Black Panther centers around the new king T’Calla (Chadwick Bosman) as he ascends the throne after the death of his father in the African country of Wakanda. But when Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) challenges T’Calla for the throne, T’Calla must fight with the help of his family and friends in order to prevent Wakanda’s secrets from being exposed.
First off what an amazing cast who all gave stellar performances. Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis all star in this film. Boseman of course has inhibited the role of Black Panther exceptionally, he was my favorite part of Captain America: Civil War, and here we get to see him struggle about hiding Wakanda’s advanced technology if it could save those who are underprivileged and in need of help. Michael B Jordan really shines as Killmonger and he is no doubt one of Marvel’s best villains to date. He is someone who you can understand his point of view – he was wronged by his country so he wants to help those who are wronged by theirs and don’t have the resources to do so. But perhaps the standouts here are the women of Wakanda, both Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira were total badasses and Letitia Wright as T’Calla’s sister stole most of the scenes in the film for me.
Director Ryan Coogler has done it again. He does an excellent job of exposing the audience to the world of Wakanda and making it feel like it could be a real country. He gives all his characters depth, some more than others of course, but he really gets the audience invested in the characters, the story, and in Wakanda.
And needless to say but films like this are so important. This is the first time that African American boys and girls get to see themselves represented as superheroes on screen with the vast majority of the characters having the same skin color they do. It exposes the audience to African culture, something I’m certainly not familiar with, and just empowers you. Now I’m waiting for a Hispanic superhero or an Asian superhero, for more women superheroes, for Muslim superheroes and all the rest. We need more mainstream movies with this kind of representation to see more diverse stories on-screen and not just played as stereotypes.
I don’t really have any negatives for this film, mainly that the CGI was more noticeable than I thought it would be and some of the battle scenes were hard to follow. Also the third act of the film does resemble many of the previous Marvel movies where the hero fights an “evil” version of himself, but here I was so invested in the characters that I didn’t mind it as much.
I give Black Panther an A-