This movie is great, don’t get me wrong. But the best part of my experience was that for some reason my theater didn’t play trailers that I had already seen 15 times before the movie. We just jumped right into it. I was a little confused and thought Marvel had started doing pre-trailer scenes instead of post credit scenes. I Trademark that idea, for the record- I want royalties Marvel…
Black Panther is the 18th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is the origin story for T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). After he ascends to the throne of the mythical country of Wakanda, the new king is challenged by those who oppose his rule, namely Erik Killmonger (kind of an on the nose villain name) played by Michael B. Jordan with some help by Ulysses Klaue, played by Gollum/Caesar.
Marvel has been killing it recently, and I honestly believe it is because it is giving its directors a little more freedom in making their movie. This was evident in Thor Ragnarok and is even more evident in this one. Ryan Coogler directed one of my favorite movies of 2015 with Creed, and knocks this one out of the park as well. One of my favorite parts of this movie is the world building aspect. Wakanda and its culture feel unbelievably real. I’m glad it looks like part of Avengers: Infinity War will be set there, because I can’t wait to spend a little more time in that world. My next bit of praise is for the Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman. Boseman is easily one of the best actors in the MCU currently and is fantastic in this role. All of the actors do a good job, but he stands out. You can no longer sleep on performances in a superhero movie just because it is a superhero movie. The actors portraying these characters just get better and better. Another impressive part of the movie is that there are quite a few side characters that bring a lot to the movie. I can’t remember all their names, but they leave an important impact on the movie. The biggest ones are the characters of T’Challa’s sister, mother, guard and ex-girlfriend. These roles expand on what Wonder Woman did for women in the genre.
The fact that I have a lot of good things to say about these aspects in a superhero movie is pretty amazing. Especially since I haven’t even gotten to what most of us see these movies for- some awesome action scenes. Marvel movies are often rightfully criticized for having action scenes that, while cool and exciting, are over-edited and a tad hard to follow. However, the action scenes in Black Panther are top notch. They are excellently choreographed and include one awesome scene done to look like one take. A problem I had with Black Panther in Civil War was that his abilities were never really explained. That issue is corrected in this one. In fact, the plot is pretty good at tying up loose ends and explaining all that it can while playing within the rules it creates for itself.
The movie isn’t without its issues. I think Marvel still has a villain problem. Michael B. Jordan is getting a lot of praise for his role, and he should. He turns in a great performance and his villain is interesting. While he has good points, he goes about them in the wrong way which always makes for a good villain. However, he is way under utilized. He disappears for long stretches of the movie and just isn’t given enough time to really shine like the way the other characters do. In addition, I didn’t love certain things done with the soundtrack and score. There are also several moments of humor that occur in serious and tense moments that ruin the moments a little. The humor throughout the movie works well, but in these instances the scenes would have been better without the jokes.
Overall, this is another great addition to the MCU, easily in the Top 10. It is part superhero movie, part drama, part Bond movie, and I loved pretty much every second. I’d recommend it to pretty much anyone. It works well as a standalone movie, so you don’t necessarily have to be invested in the Marvel movies to enjoy it. Black Panther gets a 4.5/5 from me.