The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe installment has been released, adding a new nation to the map and offering new technology. Click below to read the Black Panther review.
Directed by Ryan Coogler
Written by Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole
Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / Black Panther
Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger
Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia
Danai Gurira as Okoye
Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross
Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi
Letitia Wright as Shuri
Winston Duke as M’Baku
Sterling K. Brown as N’Jobu
Angela Bassett as Ramonda
Forest Whitaker as Zuri
Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue
Florence Kasumba as Ayo
John Kani as T’Chaka
David S. Lee as Limbani
T’Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. (From IMDB.)
This does offer an entire new section to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which feels as big and as world changing as rolling the Fox studios characters into it would feel. We have lots of great new characters, new technology, a new nation, and even a new alphabet.
In a more personal note: War Rhinos. (I love rhinos.)
Everett Ross, while a regular character from the comics who serves a needed purpose as the audience point of view character, feels like a token white guy and a bit of a caricature of the uncool, dull white guy.
Originality: 3/6 The plot strongly resembled something we would see from countless story lines about heraldic titles, as far back as Shakespeare, and is obviously drawn from the Black Panther comics. This particular plot didn’t seem to show anything we haven’t seen before, but the world it created did feel very unique.
Effects: 6/6 The only thing that looked fake was Klaue’s arm, which was supposed to look fake.
Acting: 6/6 Every character perfectly displayed their motivations. Chadwick Boseman and Letitia Wright feel like playful siblings. The Michael B. Jordan didn’t feel like a villain, and at points I even question if he doesn’t deserve to be where Black Panther is.
Production: 6/6 Marvel’s marketing strongly promoted the “World of Wakanda”, and they were justified. The technology, all developed is secret from Vibranium, feels like it was organically developed. It feels high tech and futuristic, alien, and yet culturally appropriate for an African tribe.
Story: 5/6 This is clearly a part of the larger Marvel story, but despite flashes to the events of Civil War, this felt like it could stand entirely on its own. If you were unaware of everything else in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or even the Marvel comic book multiverse, the only piece that would confuse you would be the after credit scene. I did feel that the White Gorillas seemed much more cooperative than a cynical, stand-off tribe should be, but if they hadn’t helped then we would have had our Gandalf and Éomer moment later in the movie.
Emotional Response: 6/6 The adage “Everyone is the hero of their own story” applies here, as I mentioned under acting. While we obviously expect T’Challa to be stand out hero, always right, I couldn’t help but side a bit with each of the others view points. (Except Klaue, who is purely driven by his desire to get money.)
Overall: 6/6 Everytime a new Marvel Cinematic Universe movie is released, reviewers praise it as “This is the best movie yet!” I am not one of those reviewers, but I can see why they would say that.
In total, “Black Panther” receives 38/42