Black Panther (Movie Review)
Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Forest Whitaker, and Angela Bassett.
Black Panther the film picks up where Captain America: Civil War left off. T'Challa returns to Wakanda to ascend the thrown after his fathers passing in the events of Civil War. Meanwhile, Nakia and Okoye are joined by T'Challa to capture Ulysses Klaue. Klaue is joined by Erik Killmonger who has his own agenda.
From the opening credits of the film you are immediately taken to what will be the story thread of the movie throughout. Before specific characters are brought up the design of this film is beautiful, specifically the parts where we are in Wakanda and walking through streets and looking over the kingdom Wakanda. The costuming is magnificent with close attention to detail when it came to the warriors combat suits, Black Panther's suit and just the authentic African dress wear. Music provided by Kendrick Lamar with various other artists was used to perfection and blended not only with moments and sequences in the film but with the actual score by Ludwig Goransson. All of these elements separately shine in the movie but together they bring the film to life.
Characters, without characters the world building doesn't matter and this film had an array of characters and stories that almost demanded spin-off films if I'm being honest. Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa the king of Wakanda had a good presence on screen and was very stoic and one could argue the silent type when dialogue or wasn't needed from him. His performance was only enhanced by the other supporting characters that lend themselves to T'Challa's story, life, and way of thinking. T'Challa acts on instinct but not as a hero but rather a protector. Boseman did an incredible job balancing the two sides of T'Challa, most of his work is done with his eyes and facial expressions when he is receiving/listening to information and that was what engaged me as a viewer and what made him feel like a king. Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia is an excellent counter to T'Challa, she has a youth and adventurous side to her that is very much explored especially in the Korea scenes. She was very much the heart of the film or at least T'Challa's which helps him make certain decisions by the end of the film. Danai Gurira as Okoye is a scene stealer, such a powerful character and Gurira bring s some of that fire from The Walking Dead into this role and into Okoye that left me wanting to know more from her character. Andy Serkis was a fun villain, he was very much a distraction as far as how he was portrayed in the film. Serious but also a bit crazy and comedic. Finally, Marvel has given us a villain we really understand with Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger. Tracking his arc throughout the film was one of the more satisfying payoffs to a marvel villain since.. ever! Marvel has not had a true villain, Loki is Loki, more anti-hero/anarchist but never a true villain. Erik Killmonger had motives and as a viewer you start to see his point of view and it shows us how similar goof and evil can be depending on context. For Killmonger, T'Challa and Wakanda are the villains and his beliefs never changed.
Black Panther should be hailed as one of the MCU's top 4 or 5 films. It's different from most in the message, characters and story being told. Is it relatable to everyone? Maybe, depending who you are and your experiences but this film is not only ground breaking for Marvel but for a whole generation of kids who look to this films message and philosophies. Strong characters with motivations, good story and the one true villain the MCU has produced.