You had me at versatile vibranium vamping, scintillating spear spinning and complex social commentary.
Marvel’s Black Panther offers a more detailed introduction following the superb debut of the fearless character in Captain America: Civil War. In this movie, King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) tries to stop the maniacal arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) from getting his hands on the incredibly valuablue vibranium which is the source of Wakanda’s power and wealth. When the outsider Eric Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) rudely invades their land and demands a shot at the throne, traditions begin to shake and bones begin to brake.
Hop on the supersonic Wakandan express; this film delivers. Ryan Coogler orchestrated a movie that is balanced with action, humor, heart and drama. They smartly decided to focus on the hidden fictional land, believed to be a third world country, which blossoms with beautiful culture. The incredible beauty of the scenery, the colorful costumes and tribe-specific customs celebrate the excitment of diversity. While your eyes feast on the visuals, your heart will beat with the rhythm of the drums and your mind will lure you into the flashiest escape you’ve had in a long time.
Chadwick Boseman as the titular character nails royal authority, sensitive vulnerability, worldy wisdom and ass-kicking combat. Just wait until you find out what he can do with his suit. His character and outfit are practical, powerful, smart, sexy and possess no small amount of swag. Speaking of which, Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger is arguably the best villain of the MCU to date. With his rebellious but justifyable actions, he stirs some serious conflicts between the Wakandas while never losing his aluring style. Both of their performances are captivating and entertaining.
Besides the awesome adversaries in the center, the plot also evolves around some seriously badass warriors, especially the female fighters on T’Challa’s side. Nakia (Lupito Nyong’o) and General Okoye (Danai Gurira) are just two examples of the very well-crafted female characters in this movie. Specifically T’Challa’s right-hand warrior, Okoye, almost steals the movie from him with her flawless combat skills, quippy responses and passionate loyalty. And just look at her armor!
Before this movie even came out, it was celebrated and supported for its predominantly black cast and caused waves of positive responses with just the marketing material and progressive take on superhero movies. Obviously, they wouldn’t miss this chance to send a message. On a human level, the conflicts between the individuals are gripping. Would you sacrifice your own comfortable life to help others in need? One can identify with the struggle of the weight of too much responsibility, the feeling of being neglected, the ongoing battle between heart, brain and duty. How far would you go for loyalty? How comfortable and safe you can feel, secluded from the world. But also standing up for yourself, believing in your abilities.
On a societal level, it comments on the devastation of war, racial prejudice, oppression, exploitation, family, tradition, patriotism, colonialism – I mean, you can see they criticized and praised numerous values and ideologies with smart writing and respectful analyses of the invidual – and so – it was not overloaded, it was effectively and purposefully kept simple. Yet, still maintained so many relevant comments and lessons. With dexterous skill, it pairs criticism and cynisism with optimism and pride of being a human with a good heart, wisdom, and compassion.
Black Panther executes social commentary, homerun humor and astonishing action. It’s a complete and well-crafted story on its own but is seemlessly interweaving with the rest of the MCU. To throw in some more adverbs that fit this film, let’s go for inspiring, flashy and romantic, explosive and intriguing. Long live the king.