Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.

What We Thought:

Black Panther is quite good. It reminded me of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Get Out for a few reasons that I will explain. First and foremost it remembered to do the number one rule of movies, be entertaining. It is very entertaining. It has an easy to follow storyline with full arcs and character development. It gives you someone to root for (Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa/Black Panther) and it sometimes makes you question who to root for. It has a great score, great production value, and keeps you entertained. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Get Out did the same things and entertained me throughout.

Just like those movies, this film also has a message and some issues it wants to bring to light. And just like those movies, it does it without beating you over the head with that message. While enjoying the film, it opens your eyes to some issues, but never stops entertaining you to throw that message in your face. It is a comic book movie, an entertaining movie and a movie with something to say that never feels like it’s preaching. Director Ryan Coogler crafts a film that never loses sight of what it wants to be. It is a perfectly fine Marvel Cinematic Universe film and at the same time gives you something to think about. Most films that have something to say (cough Oscar bait movies cough cough) tend to forget to entertain first and don’t find mass audiences because of it. This will find a mass audience.

Michael B. Jordan’s character, Erik Killmonger Stevens, goes through such a character arc that not only do you understand why he becomes the “bad guy” against Black Panther and Wakanda, but you might also find yourself rooting for him over T’Challa. His development makes so much sense and is full of reason that you might think he’s actually right. Killmonger is easily the most developed villain so far in the MCU.

What I also liked about the film is that it’s funny and uses comedy right. I’m one of the few people who did not like Thor: Ragnarok. People thought it was funny and I simply didn’t. Its comedic elements did not work for me. This did. Letitia Wright plays Shuri, T’Challa’ sister, and pretty much steals the film. For every joke that missed in Thor: Ragnarok, it landed in Black Panther. Shuri is a mix of James Bond’s Q (the technology and gadget person) and Rod from Get Out, the wise cracking sidekick. Danai Gurira has to play the straight-faced tough character with Lupita Nyong’o the love interest so Wright gets most of the comedic relief. She has some pretty fantastic back & forths with Martin Freeman which makes me hope both characters return in future MCU films.

If you’ve ever seen a picture of me, you know I’m pretty glow-in-the-dark white so I’m coming at Black Panther from a totally different point of view than some of the people who will be seeing it. I went in to see it as the next MCU film because I’m a comic nerd. That being said, the fact that I said it’s a very good film should tell you something. I didn’t feel bad about myself afterwards nor did I feel preached to. I simply had a good time and would love to see Ryan Coogler do a straight up heist flick soon because his action shots were pretty darn good. I walked away thinking about socio-economics more than anything else. Jordan’s character talks about rich vs. poor and wants his revenge because of it. Coogler and Chadwick Boseman give us a blockbuster comic book movie first and foremost and slide in messages without us realizing it. That’s a pretty genius way of tackling issues.


Cast & Crew:

  • Director Ryan Coogler
  • Chadwick Boseman
  • Michael B. Jordan
  • Lupita Nyong’o
  • Danai Gurira
  • Martin Freeman
  • Daniel Kaluuya
  • Letitia Wright
  • Winston Duke
  • Angela Bassett
  • Forest Whitaker
  • Andy Serkis

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