Black Panther

Posted: October 19, 2018 in Movies
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A few years back I saw Ryan Coogler’s Creed and I loved it. Still do. Brilliant film, one which played a big role in putting the Rocky franchise back into the minds of movie going audiences and creating a brand new saga all its own. Most MCU fans would agree that one of the best parts of Captain America: Civil War was the Black Panther. Sure Spider-Man got the push in the marketing for that movie but once you saw the film it was Black Panther who made the bigger impact. After that movie it was not a case of would he get a solo movie but when. News quickly broke that Ryan Coogler had been chosen to bring the Black Panther solo movie to audiences. This fan was delighted. The film debuted earlier this year, shattered box office records and the rest is history.

I would say Civil War was my real introduction to the character of Black Panther. Like Captain Marvel my only exposure to him was through the recent new Ultimates comic. That series was a team based one. Outside of that dynamic I had little clue about either character on their own terms. Black Panther the movie does a outstanding job, a big job honestly when you take it all in, of bringing the character, his goals, his people and his world to movie going audiences. That’s a tall order but Coogler and the MCU team make it seem like it was no trouble. Aside from some scenes, literally one or two, I felt took the film in some odd directions tone wise, Black Panther is a very well done entry into the MCU canon.

The direction the film takes with the plot is contained in the way everything is, mostly, centred around T’Challa/Black Panther and his home of Wakanda. With the main beats of the plot having to do with T’Challa facing opposition to his rule which he must face and overcome. If he can’t he’ll be dead and his county will face ruin as it falls under the rule of those who wish to use Wakanda’s advanced technology and weapons to rule the world. Wise moves from the writers because you get a central plot that is tailored for our hero and one which won’t confuse audiences who maybe did not catch Civil War and therefore forgoes the risk of alienating viewers.

What I loved about this film was the true reveal of the nation of Wakanda. Like Thor and the mystical wonder of his home world in Black Panther we are shown a realm, while of Earth, is like nothing we have seen. Wakanda is the age old land of legend which has remained hidden for countless years. An advanced civilisation right in the centre of where all life began. Really cool myth and science fiction beats that I love and then you also get some serious spy movie flavours thrown in which somehow compliment everything else instead of making the film and it’s plot seem bloated.

Chadwick Boseman is a strong lead. T’Challa is not a show off like Tony Stark or as funny as Thor but what Boseman is able to convey is the character’s core power. You do not want to get on the wrong side of this king because instead of cracking wise he will just eliminate the issue in front of him. He has heart too though and that is what makes him real likeable. It’s all about the family and friends first, then his country and then anyone who messes with either. Elsewhere in the cast you have heavy hitters like Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett, frequent Coogler collaborater Michael B. Jordan and the ultimate butt kicking female trio – give these ladies their own movie now please – Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o and Letitia Wright. My favourite character is Gurira’s Okoye. So awesome. I hope to see her in many, many more MCU movies to come. Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis give good support too.

Coogler and his team deliver strong action sequences throughout the movie. These MCU films always deliver on the action front. I think that’s one of the many reasons I like these films as much as I do outside of being a comic book fan. In Black Panther not only is there a lot of action it is staged well, shot well and therefore it flows real well. The soundtrack is boss too. The film’s musical score is one of the more memorable MCU ones. If there’s been one weak part of the MCU movies it has been the lack of memorable musical scores and Black Panther goes some way to making up for that. Mostly the film flies along at a great pace but I did think there was one instance where it felt like the film was repeating itself and some of the reveals or big moments you could see coming but that’s just what you may expect when you watch a lot of comic book movies.

Black Panther is here to stay. A quality addition to the world of the MCU that I hope has only scratched the surface of what lies ahead for the character and Wakanda. Check out Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War for more Black Panther action and look out for Black Panther 2 which Ryan Coogler has now been confirmed to return to direct.

 

 

 

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