Black Panther (2018)

***Turns out this was in drafts, not posted. I am sorry!!! I can’t believe I never bothered checking back to see if it was actually posted!***

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  • Directed by Ryan Coogler
  • Starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira
  • Written by Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole
  • Superhero, Action
  • Rated PG-13
  • 2hr 14mins
  • 16 February 2018

Synopsis

King T’Challa is set to be crowned officially as the ruler of Wakanda when an interloper threatens his kingdom and his crown.

How’s the Story?

I’ve wanted more of Wakanda ever since T’Challa was introduced to the MCU and the not-uncommon story of a new king being threatened by a villain who is the product of his father’s folly is rehashed into something very unique and interesting here. Killmonger is a really, really good MCU villain that keeps what could have been the same-old-same-old fresh and interesting.

How’s the Acting?

I said when I watched Civil War that T’Challa is one of the best performed characters in the MCU. Chadwick Boseman did not disappoint at all. The performances by Boseman, Jordan, and Danai Gurira. She and Lupita Nyong’o together killed it, but I would say the superior performance of the two was Gurira. Either way, both ladies and both men delivered performances of a lifetime and I was so impressed.

How’s the Writing/Directing?

This movie achieves things that few other MCU movies have managed and I really think it’s down to the writing and directing. There are issues in almost every MCU film with women being plot devices more than people (not to a ‘this is a problem’ level, but in an underlying ‘this is annoying’ way), but in this film that really isn’t the case. Yes, we’re introduced to Lupita Nyong’o’s character as a love interest for T’Challa, but there really isn’t much focus on her as that. She’s there as her own character with relationships to most of the other main characters. Nakia is more the Queen and Shuri’s protector and Okoye’s fighting partner than she is T’Challa’s love interest. And don’t even get me started on Shuri. Oh my God, she’s just a delight in every single way.

Killmonger works so well as a villain because viewers either identify with him or understand those who identify with him, and it’s hard to argue with his reasoning. Though he isn’t as likeable as my favorite MCU villain, he’s actually probably the one you most sympathize with, which is really impressive seeing as he’s hard, vicious, and you don’t like him at all. He achieves Magneto levels of sympathetic villain while still garnering as much distaste for him as that weasely senator from IM2 and Winter Soldier. That is just so impressive.

How’s the Cinematography?

This movie is gorgeous, there’s no two ways about it. Marvel movies generally are impressively cinematic and extraordinary. I don’t feel like I need to go on and on about how beautifully done the colors and the fight scenes are. However, I will say, there’s this one shot where the camera turns a full 180 from upside down to right-side up that just thrilled me in the cinema. It was just so cool and fit the mood so well.

Is It Worth Watching?

Black Panther is a truly impressive movie. It was so highly anticipated I feared that it might disappoint, but it really didn’t. This movie has so much heart and characters you really get invested in. This is the movie we all needed and one that was so popular that it took me two weeks to get to a showing that wasn’t sold out. I have MoviePass so I didn’t want to spend my money on a pre-order when I already pay for MoviePass, but I almost gave in because it was taking so long to get to a showing at a time convenient for me that wasn’t sold out.

I’ve literally never seen a movie sell out for anything other than the first Friday night of release at the local cinema. This still had showings selling out the third Saturday after it was released. That says all you need to know about the box office hit that this movie is.

So is it worth watching? YES!

My Rating: 8/10

About J. Chelsea Williford

Movie addict, reader, writer, pop culture lover.
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