Black Panther Review (non-spoilers)

Finally it’s here! I feel like I’ve been waiting for this movie for decades. I can’t remember being this exited for a solo Superhero movie in a long time. While I was already looking forward to this film before seeing the King of Wakanda on the big screen for the first time in Captain America: Civil War. I was already anticipating his solo film mainly for one reason… Ryan Coogler. Long story short but one day I decided to watch a film on Netflix called ‘Creed’ (directed by Ryan Coogler) not knowing what the hell to expect and I loved it! When I heard Coogler would be in charge of Black Panther and the fact that he was also bringing Michael B. Jordan with him (one of my favourite actors) I couldn’t be more hyped for this film. Well I think I’m talking too much here I’m guessing what you guys want to know is did it live up to the hype? In every way possible yes it did! I’m not overreacting when I say this is one of the best comic book movies ever.

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Everything about Wakanda is beautiful in this film with how its depicted from the way it looks and how it feels. Ryan Coogler does a great job at really immersing the viewer into the world of Wakanda. If you have never picked up a Black Panther comic you maybe worried about being lost in this world. Well I came into this film almost as a beginner to the country of Wakanda and I left feeling like an expert who knew everything to do with Wakanda but still knowing that we had only scratched the surface with this film. I have to give huge credit to the writers Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole for guiding me through this beautiful fictional country. I just love the way Wakanda is depicted in this film, its scary how far ahead they are compared to the rest of the world in the MCU. I found this really refreshing to see because we all know that Africa isn’t just what they show us in the news and media. Its not this continent that is full of countries that are poor and lack development. Here you have a blockbuster film celebrating african culture and tradition while showing us its just as wealthy and advanced as other continents around the world.

As for the story without going into major plot details I really enjoyed it and I found myself more invested in it compared to previous MCU instalments. After the events of Captain America: Civil War T’Challa is left to take over the throne from his father which isn’t as easy as it sounds. We get to witness him become the protector of Wakanda but that doesn’t come without its challenges. There’s this underlying theme throughout the movie with Wakanda being so advanced and wealthy should they come out of hiding to help people who are suffering around the world. I won’t spoil it for you but I love the way the film handles this issue with the ending. I must say the ending of this film is beautiful, just the message behind it. It comes off as so inspirational and I just had a huge smile on my face when I was walking out of the theatre.

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Before watching Black Panther I knew one of the strongest aspects of the film would be the acting because of the star studded cast that came with the film. Honestly I could be here for a long time just talking about how great each performance is but i’ll pick out a few that stood out to me. First with the star of the show Chadwick Boseman who plays King ‘T’Challa’. I thought Boseman was great in this role, he really gives you a sense of what it’s like to go from a Prince to a King with all the highs and lows that come with that transition. Boseman does well at playing multiple T’Challa’s in this film. Let me explain… You have of course the T’Challa ‘the King’, the hardened diplomatic leader who tries his best for his people as we see in scenes where he is talking with the other tribal leaders in the council meetings. Then you have the T’Challa who when has the Black Panther suit on gives off this almost over-confident persona, in a good way. This is the T’Challa who is very confident in his own abilities and sometimes feels like he can complete the mission by himself. Then of course you have the family man T’Challa, the more emotional and heartfelt one. You see this in scenes when he is interacting with his mother, love interest and younger sister. Chadwick Boseman really showcases a wide range of abilities while performing this role proving any doubters wrong that he was a great choice for this iconic character.

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Now to address one of the main issues that the MCU has faced for a number of years which is not having strongest main villains in their films. I tend to agree with that argument because apart from Loki and The Winter Soldier I find it hard to really care for the main villain in the MCU so far. Well its safe to say that has now changed for me with Michael B. Jordan’s performance as ‘Killmonger’. Now I maybe biased because he is currently my favourite actor but I can’t praise him highly enough for his role in this film. It’s not only his performance here, the writing for his character is one of the strongest I’ve seen in a long time. Without going into spoilers ‘Killmonger’ has a really tragic background which fuels the motivations for his ultimate goal. One thing that makes a great villain in my opinion is that even if you don’t like them you can understand their motivations. Killmonger does at certain points come across as a sympathetic figure but its his ruthlessness that he shows when trying to take the throne that makes you hate him. Overall ‘Killmonger’ is a very interesting character, written well and Michael B. Jordan’s performance just tops it off.

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As much as I loved Michael B. Jordan’s performance he was not my favourite. Letitia Wright as ‘Shuri’ stole the show for me. Her character is compared to Tony Stark which is understandable but honestly she makes him look like an amateur. You really believe that she is the smartest person in the world. ‘Shuri’ might be the most crucial character in this film because without her mind and technology skill ‘T’Challa’ would definitely have his work cut out for him. I cannot praise Letitia Wright highly enough with her performance too. She looked like she was just having fun when shooting this film and every time she was on the screen she would get a reaction from the audience. I must add that the way women were portrayed in this film was great too. Nearly every female character was smart, strong and stood up to any man especially when it came to conflict.

With that being said this film is not perfect and there are some issues that I have with it that cannot be overlooked. With Ryan Coogler directing Creed I was looking forward to the action in this film and apart from the challenge scenes a lot of the action came across as generic and just ok like we’ve seen throughout the MCU. One glaring issue I had with the film was with the CGI. Granted the CGI in this film isn’t horrible but it isn’t great either. With the action scenes in particular where T’Challa is in the suit it looks too unrealistic almost taking me out of the film at certain points. One last thing I would like to add is for as much as I have praised the cast in this film its almost to the films detriment. I feel T’Challa really gets overshadowed by the characters around him, they just felt more interesting to me than the star of the show. But that maybe a good thing overall because Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa is a strong character who is surrounded by numerous strong characters too.

Look I could talk about this movie all day and I can’t wait to get into the spoilers later in the week. I love this movie, in a time where some people complain about Marvel’s cookie cutter formula this breaks the trend for me. This is a comic book film that touches on aspects such as politics, race and helping each other. I cannot recommend Black Panther highly enough. As for where I rank this film MCU… Its definitely top 2. Right now it’s a tie between this and Winter Soldier for the number 1 spot. I may have to watch it again before putting it over Winter Soldier. For the future my only worry for the next Black Panther film is that they have set the bar so high how do they top this? However with Ryan Coogler at the helm this franchise can only get better.

SCORE: 9/10

Have you seen Black Panther yet? If so let me know what you thought of the film below

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