As mentioned in our Spoiler Free review, A Space Oddity absolutely adored this film for everything it did. It took risks, it had a stellar cast and it showed representation like we'd never seen on the silver screen before. But you know all about that, now, let's get onto what we are here for... the spoilers!
WOW. Just wow! Marvel has done it. This is by far the MCUs most diverse and enthralling setting so far as Wakanda is given the best world building we've seen in any Marvel movie. From the street vendors of Wakanda frying every type of food to the transportation vehicles built by T'Challa's (Chadwick Boseman) teenage genius sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright) to the clifftops of which T'Challa fought against M'Baku (Winston Duke) and more notably Erik Killmonger aka N'Jadaka (Michael B. Jordan) in the election process of the King.
As we enter Wakanda for the first time, flying through the shields- much like Themyscira in 2017's Wonder Woman-we are greeted with the most amazing scenery (albeit with some slightly off CGI) and landscape we could have ever been greeted with. We fly down to surface level to meet T'Challa's mother Ramonda and Shuri along with the Dora Malaje.
Speaking of whom, the Dora Malaje are a force to be reckoned with, Thanos' Black Order have some serious competition. Standouts are Lupita Nyong'o's Nakia and Danai Gurira's Okoye of whom especially in the South Korea action scene, come into there own and show how skilful they are with their tribal weaponry. When the final action scene comes to fruition, the Dora Malaje show their truth strength against W'Kabi and his tribe as they fought on the side of T'Challa and Killmonger respectively.
The characters in Black Panther are undoubtedly some of the most complex, fascinating and well developed we've seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as of date, so let's go into more detail about some of the main characters in the film- we feel we have covered the Dora Milaje enough above!
T'CHALLA/BLACK PANTHER: Chadwick Boseman certainly proved his potential in Captain America: Civil War, so much so we were begging for a solo movie as soon as it released. And now we have it, has our opinion changed? Hardly. Boseman presents the complex king of Wakanda throughout this film, showing grief for his father T'Chaka along with the ability to put that behind him and do his father proud as he takes the Black Panther mantle. Some of his most notable scenes include the fight scene against N'Jadaka and M'Baku on the waterfall- especially the grief shown as Forest Whitaker's "Obi-Wan" of the Black Panther universe 'Zuri' is stabbed in the waterfall in an act of protection for T'Challa. The final scene (before the post credits) was also incredibly impactful as T'Challa and Wakanda's first huge step toward true change, which meant introducing the world to Wakanda and all of its secrets. We find out at the very end that T’Challa bought a block of apartment buildings as part of an outreach program, and established an embassy headed by Nakia, with Shuri placed in charge of science and information exchange, so the entire world may benefit from Wakanda’s advanced technology.
N'JADAKA/ERIK KILLMONGER: The cousin to King T’Challa, one of the highlights of this movie and the arguably the best MCU villain to date with as much depth and enthusiasm as Heath Ledger's Joker (The Dark Knight), Michael B Jordan perfectly encapsulates the internalised anger of an 'outsider' that feels that Wakanda must share it's resources to the outside world as they thrive while others suffer and struggle. He summarises his points in the quote: "Two billion people all over the world who look like us whose lives are much harder, and Wakanda has the tools to liberate them all". In some cases, he could be thought of as merely a person that wants to do good for the world however the fact that he does it in a destructive and aggressive manner that taints the freedom of an area such as Wakanda and that his actions go against the morals of the King we thus have our antagonist. Killmonger’s goal is, in his eyes, the global liberation of black people. But that is not truly his goal, as Coogler makes clear in the text of the script and in Killmonger’s interactions with other characters- his true goal is world domination. “The sun will never set on the Wakandan empire,” Killmonger declares, this echoes an old saying about the British Empire. He sees no future beyond his own reign; he burns the magic heart shaped herbs Wakandan monarchs use to gain their powers because he does not even intend to have an heir.
"Everybody dies. It’s just life around here."
SHURI: Letitia Wright's character Shuri puts her twist on the 007 technological whiz 'Q' in this film as she proves a rock for T'Challa and his mother throughout the film, bringing not only light relief in scenes of humour but a real buzz of energy that is totally enthralling to watch. With Black Panther set to become a major player in the future of the MCU, we can expect to see plenty more interactions with Shuri, with their sibling relationship being another one of the film's strengths.
ULYSSES KLAUE: Previously seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron, we see Klaue return sometime after the Battle of Sokovia, having replaced his arm with a Weaponized Prosthetic as he began working with Erik Killmonger to collect even more Vibranium weaponry while being hunted down by Black Panther and the Dora Milaje. Andy Serkis' portrayl of the character in this film is given a lot more things to play with as he gets to show off his skills in the interrogation scene as he boasts about the availability of vibranium to Everett Ross all the way up to his death from N'Jadaka. One of his best scenes is the scene taking place early on in the British Museum (London) where he disguises himself as a paramedic in an attempt to aide Killmonger in the robbery of the Wakandan material held there.
One of the downfalls of this movie is arguably the action. There is a lack of action as there are only 2 main fight sequences. There are little sections of action like the jungle jeep fight at the start or the museum scene but theses scenes are too quick to be classed as proper action sequences.
The South Korea action sequences took our breath away. Okoye stole the show here. The force behind her swings during the casino was phenomenal and shows the true power she has. One of the best moments in the film is when she throws the spear through the car into the road to make the car crash. The accuracy of the throw was astonishing. This scene also has some downfalls as all Black Panther seems to do is ride on top of cars. He did during Civil War and he did it alot during this sequence. He didn't do much fighting as he ended up chasing the cra without Klaue.
The final action sequence was a disappointment as there didn't seem to be much of a build up towards it and ended quite suddenly. It turns out that W'Kabi ( Daniel Kaluuya) betrays T'Challa and there is a big fight between the Dora Milaje and W'Kabi's tribe. There is a lot of noticeable cgi in this scene with the rhinos and the two panther suits. But the fight was more about a political statement rather than about action. M'Baku saves the day as he comes and helps out T'Challa who focuses one saving Shuri who nearly gets attacked by Killmonger as she shoots him with her hand cannons. The train scene was disappointing and not that interesting as it was all cgi as mentioned before.
T'Challa and N'Jadaka (who I'm going to refer to as Killmonger) is the centerpiece of the film. They completely oppose each other. Killmonger represents all the slavery and discrimination there has been against the black people and how it has turned them angry. However T'Challa represents the black spirit that occurs when it is untouched like Wakanda and unfortunately not many other countries.
Killmonger tries to get T'Challa to see how he has rejected other Africans by staying out of civilization and ignoring all the terrible things that have happened to them. Killmonger fights back for what he believes is right to do, but as already stated he goes to far.
T'Challa doesn't want their way of life to change as it would be completely ruined if they start to socialize with the outside. However during the end of the film he realizes that to move forward he needs to share the knowledge and technology they have. So in a way Killmonger did technically change T'Challa mind, T'Challa just didn't do it through conquering the world like Killmonger wanted to do.
This movie unfortunately has no soul stone. We think that this is a mistake as it would have introduced all of the infinity stones into the MCU before infinity war and would have given Infinity War a little less to do as it is bundled with plot points.
We think it is safe to say that the soul stone is in Wakanda, which is why we see Thanos' army knocking on the doors of Wakanda in the Infinity War trailer. Where abouts in Wakanda though we do not know. Maybe it's in the middle of the meteor which bought the vibranium, but if that were the case no-one could get to it. Maybe its in Djalia the mystical afterlife, where it is safely protected by all the previous Black Panther's
There is one theory that Heimdall has it as all the other locations of the stones spell out THANOS and Heimdall would be the H. The space stone is in the Tesseract. The soul stone is unknown but rumoured to be with Heimdall. The reality stone is in the Aether. The time stone is in a Necklace. The power stone is in an Orb. The mind stone was in a Scepter.
The two post credit scenes are nothing special.
The first one is just T'Challa speaking about how he's going to share the wealth and knowledge of Wakanda, and everyone is confused as they believe Wakanda is the poorest country in the world, but they're wrong.
The second scene is Bucky walking out of a hut and saying thanks to Shuri for curing him. There is one detail here that could be interesting. The children run around him shouting "White Wolf",which in the comics is a white boy who is adopted by Wakanda and grows up to become the head of their special forces. Maybe this is foreshadowing Bucky's future in the MCU.
Sadly this is all we have to say about the film. We loved it so much and want to thank you for reading all of it. We hope you return in the future for more posts by us as they arrive weekly.
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