'Black Panther' Review (2018)
Marvel Not Only Delivers a Compelling Story, but Also Delivers a Strong Message That Is Relevant Today
When Black Panther first appeared in Captain America: Civil War, many people were very interested in seeing a solo film starring this character. His character came with a lot of intrigue because I didn't know much about him and after seeing Civil War, I really wanted to see what Wakanda was. However, Marvel has a history of bringing characters that not many people are familiar with and turning them into pop culture icons, such as Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant Man. I can only imagine how huge Black Panther is going to become after seeing such a fun, action-packed, and surprisingly impactful movie.
After his father died, T'challa (Chadwick Boseman) must return home and become the new king of the hidden African nation known as Wakanda. Wakanda is a technologically superior country that has been using vibranium to power its country and they have kept themselves hidden from the rest of the world. However, when a stranger known as Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) arrives, he has plans that challenge T'challa to save Wakanda and prove that he is the king that everyone needs.
Boseman proves that he is the perfect casting for Black Panther. This movie really stripped him down and we got to see the more human side of him and not just the superhero side. He does a great job at making his character complex. There are a lot of decisions from his people's past that he has to question and he has to learn from the mistakes in the past.
As good as Boseman is in this movie, I actually think that the supporting cast is the main highlight from this movie. Lupita Nyong'o plays Boseman's love interest and she' s really good. She gives Boseman most of the inspiration that he needs to succeed in this movie. I think the two characters who are now two of my favorite in the Marvel cinematic universe are Danai Gurira as Okoye and Letitia Wright as Shuri. They are both fantastic. Gurira plays the general of the king's bodyguards and she is so badass. She will do whatever it takes to protect her king and that actually plays an important part in this movie. Wright is probably the funniest character in the film. She is a very modern teen who also might be the smartest person in the world. She creates all of the technology in Wakanda, but she still has the sass and wit of a teenager. I really loved her character.
I also thought Andy Serkis and Martin Freeman were good in this movie too. Freeman is basically the fish out of water in this movie. He comes to Wakanda and he has no idea how to make sense of any of it. He's a serious character, but really has no idea how anything works there which led to some good comedy. Serkis is over the top in this movie, but it still works. He is chewing the scenery like crazy and is a very entertaining villain.
Michael B. Jordan is another highlight of this movie as well. I think that he is now the second best villain in the MCU behind Loki. His plan is very evil and destructive, but you can see where he is coming from. His character's very complex and that made me feel some sympathy for his character, even though he's doing these awful things. He has the right idea, but he is doing it in the entirely wrong form.
The only character I was a bit disappointed with in this movie was Daniel Kaluuya's character. He's good in the movie, but there wasn't much to his character and we didn't really learn much about him.
Ryan Coogler does a fantastic job at directing this movie. It is a very fast paced movie. I never really felt bored throughout this movie. The imagery is also beautiful in this film. So many shots just look like beautiful photos. The landscape of Wakanda is absolutely gorgeous. I also loved the look of Wakanda. The way that the technology played with African culture was a very interesting design that looked great. This movie does a great job at honoring African culture that was refreshing to see in a superhero movie.
The action is very well shot. The car chase that takes place in South Korea I think is the best action of the film. The fight choreography is done well also. However, sometimes the CGI during these scenes didn't look the best. It might have been a bit overdone and certain things did look a bit fake, but it didn't take me out of the movie. Also, the final fight between Black Panther and Killmonger is a bit underwhelming. It's not bad, it's just a bit too short.
The score in this movie is really good. Ludwig Goransson does a great job at infusing hip hop with traditional African music. There are a couple of scenes with very aggressive bongo playing in the background, and there are some scenes that have a great beat in the background. It was a good diversity of sounds. There are a couple of songs from the soundtrack that are in the movie, but only like 2. The soundtrack is amazing by the way. I really wish Kendrick Lamar had made a cameo in the movie, but one can only dream.
I really don't know how to explain the current streak that Marvel is on. Every movie they have released recently have been great. This is just another one to add to the streak. It's a fun superhero movie, but it's much more than that. It has an actual message that people can listen to and is very relevant for today. Not many people knew about Black Panther but now they absolutely will. Wakanda forever!