Black Panther Film Review – His Father’s Legacy

Marvel are well in to phase 3 of their cinematic onslaught and nothing seems to be able to stop them. Infinity War is the big title for this year but their latest feature is breaking records and hasn’t been released yet. With the highest ever advanced sales for a superhero movie (Marvel or DC), excitement is high. But will this hotly anticipated film with the weight of a people on it’s shoulders, live up to the hype? It’s time for my Black Panther Film review.

The King is Crowned

We first met T’Challa (The Black Panther) when he revealed himself to the world in Captain America Civil War. Bent on revenge for the death of his father T’Chaka, King of Wakanda, he was one of the surprise stars of the film. Black Panther opens with our star, crowned King of Wankanda. As anybody knows, being king is not an easy job and T’Challa is put to the test from day 1. We follow him on his discovery of the past and how that affects the present in ways he could not have expected. Thats about all I’m going to say about the plot. The story has a nice arc with plenty to keep your brain working throughout. And what’s lovely, is the balance between telling the origins of Black Panther while still moving on with a new adventure.

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What’s the Verdict?

This film is epic! There are so many boxes this film has to tick to be received well its unbelievable. Director, 32 year old Ryan Coogler has done himself proud. There are many levels to the film that have been considered and its hard to grasp it all in one viewing. That said, at no point are you confused or not fully immersed in the story we are watching. The obvious conforming to the Marvel Universe we have learnt about over the last 10 years was done well, yet differently. It feels like a fresh canvas within the already established genre.

The actors did themselves proud too. Chadwick Boseman, and Michael B Jordan especially, really bringing passion and believability to their characters. Supporting actors were also on point, with Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya, Danai Gurira and Forest Whitaker all putting in great performances. But my favourites, and top tips for ones to watch, were Letitia Wright(T’Challa’s sister) and Winston Duke(M’Baku), both brought skill, comedy and presence to the screen with ease.

The Black View

Now to the white elephant in the cinema (no pun intended). Race. This is handled with a raw unashamedly black view that I have seldom seen in a film. Its gutsy but real, its shocking but true, it’s not pulling any punches but its speaking a needed dialogue. I think it works really well but I’m black. Others won’t like it. Either way it makes you think, and if that thought leads to a greater understanding between the races on this planet, I’m all for it.  If you are white and watching this film you may feel uncomfortable at a few moments, especially if you’re watching with a gang of black people.

 

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Don’t let this taint your view, the message delivered is deeper than your initial reaction may be. What you may or may not feel, is something ethnic minorities have felt for years on a day to day basis. Welcome to the dark side, now let’s do something about it?

Look and Feel

As with the last Marvel film Thor Ragnarok the look of this movie is unique in the Marvel world. Wakanda, the colours, the costumes, the whole vibe is fantastic. Bringing the regal African feel that the story suggests. Action and effects are to the usual standards. Maybe 1 or 2 fight scenes being a little too digital for me.

The only thing I expected more from was the soundtrack. Many Hip Hop heavyweights have been pulled in but I didn’t come away having noticed much. Maybe I was too engrossed in everything thing else. If I have more to say upon second viewing I update you here.

Overall Black Panther is a triumph and I’m excited to see how it stands up over time. Right now though it’s a poignant film that has more than stood up to it’s ethnic responsibility. Make sure you check out my post on Black Panther – A New Black Role Model.

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