"Black Panther" Review

Posted 11:53 AM by

            Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first 2018 installment has certainly stepped into the spotlight. It offers a very bold, cultural world that is unlike anything Marvel has done before.

              The movie follows T’Challa as he assumes the throne of Wakanda and the mantle of Black Panther. Still grieving the death of his father T’Chaka, T’Challa needs the help of his family and country to protect the throne from Killmonger, a threat to Wakanda and the world as a whole.

              The highly anticipated film is directed by Ryan Coogler and stars Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa Black Panther), Michael B. Jordan (Erik Stevens / Killmonger), Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Martin Freeman (Everett Ross), Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi), Letitia Wright (Shuri), Winston Duke (M’Baku) and Andy Serkis (Ulysses Klaue).

              Chadwick Boseman handles his lead role with marvellous grace and dignity, not to mention a smooth accent. His acting is so aligned with the character he plays, it’s almost impossible to distinguish one from the other. Family is a huge factor in this movie and Boseman really interacts well with those around him. His relationship with his sister Shuri is funny and loyal, his link to his mother strong and true. T’Challa’s grief for his late father is real, heartbreaking and compelling, brought to life by Boseman.

              Michael B. Jordan, while a newcomer to the MCU, makes a superb Killmonger. His villain offers a different perspective to Wakanda’s potential global legacy, one where it is at the heart of a revolution to invert the existing racial order. Jordan puts this part of his character first, his determination to free the oppressed at the top of his agenda. Killmonger is one of the most notable villains that the MCU has to date, vicious yet so relatable once viewers discover his painful backstory. Jordan works with this aspect of his character very well, his driving force behind his actions.

              One of the best parts of this film is the amount of central female characters. Never has a Marvel movie cast so many women warriors, not to mention an all-female royal guard. Okoye (Danai Gurira), is the most notable. Her loyalty to her nation is so strong, even if it compromises her heart. Marvel couldn’t have picked a better actress for the role, Gurira is the perfect fighter. The scene where Okoye and Nakia discuss their allegiances - T’Challa or the throne - is one of Gurira’s best. The raw remorse that she brings to her character is absolutely stunning.

              Marvel films are best known for the witty humor they present. Shuri (Letitia Wright) is the center of this movie’s banter. She is the most Westernized character in this very traditional, cultural place, which makes her stand out in an admirable, funny way. Her one-liners are hilarious; one of the best scenes in the whole movie is when she makes fun of T’Challa and his sandals, asking “What are those?” Sound familiar? And when she pokes fun at an injured Agent Ross (Martin Freeman) by saying “Just another broken white boy for me to fix.”

              The entire color scheme of “Black Panther” is beautiful, exploring the natural and artistic style of Wakanda and its people. Every costume is magnificent and colorful, exploring the line between technological and traditional African garb. The scene where T’Challa visits his father in the spirit realm is especially vibrant, a piece of art in itself.

Overall, “Black Panther” is one of the best films Marvel has made, full of detail and strength. It is obvious that a lot of hard work and respect went into this movie, giving it a prominent place in the MCU and in the hearts of fans.