Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Black Panther - Movie Review

Written by Shiggins

Hail to the King, baby.

With Avengers; Infinity War only two months away (three months if you aren't in the UK), one can't help but by hyped up. So there is already quite a lot of pressure for Black Panther, the 18th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's impressive roster, but I'm thrilled to say that the king of Wakanda manages to stand strong and bring another satisfying adventure to the superhero gallery. For the most part.

Move over, Batman. There's a new man who wears black, dresses like an animal and beats up foes in the night!
After the events of Captain America: Civil War, T'Challa/Black Panther returns to his home of Wakanda to prove himself worthy of the throne and finds himself the target of a sinister villain known as Kilmonger! As Kilmonger's plan starts to move forward, T'Challa wonders if Wakanda should reveal itself to the world and use their valuable weapons, powered by the mysterious metal known as Vibranium, to help the world and those who are oppressed.

Chadwick Boseman (Get on Up, Gods of Egypt) returns as T'Challa after his badass debut in Civil War and I'm pleased to report he shows that he's capable of taking the role of main lead, with very little issue. T'Challa has always been one of my favourite Marvel protagonists, and it's great to see Boseman bring the character's struggles to life, from his desire to be a good king, to correcting the mistakes of the past, to interacting with his fellow Wakandians.

It's not a superhero movie unless we get at least one shirtless scene. (One can't help but wonder if Captain Marvel will have to follow that formula too...)
Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Fant4stic) is our main antagonist this time, and he is definitely amongst Marvel's top half of villains. I won't dare spoil his backstory or motivations, but they are very well-presented and you do feel at least some sympathy for the guy. Despite the fact he is a bloodthirsty murderer who never stops killing.

The rest of the cast are also quite well-written, including, but not limited to, T'Challa's sister Shuri played by Letitia Wright, the head of the elite guard Oyoke played by Danai Gurira and CIA agent Everett Ross played by a returning Martin Freeman. Even Andy Serkis comes back to the MCU as scenery-chewing villain Ulysses Klaue, with his own metal hand and ridiculous laugh.

"Stop it, T'Challa! Don't make me tell on you!"
The only weakpoint in the line-up is probably T'Challa's ex-girlfriend Nakia played by Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave, The Force Awakens). She isn't giving a bad performance, but her relationship with T'Challa feels unearned and unnecessary, especially since their friendship beforehand was working so well.

I would say the film's biggest weakness is the pacing. The first few scenes have to spend a lot of time building up and showing off Wakanda itself, and it takes a while for the film to find its footing. When the film does finally get to the main story, and past a few low-lit fight scenes, it becomes exhilarating. You just have to handle a few slow moments to get to the interesting stuff.

Visually, the film looks great. Wakanda feels exactly like one would expect a slightly-futuristic city in Africa to do so, with its speeding trains and gorgeous skyscrapers. The Black Panther suit, obviously, steals the show and there are plenty of other gadgets and gizmos to keep things fresh and fun. One of the highlights involves a unique way of driving a car, but I won't spoil it for you. At times, the visuals of Black Panther can get slightly cartoony, with how he manoeuvres through the air in slow-motion, defying many physics, but you've already suspended your disbelief as soon as you sat down to watch this film.

There are definitely a few lines of dialogue and motivations that can be considered a reflection or commentary of modern society, and I know just saying that has already turned off quite a few people... but for what it's worth, Black Panther never beats you over the head with it. You might not want to face one or two uncomfortable truths that this film is unafraid to bring up, but they're worth paying attention to and respecting. And the more you look, the more you'll find. The film is never preachy with what it discusses, and some interesting arguments can be made from these subjects. Don't worry though, you aren't going to be lectured.

In summary, this film is great and exactly the breath of fresh air that the MCU needed right now. 2017 gave us some amazing comedy with Spider-Man Homecoming, Thor Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, but Black Panther knows to limit the comedy and focus more on the drama. I wouldn't consider this one of Marvel's best, but it is still a solid entry with great performances and a mature tone that really shows how far superhero movies have come over the past decade.

Wakanda forever!

Movie Rating: 8.5/10

Best Part: Chase in South Korea.

Best Performance: Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa/Black Panther.

The power of drugs, folks! It makes you wear white, when you obviously look better in black.

Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on or go to his tumblr page

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