Black Panther (2018)

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Black Panther

I was actually quite surprised to see the immense hype surrounding this film. Part of me was like, yes its a Marvel Cinematic Universe film so it’ll be big. The other part was like wow this is blowing away the box office and is quite the phenomenon. The final stop before Avengers: Infinity Wars so of course I was ready for it. The introduction of Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War was one of the highlights of a super hero studded action blast. Overall, I quite liked what I saw here. Its not mind blowing and nowhere near the best the MCU has had to offer, but its a welcome addition to the Universe and is a good vehicle stand alone for a superhero who deserves it.

The film takes place slightly after the death of T’Chaka, and T’Challa (his son) becoming the new King of Wakanda and becoming the new Black Panther. Wakanda is a nation that seems third world to outsiders but the nation is actually thriving in science and technology because of its abundance of vibranium. However, outside forces are made aware of this and T’Challa’s throne and kingship is challenged. The film has an absolutely wonderful cast at its helm. Boseman, Jordan, Nyong’o, Kaluuya, to name a few.

Visually, I think this film is on par with the best Marvel has to offer. The futuristic and scenic display of Wakanda just pop on to the screen. Boseman does well as a soft spoken yet unmistakable leader of his kingdom. I really like the Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler collaboration and it works once again here. Killmonger is a good villain and its easy to rate him highly among the other MCU villains we have seen. Letitia Wright is also a real highlight of the film and likely has a bright future ahead of her.

Something else that really sticks out for me is the costume design in the film. Black Panther probably has the sleekest and best looking suit in the Marvel film universe. Add to that the suits capabilities. That whole absorb kinetic energy only to redeliver it moments later onto foes is so cool. A lot of the lore of what is capable in Wakanda with vibranium is really eye catching and does well to add to the mystique of the nation.

Some of the film feels formulaic though. Also, there aren’t many gripping shocking moments, as the films plot unfolds into a predictable place. The action set pieces are quite nice, although the final battle is a tad bit disappointing. The mix of traditional African music and modern hip hop for the soundtrack/score was a bit off putting as well. I don’t have that many complaints about the film but its also missing a bit of the awe factor that other films like Thor: Ragnarok and Civil War were able to bring.

All in all, I’m glad a lot of people have been praising Black Panther and have felt really inspired by an African hero. I have to say though I think its not in that upper echelon of Marvel films, but is still quite a respectable entry into the Universe. I’m ready to see Black Panther and his Wakandan allies in the Infinity Wars. Ryan Coogler is officially three for three in solid films. Pretty content with this film.

7/10

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