Review: Black Panther (2018)



Unless you are living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of a little indie movie called Black Panther and how it is such a historic success. And for the most part I totally think the hype is well deserved and here is why:

  1. Having seen this movie only yesterday, I don’t think I’ve recovered from seeing this much awesome females in an MCU movie, having substantial roles and interactions. I mean the ladies of Wakanda are dope! And they’re not there to be the damsels in distress, or the romantic interests (although Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia is a love interest, but that is not what she is about, you will remember her for her dedication to her “cause” to to Wakanda, and not to T’Challa), or engage in some male fantasy fueled cat fight. They’re actually well depicted, as people who are agents of their own lives and not merely as add-ons to give the movie that “feminine touch.”
  2. I remember going to see Justice League and being extremely miffed at having to watch yet another villain after some darned box, or some such iteration of a box. So, you can imagine my relief when Black Panther didn’t end up having a villain wanting the darned Vibranium for world domination. Killmonger (played by the fantastic Michael B. Jordan), as hammy as that name might suggest, does not fit the stereotype baddie. His motivations for wanting to take over Wakanda runs much more personal and deeper than megalomania. And his is a righteous anger than makes sense, and at some point I felt sympathetic to him and what he has been through. I mean, it can’t get any better than that.
  3. I don’t think I’ve carefully considered the production design of superhero movies. I feel like I gloss over them because it’s a “you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” type of thing. Well, most of them are set in our world so I guess there’s that. But let’s take those that aren’t. Thor: Ragnarok’s Asgard was a little bit kitsch. And Man of Steel’s Krypton, I don’t even remember anymore.  There are always tall buildings, or tall spires, or tall something, anything. But Black Panther‘s Wakanda is like a living and breathing, real place y’all. I feel like the African elements were well researched and well placed, and that made the whole place alive.  Plus, take the costumes, which looked like what African tribes actually wear (the rings, the face paint etc.), and the music dominated by drums is what African tribes call music too. And all of those elements combined made Wakanda a standout of a place on screen.

On one hand, we humans will always find something to dislike so here they are:

  1. I am quite miffed at the whole thing with W’Kabi (played by Daniel Kaluuya). I don’t know about you guys, but I didn’t get him. Okay, so he might be one of those wishy-washy types who change sides to their convenience. But I wanted to and need to understand what motivated him to do so. I mean T’Challa not catching Klaue at first go, isn’t reason enough. I mean  geezus. It’s not as if T’Challa did that on purpose. And aren’t he and T’Challa besties or something? Why he done this?!
  2. That what was supposed to be climactic train tracks fight scene was the worst. The waterfall fight scenes was way more gripping than this. The whole train thing somehow didn’t add an element of danger, it was more like a distraction to what should have been a nail bitingly epic showdown. Instead what we got was a blurry mess of a fight.

All in all, I am quite pleased with the movie. And I hope Marvel takes many more chances like this. Now, what are chances of an Okoye, Shuri and Nakia fronted film?

Rating: 4/5 Stars


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