black panther

Posted by: Tate Kandi | Reviews No Comments on Black Panther

Black Panther

Black Panther Director: Ryan Coogler

Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman and Daniel Kaluuya

Synopsis: The film continues the Black Panther arc started in Captain America: Civil War. T’Challa returns home as king of Wakanda but finds his sovereignty challenged by a long-time adversary.

Believe the hype

With a director like Ryan Coogler and this cast, it’s hard not to have high expectations going into the film. Black Panther met the high expectations. What this film manages to do successfully is stand apart from the crowd. All individual superhero films need to have a unique identity. This film manages to establish an identity that feels fresh.

The visuals of this film are best when we are in Wakanda. The country’s beauty is hyped up by the characters in the film and viewers are rewarded in the visuals. The serene natural landscapes paired with the high-tech, futuristic city help to create a utopian vision of this nation. This is a mainstream film which positively portrays an African country and it’s great to see. It certainly does justice to the ideas of Afrofuturism. There is a lot to like in this film for those who are interested in this cultural aesthetic.

Characterisation

With a plot that flows at a natural and yet engaging pace, the film is well paced and never boring. This is an ensemble film even though there are a lot of characters in this film. They all feel fleshed out and manage to justify their being in the film. Excellent performances all round help this. One of the standouts for me was Letitia Wright as Shuri, T’Challa’s younger sister, who shines through immense likability and some great humor. Some of her jokes had me genuinely laughing out loud in the cinema which I don’t often do.

One of the strongest parts of the film is Michael B. Jordan’s performance as Killmonger. It’s no surprise that his charisma as an actor makes him a compelling and engaging character. It’s great to see him change things up in playing a villain. The film spends a long time explaining his motivation for his actions. This motivation makes sense and makes for a believable and oddly sympathetic villain. Due to this, Killmonger might just be the best villain of the MCU so far.

Social commentary

It’s refreshing to see such a big tentpole production which acknowledges the existence of race and directly confronts the racial injustice of past and present. The social commentary feels natural and necessary for the plot. It also doesn’t knock you over the head with it to the point where it feels condescending. The film also deals with issues of isolationism versus globalism. Black Panther does this in a way which makes the issue understandable and it feels relevant in the film. 

Black Panther Verdict

Relevant social issues drive this film however, Black Panther works as a fun Marvel superhero entry. The visuals and plot help to create a positive image of the Pan-African world which I hope will be encouraging for black viewers. In terms of criticisms, some of the action scenes, especially one in a Casino, aren’t shot as well as I’d hoped given how well the fight scenes in Creed are shot. The director still excellently choreographed and paced the action scenes. I would say this is the best MCU film since Civil War.

 

Pulse Rating: 9/10

JM

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