It’s here. It’s finally here. After his introduction into the MCU in Captain America: Civil War and being called the most anticipated movie of 2018, Ryan Coolger’s Black Panther has hit the big screen. The film has had a lot of talk since the project was announced to have a stunning cast and one hell of director behind the lens. Is the movie worth all the hype and is it a game changer for the MCU? The answer to that question is a resounding “Yes”. Didn’t mean to spoil it for you but this is a damn good movie and let me tell you why.
The story of Black Panther takes place a week after the events of Civil War as T’Challa/Black Panther (played by Chadwick Boseman) takes his place as the new king of Wakanda. What lies underneath this peaceful and beautiful land are secrets that may destroy the kingdom that has flourished over generations and might end the new king before he can reign.
Sounds dramatic, right? Well that’s because this movie is, and it’s well deserved.
The plot and writing were absolutely amazing. The development of the story was steady paced and in no way rushed. The film explores the inner turmoil and doubt that T’Challa must go through when a family secret has him question his father’s legacy and the teachers that he was raised on.
Another plot that is set in this movie involves Erik Killmonger (played by Michael B. Jordan). Killmonger’s storyline in the film is portrayed so well and has so much complexity behind it, that you almost want to follow the character more than the film’s hero. There’s even a touching moment in the film between T’Challa and Killmonger that puts this film on another level.
The acting of this film is another factor that makes this film amazing. There isn’t a drastic lag or a hiccup in the actors’ or actresses’ performance. Surprisingly, the weakest one in the bunch is Daniel Kaluuya who plays W’Kabi. It’s not terrible but some of his scenes come off a bit unbalanced or if he was trying to hard. Yet, there are two actors that stand out and have some of the most memorable lines and scenes.
I had mentioned the complexity of Killmonger’s storyline and arch and Michael B. Jordan masterfully sells it. Jordan brings a lot of depth to the character and his actions and there are quite a few scenes that make you sympathize with the bad guy.
Another member of the cast that definitely deserves props is Letitia Wright who plays T’Challa’s sister Shuri. There are times in the film when Wright must carry the humorous side of the film and she does it with such ease. I honestly can’t wait for her to show up again in Avengers: Infinity War.
So of course, we’re going to talk about the look of the film and Coolger’s direction. The film is—for a lack of a better word—stunning. Marvel went all out with the budget when it came to the special effects of the film. What Coogler does is make it look so damn beautiful. I found myself wanting to grab a plane ticket to fly out to find Wakanda. There are so many great shots of the land and the city that you kind of want to set this as your desktop background. Also, the technology that’s depicted in this film would put anything Tony Stark has done to shame.
The action is well put together too. The fight scenes are few and far between but don’t let that sway you. There’s a really good start to an action set piece that has the camera smoothly follow what’s going on between T’Challa, Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), and Okoye (Danai Gurira) as they battle Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) and his men. From there, we get an even greater action set piece that let’s the director show what he can really do. Even the last big battle isn’t too overwhelming and allows all the heroes—even Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman)—to shine.
Summed up – this film is awesome. It might be Marvel’s best solo story to date and really elevates the MCU. This film shows that Marvel is ready to do to take their franchise to new places and will continue to push their films so that the superhero genre won’t become stale.
The film is unapologetically black and rightfully so. Go see this movie and multiple times if you can. Just don’t bother with 3D. It’s not really necessary.