Wow. Just wow. I recently saw Black Panther and it is easily one of my favourite marvel movies to date. I am an avid movie goer and will see as many movies as I can afford but I will always have time for a Marvel movie, it has become some sort of mission of mine.
With Marvel paving a path ultimately leading up to Infinity War, I did wonder how a stand alone superhero movie would fair, especially as Black Panther is the final solo film to be released until the war breaks out. As people get used to each superhero and as more sequels are made, the more comical the movies have become (I’m looking at you Thor Ragnarök and Guardians Vol 2) which, sure is fun, but I feel has taken away lot of what we loved and replaced it with cheap one-liners. This was not the case with Black Panther.
The first thing you’ll notice about this movie is the incredible sense of culture and pride that the people of Wakonda express. From the very first scene, we are introduced to a contract of modern live verses tribal heritage and it becomes painfully clear how lost true culture has become in the western world. (I say this while typing away on my laptop surrounded by so much mind consuming tech, that a life in Wakonda sounds like paradise). Everything from the ceremonies to the chants, even the language, Xhosa, captures the feel of Africa and carries you with it. The Second thing you’ll notice is the sheer beauty of this (fictional) African nation. The CGI is beautiful. The landscape is coated in mountains with rivers and waterfalls everywhere you turn. It’s a breath of fresh air compared to the alien planets used in resent films.
So the look and feel of the film is pretty awesome. The cast is equally amazing and beautiful and fit their roles perfectly. It is so refreshing to see a movie based on a certain nationality and then being portrayed by actors of the same descent unlike a certain Air Bender… We were first introduces to Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa in Civil War, where he rocked the Black Panther suit to take Iron Man’s side and take down the Winter Solider. He is perfect for this role as his natural expression is that of pride yet compassion. However he is not my favourite casting decision for this movie…
… Michael B Jordan is. OK so I have no real issues with his actor, He has played every role the way he has been asked to. Unfortunately for his, the last movie is was in, a fellow marvel movie was that abomination, Fantastic Four (2015) where he played Johnny storm. Personally, I feel that wasn’t a great role for him. The director made Johnny very mono and almost boring when in the comic books, he is the lively, bubbly one of the group. So when I heard that Micheal B Jordan would be the lead antagonist for Black Panther, I was apprehensive. Oh, how wrong I was. The role of Erik Killmonger in Black Panther was made for him. You see this side to Jordan whats thirsty for blood and during the entire film, he never loses that drive. You can see it dead in his eyes. It makes Erik such a great villain, one who you kinda hope succeeds just because you want more of him. Having been raised in California instead of Wakonda, you also get this huge street vibe, one that is as intimidating to the views as it is for the people of Wakonda. I honestly can not praise this performance enough.
If you haven’t yet, I strongly recommended you go see Black Panther especially if you enjoy the traditional marvel movie. There are a lot of characters who pop up from previous movies so you might need to re-watch Age of Ultron and The Winter Solder. Enjoy it and watch out for a very cute rhino.