I am a huge fan of superhero movies. Many critics love to bash them but I love that they are just huge scale popcorn movie escapist fun. And I love the characters and the ideals they represent. I am not specifically in either the DC or Marvel camp, but so far, I tend to enjoy the Marvel movies a little more. Disney and Marvel have built a cinematic universe unlike anything ever created before. The latest film to hit shelves is Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther which, incidentally, has become the most successful Marvel movie to date.
Chadwick Boseman reprises his role from Captain America: Civil War as King T’Challa, the head of the mysterious African nation of Wakanda. While the country hides its true self from the rest of the world, T’Challa must contend with problems arising within Wakanda’s own borders when factions within its population conspire to take over the country and impose a new order on the rest of the world using Wakanda’s superior technology. Now the king and members of his special forces, The Dora Milaje, must face Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and his followers to battle for the future of Wakanda and the world.
Black Panther did many things differently from other superhero movies before it, and audiences felt that. Not only did it appeal to a specific audience that had never really seen themselves represented in such a way in superhero movies, but it also set itself up as a self-reliant movie that held up on its own merits, only to really be merged fully with the MCU afterwards in Avengers: Infinity War. The cast is absolutely top notch featuring Boseman and Jordan, but also Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Sterling K. Brown, Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker to name a few. The aesthetic of the film is beautiful with lush African settings, futuristic cityscapes and epic scale battles. The characters are well rounded and feel much more authentic than some in past MCU movies, more specifically in the supporting cast. The story is very strong as well taking the chance with a villain (Jordan’s Killmonger) that really isn’t a villain at all, but a man who wants different things for his people. It is not just a story of good and evil but of differing philosophies and ideals. And that makes for a very interesting clash once things get going. The visuals are stunning, writing is solid, acting is impressive, and action sequences are mesmerizing. Black Panther set new bars in many areas for the MCU and after the spectacular epic that was Avengers: Infinity War, I am definitely curious to see what the future holds in the Marvel Universe. Highly recommended.