We have been blessed this year with 4 Marvel movies being released. The first of the 4 is of course, Black Panther. This cinematic wonder had the pressure of kicking of 2018 with a bang by bringing Ta’challa (Chadwick Boseman) officially into the MCU. With an African king as the main hero, there is a lot of pressure to REPRESENT and they bring it! This film is really empowering and is truly badass
Plot: T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns to his home Wakanda, in order to take his rightful place as king.
Review: From a film so highly anticipated. There will be a lot of questions from fans. It is difficult to know where to start so I will begin by answering ‘Is it any good?’ From an origin story point of view within the MCU, the film is incredible and could easily pass the league of, dare I say it, Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017). It’s not just the plot that is strong and entertaining throughout that make this film stand out but the amazing representations. One, the characters are fantastic at showing how you don’t need to be white American man to be a badass, a stereotype shown so much in Hollywood and past superhero movies. They do this so gracefully, whilst showing a lot of culture and tradition. The characters and the entire design of the film is empowering to everyone. All the main characters are important to the plot and given their moment to shine. No one is chucked in the background to be a secondary character. This truly is a rare piece of cinema.
Black Women are also given an opportunity to stand out through the characterisation of the general, the princess and the entire army. The tribe’s army is made up entirely of women. This may be a lot like Wonder Women but it is still awesome to see girls kicking ass and taking names. In addition, the princess is not the typical Disney royal but a technology nerd who can rock any outfit. Honestly, the film should break the box office on characters alone. The only drawback to having so many main characters is that The Black Panther himself is sometimes drawn out of the limelight. He is also occasionally seen as the weaker character, compared to the women (I mean, I’m not complaining). He is a superhero who gets his arse kicked! But this does show is flaws and human side, giving us mortals someone to connect with on screen.
The film design also has one hell of a wardrobe. By this, I mean the set design is incredible and colourful and the costumes of the characters slay. The clothes are traditional to Wakanda and beautiful to look at. If only an entire outfit could fit inside my necklace. Just to let you know, if anyone wants to cosplay as one of the characters of the film, they are going to have a lot of fun and maybe one hell of a bill. With a film that has a look this strong, there is a bit of pressure to keep the image flawless throughout. Therefore, it is noticeable when the CGI looks a bit weird. Marvel is known for incredible special effect so when it goes wrong, it goes wrong. Luckily, this only happens once or twice. The first time the CGI looks off, is when The Black Panther is jumping onto a wall. This isn’t as bad as CatWoman (Pitof, 2004) but it is noticeable. The second time is the animated rhino’s. Nevertheless, it is hard to animate animals so we can let this slide.
With a great hero, there must be a great villain. This seems pretty simple but you would be surprised at how often that doesn’t happen. They usually have a ridiculous plan to destroy the world without any reason why. This is not the case in the movie. The villain Erik killmonger (Michael B Jordan) has a well-developed back story, even more so than Ta’challa, and a strong reason for ‘improving’ the world. It is not often with superhero movies, that I can see the villain’s point of view. This can be seen as both a pro and con of the film.
From a film designed to break traditional superhero Hollywood, it is not just about culture and character design but the underlying themes. Based on the knowledge on what the Black Panther will represent, it safe to say that it would piss off a few angry far rights who have nothing better to do but complain on the internet about there not being enough white people in the film. Well the film is pretty self-aware in this way and does make a few comments on the world’s history. It is amazing! They are pretty much sticking their fingers up to these people, whilst remembering what their ancestors went through. Marvel knows what they are doing. Some of these ‘Fuck you’ moments are done through jokes. This just makes these ‘well said’ comments more light-hearted and can avoid pissing of the angry Trump supporters. My favourite joke is about Martin freeman being an oppressor. The film has a few Laugh out loud throughout to show that Marvel doesn’t take themselves too seriously, keeping with the tone of the rest of the Marvel Universe.
Overall, just watch it! It is a great adaption to the MCU and should be adored by all fans of the Superhero genre. It brings a lot of strong representations and is a truly badass film.