fan of the Black Panther or the MCU should support.
- This film is visually stunning
- The acting was great
- The story was fluid & full of entertaining fights
- The jokes landed well & were not forced
- The music in the film was perfect & capturing
- The main villain joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe's gallery of dull villains
- The climax of the film is very generic