Black Panther Film Review: A Thrilling Celebration of Africa

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
February 6th, 2018

Content Editor, Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

Review of: Black Panther

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On February 6, 2018
Last modified:February 6, 2018

Summary:

Black Panther manages to do everything it was set out to do, giving audiences thrilling entertainment and social commentary. It's a film that embraces very topical messages about identity, race, and immigration, while providing ethnic minorities their voice in T'Challa a king trying to save his people and traditions. Ryan Coogler pays attention to the characters rich history while bringing his own take on Marvel's universes and should be commended for respecting such a powerful hero. I cannot wait to see, more of Wakanda because its debut was a smashing hit.

Review of: Black Panther

Reviewed by:
Rating:

5
On February 6, 2018
Last modified:February 6, 2018

Summary:

Black Panther manages to do everything it was set out to do, giving audiences thrilling entertainment and social commentary. It's a film that embraces very topical messages about identity, race, and immigration, while providing ethnic minorities their voice in T'Challa a king trying to save his people and traditions. Ryan Coogler pays attention to the characters rich history while bringing his own take on Marvel's universes and should be commended for respecting such a powerful hero. I cannot wait to see, more of Wakanda because its debut was a smashing hit.

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Dir: Ryan Coogler; Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and Andy Serkis. 15 cert, 133 mins

Black Panther Film Review

Black Panther

After the death of his father, T'Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T'Challa's mettle as king -- and as Black Panther -- gets tested when he's drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people.

It has been a crazy few years, for Marvel Studios making unknown superheroes household names while telling a solid story. But, Black Panther takes the crown refusing to get trapped within genre's limitations, instead stands boldly against its predecessors. Opening a beautiful corner of the MCU, with strong themes that are politically charged for the era of injustice within the confines of race. The antagonist is relatable and questions some of the Wakandan traditions, including the royal guard of the Black Panthers. The film's director Ryan Coogler pulls all the stops, in delving into such topical subject matter without preaching to his audience. It's a celebration of strength, culture and the future, with a relatable superhero that has so much on his plate.

The social commentary within Black Panther gives in-depth looks at police brutality and economic issues that are destroying black communities across the world. Subtly challenging the way viewers perceive the African continent, with Wakanda being the forefront of change. For a film that touches on serious topics, it balances it with a distinct visual style, adding another layer onto the brilliant action sequences. It's a political thriller about an action hero, with a boatload of gadgets trying to make change within his world. A severe testament to Ryan Coogler's skill as he brings everything together, pushing the medium to limits without being tonally inconsistent.

Black Panther

Highlights stem from Chadwick Boseman (who first appeared in Captian America: Civil War) in the charismatic role of  King T'Challa, a newly appointed King trying do right for his people but in the process uncovers a plot to change his leadership. Black Panther tries to maintain his sharp image, despite all the terrors surrounding him and the superhero pals, Coogler makes sure to give T'Challa a reason for not giving in to evil temptations. Despite having high power his responsibility and impact in his community is T'Challa's greatest strength. He is a man of tradition, who has to fight an enemy that despises Wakandan royalty. Chadwick is the Black Panther and delivers another career shifting performance, in part due to his incredible connection with the cast members.

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So much of that is brought to light, with his onscreen connection to Micheal B. Jordan's Killmonger, which bears a striking resemblance to X-Men villain Magneto, being the mirror image of our central superhero protagonist. Killmonger is deeply set in righting wrongs and providing justice, while his methods might not be moral, audiences can root for him due to its shocking relevance in today's society. Erik Killmonger is a villain with purpose, who relies heavily on playing mind games with T'Challa and fighting for his complex looks on race. Micheal B. Jordan's performance is on another level, breathing fresh air into the next generation of MCU villains (even topping Loki, in sheer brilliance). Killmonger's plan involves taking Wakanda technology to the struggling black communities, taking shape in brutal confrontations with T'Challa as their clashing opinions heat up.

Arms-dealer Claw (Andy Serkis) is another reliable addition, with his cheeky charm allowing from some true mania in scenes. Claw might not have the level of intrigue seen in Killmonger, but there is something about Andy Serkis's performance that elevates him. Despite not having the meatiest role, Ryan Coogler sets up a villain who should be in the MCU for some time. Andy Serkis makes a great inclusion to an already stellar cast.

Black Panther

Black Panther also delivers some powerful women in the Dora Milaje, sworn protectors of King T'Challa, with both Okoye and Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) stealing the show. Their patriotic relationships with Wakanda, allow for some heartful conversations with their leader, making them more than a guardian. Lupita gives us the mighty Nakia and provides some excellent action taking charge on screen, her connection with Chadwick Boseman merely is alluring. Their relationship builds throughout the run-time, with a lovely romantic angle giving T'Challa something to fight for. In short, Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan, who plays Erik Killmonger; Danai Gurira as Okoye, the leader of Dora Milaje, and Letitia Wright as Shuri, Panther’s science nerd sister all deliver some of the best performance in the MCU to date.

While the slower pace is odd at first, but once the action transitions to South Korea it reaches to dazzling heights with groundbreaking action. Coogler makes sure to utilize the characters tremendous speed and durability, with action sequences taking good use of his Panther-like abilities. Despite lesser an emphasis on hand to hand combat, Black Panther does have some iffy CGI that detracted from the final battle. Everything else is among some of the best world and character building seen in the MCU for some time.

Black Panther

  • 5
Black Panther manages to do everything it was set out to do, giving audiences thrilling entertainment and social commentary. It's a film that embraces very topical messages about identity, race, and immigration, while providing ethnic minorities their voice in T'Challa a king trying to save his people and traditions. Ryan Coogler pays attention to the characters rich history while bringing his own take on Marvel's universes and should be commended for respecting such a powerful hero. I cannot wait to see, more of Wakanda because its debut was a smashing hit.

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