Black Panther Film Review
Two years after gracing the screen in Avengers- Civil War, The Black Panther has returned, but this time in the long anticipated solo movie. Directed by Ryan Coogler, with Chadwick Boseman in the title role, Black Panther is probably one of the best movies in MCU.
Shortly after the death of T’Chaka (John Kani), his son T’Challa (Boseman) returns to Wakanda to assume the throne. He also finds out that Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) has resurfaced and is selling as stolen Wakandan artifacts in S. Korea, T’Challa, Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) his ex girlfriend/ an undercover spy and Okoye (Danai Gurira) the most loyal member of the all-female special forces will head out to S. Korea to try and stop him. However they will all found out that there is much bigger threat than Klaue. His name is N’Jadaka / Erik “Killmonger” Stevens (played by Michel B. Jordan) and he wants what he thinks it’s rightfully his. The throne of Wakanda.
Let me just repeat the statement I just claimed in the intro of this post. Black Panther (although flawed) it’s one of the best movies in the MCU. Beautifully directed, wonderfully acted and well crafted, Black Panther is a sight to behold, and a movie to enjoy. Boseman is truly exceptional in the role of T’Challa and so is Michael B. Jordan in the role of Killmonger. But there are more fantastic performances in this movie from the supporting cast, and I feel they all need to be both acknowledged and praised.
Letitia White is a true breakout star in the role of Shuri- the super talented younger sister of T’Challa and I’d be a full if I don’t mention the breathtakingly magnificent (and entertaining) presence of Andy Serkis. He’s once again out of the CGI suit and he’s relishing it. He’s loving every second of his baddie role, and the only flaw about this is that his presence is cut waaaay to short. But he truly leaves a big impact on the movie, even with a very limited screen time.
However, (as a woman) I loved that plenty of female characters were not just included, but also portrayed in a very positive and empowering way. Starting from Shuri- the Wakandan version of Q, the female warrior Okoye and then all the way to Nakia. She and T’Challa may have had romantic history, but when it comes to her mission and even convictions, her principles and ambitions come first. The women in Black Panther are fierce, loyal, bad ass and capable and not afraid to show it with a dash of sass and style.
I must applaud Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole for giving enough space (and even a small origin story) to the villain of this film and of course a small dose of a much wanted humor coming from one of the most unlikely characters.
In the very core of the movie there is a persistent theme of power struggle to get to the throne of one of the most advanced and rich countries in the world. The first act in the story is the weakest (while the movie is struggling to set the tone), but after that if unfolds layer upon layer. But underneath the „game of thrones“ theme, there are some very powerful undertones that resonate with the current politics of the world. You just have to notice them.
There is a „both sides of the coin“ question that is being asked here. What would have happened to an African country if it wasn’t colonized and stripped out its natural recourses? Would it thrive like Wakanda or would it struggle like many other countries on the continent right now? And what would it take to make it thrive? What would be the price that the country would have to pay in order to thrive? To be isolated and secluded like Wakanda or open so the rest of the world to see?
Interesting topics to ponder I must admit. Ryan Coogler made one hell of movie here. It’s not just thought provoking but visually stunning too. With great cast, colorful set design and even more colorful costumes, Black Panther is marvelous take on one of the best super-hero characters in MCU.