You could say Black Panther has all the makings of a perfect movie- but has it got the makings for a perfect superhero movie? That's a different story.
Before the release of the release of Marvels' Infinity War prequel, 'Black Panther', you may have seen headlines from the press reading 'Black Panther is the best Marvel film made' or 'Why Black Panther is a game changing movie'- and to an extent they aren't wrong, but don't let these superlative headlines hype the movie up to be something it isn't. The cast are superb, putting every ounce of love, care and attention into creating an immensely atmospheric amalgamation of culture and action. Wakanda, the fictional African nation virtually unknown to the outside world, is bustling with a mashup of tribal features and extra-ordinary technological advances- creating a unique setting for a modern yet classic superhero film.
One of the most incredible aspects that director, Ryan Coogler, was able to portray was the feeling of community and ideology within the country of Wakanda. Each tribe dressed in regal dress and a distinctive overall colour popped from the screen as they stand on the cliff-face seen in the trailers. You truly feel as if Wakanda could be a real place that we don't know about.
As you would expect, the actors all add something incredible to the story, Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa is regal and intense yet warm and comforting simultaneously. Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger has a distinctive screen presence not seen since Thor Ragnarok's Hela and Loki- it seem's we could be seeing more of Erik in the near future. The supporting cast couldn't be any more supportive, Letita Wright's Shuri is the perfect mix of 'Q' from the 007 franchise and your humorous little sister. Lupita Nyong'o's Nakia is a great love interest for T'Challa- although this wasn't played upon much until the climax of the film, and Danai Gurira's Okoye is by far one of the standouts of the movie as she takes prime position in the Dora Milaje- not surprising to see her return in the Avengers: Infinity War trailers.
One downfall that Coogler has as regards the Black Panther solo movie is its severe lack of action scenes. There are 2 main sequences which are frankly incredible along with 2 smaller sequences that are equally as enjoyable. However around 3/5th's of the entire film are spent walking around the palace or on the streets of Wakanda- not something we'd have expected from a Black Panther movie based upon his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War. In fact, we see every single action scene within the trailers, there isn't one fight we haven't seen. The final battle comes unexpectedly without any anticipation and just happens and quickly stops.
One thing to admire is the wonderful soundtrack by Kendrick Lamar (if you haven't listened to it, what are you waiting for! You'll be singing it throughout the movie!). One of the standout tracks is 'Pray for Me' by the Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar which plays in one of the best scenes in the movie. The background music is also fantastic and superbly encapsulates the mixture between traditional (tribal) and modern (hip-hop/rap).
M'Baku (Winston Duke) leader of the Jabari tribe who live in the mountains of Wakanda certainly is a sight to behold. He takes centre presence whenever he comes on the screen ,you can just feel the threat when you see all 6ft 3 inches of him looming over all the other characters. He doesn't use the outfit of Man Ape like in the comics, however his clothes have been made to look like a true warrior. We are so pleased to hear that this character is returning for Infinity War.
Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) has returned for this film and we're glad he's back. His accent is much improved upon from Captain America: Civil War where it as hard to listen to at times, but you can tell he has practised it alot and improved dramatically. His role is bigger than expected and is used more than needed to be. His scenes become sub plot nearer the end of the movie as he is sidelined for the main characters.
Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) is one of the weaker points of the film. His acting is phenomenal like always, but he is not given enough screen time to give the character proper justice. He is maniacal and intelligent, which is the ingredients for a great villain, but not as good as Killmonger which steals the show. Killmonger outshines Klaue throughout the film and as Killmonger has more screen time Klaue can easily be forgotten about.
This movie is extremely political. These scenes can be fun but nearer the end of the film they are shown to often and can start to become boring. The movie is all about rivalries and how T'Challa and Killmonger's ideologies clash with each other, and Killmonger's ideology is shown to be more of a modern day view with audiences being able to relate to why he wants what he does. These ideologies are shown in the political scenes and how both rivals execute this is what makes T'Challa a hero and Killmonger a villain.
The rewatchability of this movie is worrying. The lack of action and the fact that it is separate to all the rest of the MCU can mean that it is hard to watch over and over again. The movie is great for a single showing every now and then, but it will be hard to watch 3 or more times on the run.
There are two end credit scenes, one after the first set of credits and the other after the 10 minute crawl of producers and art directors etc. Neither of them will take your breath away but are good extras to have and give more depth to the overall world.
In conclusion, everyone should see this movie. Whether your a comic book movie fan or not, you should watch this film. The atmosphere, the music, the outfits, the cast is all amazing and beautifully put together. Even though there are some flaws with the movie it is nothing that cannot be sorted out in future films. It is an extremely important movie that tackles high profile issues in today's society and Marvel should greenlight a sequel almost immediately as we want to see more of this secret country.
We thank you so much for reading this post and hope you enjoyed our spoiler free review of Black Panther and hope you stay for our next three posts:
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