Black Panther Review

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Black Panther Review

Story: Alex Dale, Staff Writer

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Black Panther, the latest film release to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was released in theaters February 16th and is being screened worldwide. The film stars both old and new actors from prior MCU films, including Chadwick Boseman staring as the title character, Black Panther, and Michael B. Jordan as the movies antagonist, Erik Killmonger. Under director Ryan Coogler, the film was set to make 150 million dollars in its opening weekend, but crushed expectations and made over 200 million. As of 2/25 it has made just over 400 Million Dollars domestically with a total of 700 million dollars world-wide, and is a solid segue into the finale of the MCU, and upcoming film, Avengers: Infinity War.

The film takes place in the fictional nation of Wakanda, soon after the death of T’Challa’s “Black Panther” father as he returns home to take on the mantle of king. Soon after his return, his skills are tested as the nation is forced into a conflict that could bring the whole world to the brink of destruction. The main antagonist Erik Killmonger, has the firm belief that Wakonda is both self centered and corrupt, and it began with the murder of his father, the previous prince of Wakanda. Now with the lifetime of exile and experience, he has returned to Wakonda to take the throne, and wage war on the rest of the world using Wakondas advanced technology and end what he perceives African oppression around the globe. As well intended as this seems, he goes about it in a very wrong way, destroying and disrespecting the culture, killing people to get information about Wakonda, and attempting to take the throne from T’Challa by confronting him in armed combat. T’Challa must now combine the full power of both the black panther, a major god in their culture, and his allies to combat this enemy force, to maintain the safety of the people and culture of Wakanda.

The film overall exceeded any and all expectations, with the set knowledge of the films predecessors each being better than the last, arguably, especially since this is the 18th film in the series. The film had a few ups and downs but the good highly outweighed the bad. The only complaints to be had, is the pure blind hatred and aggressiveness of the main antagonist, and the lack of adding to the plot that was built up with Klaue. Klaue he was given a lot of trailer time, and was also the main connection to Age of Ultron, and he’s barely in the movie. It is also said that Killmonger has had years of preparation and training, you would think he would be able to focus his anger and think more strategically a lot better, but most of his actions are very rage filled and not thought out.

On the other hand with the many upsides of the film, Erik Kilmonger is one of two villains in the MCU, the others being Kaecilius in Doctor Strange, and Vulture in Spider Man Homecoming, that firmly believe that what they are doing is for a good cause, with the exception of Red Skull (but I don’t want to get into the politics of Nazis). The reasoning behind his villainous actions is that when he was young, his father, the brother of the previous king, betrayed Wakonda and was killed in front of him, and then covered up. Because of this, he believes that the nation of Wakonda is selfish and corrupt for keeping it secret. Now not only does he want revenge, he also wants “to take over the world using Wakonda’s advanced technology and end what he perceives as African oppression around the globe.” (Black Panther Wiki)

The comics do not go into quite as much detail but generally it is pretty much the same. Even though the portrayal of the character wasn’t exactly the same as the comics, he was humanized and relateable. He said and did things a normal person would, and the reasons behind what he did were complex but understandable. Overall the plot was very well done, basic, yet the twists to make it amazing and stand out from the rest.

Now aside from the story, more on the aspects of the film as a film. The casting and portrayal of the characters as I have said were all very humanizing and well acted, there wasn’t a single bit of dialogue that felt off putting or awkward. The soundtrack was easily one of the best approaches to making a soundtrack to date, It includes a varying array of black singers, rappers, musicians, and various genres. The other characters aside from Killmonger and Black Panther, didn’t feel like two dimensional caricatures, they were real people with accurate feelings and well thought out dialogue. They were both complex but easily understood especially since we haven’t had more than one film to get to know them, unlike most MCU characters.

Along with the amazing story, the technical aspects were just as amazing. The cinematography of the film was fluid and well placed, there wasn’t a single frame that felt awkward to look at. And with that the CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) was very good especially for MCU standards. There were both old and new effects I had never seen before, the top two are the way the black panther suit appears and grows on Killmonger and T’challa is completely different and a fresh way to suit up. And the other CGI that impressed me was the city, unlike the cartoon-like feeling of Asgard, Wakonda felt very real.

So overall, it was an amazing movie, I would give it a 10/10, the Villain was the best I’ve seen to date in the MCU, with the most relatable and understandable backstory and motivations yet. The visual effects were stunning and new to the MCU giving us a whole new look at a completely different part of the universe, with new technology, and characters. The plot itself although it is basic in premise, it fleshed it out into something that stands out. The interactions of characters between each other wasn’t just flat and boring it was interesting and realistic. The visual effects are downright stunning. And finally it gave us one of the best, if not the best, villain to the MCU yet. I highly suggest at least one viewing and even a second, but if this is any sign of what’s to come in Infinity War, then we have a lot to look forward to.


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