Black Panther (2018) Movie Review
Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole
Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole Based on Black Panther by Stan Lee Jack Kirby Starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis
After the death of King T'Chaka of Wakanda in the movie Captain America: Civil War, his son, T'Challa, is to inherit the kingdom of Wakanda. But his claim is challenged by someone related to the royal family, who blames Wakanda's isolationist practices for the poor condition of African-origin people worldwide.
Things I Liked
- The Tone: This was the most DC-like Marvel film (before the final two Avengers movies). The tone/theme of the film is darker as compared to the other, more light-hearted MCU films. There is humor in this, but only minimal. The film overall feels more emotional as a story because you genuinely feel that there's something at stake.
- The Villain: Michael B. Jordan is one of the best (possibly the best) MCU villain. His performance is stellar. Michael B. Jordan plays Killmonger, an heir to the throne of Wakanda who has been kept outside this rich and prosperous kingdom that hides its technological prowess and poses as a poor third-world African nation. He, like many other people of African origin, are left to survive on their own in different parts of the world and receive no help from Wakanda. Consequently, Killmonger wants to end this isolationist rule by taking the throne.
If the audience feels sympathetic towards the villain or his motivations, it means that you have written and executed the antagonist perfectly. Killmonger has justification for his feeling and actions, which makes the audience cheer for him a little bit. And that means it's a job well done.
- Music: Music is a strong suit for this film. From modern-day hip-hop and rap to authentic music from Africa, it has all sounds that have come to be associated with people of African origin around the world.
- Visuals: Visually, this film paints a beautiful picture. Especially the parts of the movie depicting Wakanda and its people, look really pretty. Even the CGI of the town streets and nature, are well done. With the exception of T'Challa's 16-year-old sister Shuri portrayed by Letitia Wright, each and every character's costume has been designed immaculately.
- The African Setting: The whole set up of the film as a hidden place in Africa is interesting. The actors seemed to have worked hard on their accents to make it feel more realistic. The portrayal of some of the customs of an African country is also a nice touch.
Things I didn't like
- Length: This film didn't need to be 134 minutes long. There are unnecessary sequences in the film that neither add anything to the story, nor are they able to maintain the tone that the film strives for. The best example of this is a car chase scene that has been put in just for the sake of giving it a "Fun MCU Movie" stamp.
- Ending: With the way the characters were developed in this movie, it seemed that the ending would be more about the characters and their dilemmas than just a big, generic CGI fight. Unfortunately, the ending is exactly like any modern superhero hero movie with an overload of CGI and destruction of everything around. And the CGI isn't that good in any of the action scenes.
- The Political Divisiveness: This actually doesn't have much to do with the content of the film, it actually has to do with the environment created around it. From the internet constantly trolling it, to the media who thinks it's the most important thing since Martin Luther King, Jr., Black Panther is another in a growing queue of films that get mixed up in politics. Whatever you may or may not get out of it, at the end of the day it's just a movie. But it obviously wasn't treated that way. If someone says something positive about the film, "they have an agenda". If someone says something negative about it, "they're bigoted". I think the film is really well made, as is evident from the above section titled, Things I Liked. I also think that it isn't the best film of the year. It's not even the best superhero film of the year. I felt Avengers: Infinity War and Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse, were both better films. But saying this doesn't mean that I am making a political comment. This constant impulse to merge politics and pop culture is really off-putting to me.
I fully recommend this film. It is a different type of Marvel movie and I hope they make more films that have a darker tone.
Did you like Black Panther?
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