BLACK PANTHER (12)
D: Ryan Coogler
Disney/Marvel (Kevin Feige)
USA 🇺🇸 2018
W: Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole [based on characters created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby]
DP: Rachel Morrison
Ed: Michael P. Shawver & Debbie Berman
Mus: Ludwig Göransson
PD: Hannah Beachler
Cos: Ruth E. Carter
Chadwick Boseman (King T'Challa / Black Panther), Michael B. Jordan (N'Jadaka / Erik 'Killmonger' Stevens), Lupita Nyong'o (Nakia), Letitia Wright (Shuri), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Daniel Kaluuya (W'Kabi), Martin Freeman (Everett K. Ross), Angela Bassett (Ramonda), Forest Whitaker (Zuri), Andy Serkis (Ulysses Klaue)
Superhero Black Panther was initially introduced in 2016's Captain America: Civil War before getting his own solo adventure for Marvel's Cinematic Universe, meeting a divisive response from the audiences, sometimes for the wrong reasons.
I'm not going to entertain political opinion or comment on the cultural benefits that movie alludes to have. It is a comic book adaptation, and that is how it shall be reviewed.
In comparison to some of the stronger MCU films it doesn't quite cut the mustard, but as a standalone companion piece to the other movies it's perfectly entertaining and does a good job introducing the character's origins.
Prince T'Challa becomes the newly crowned King of Watanga, a fictional African region, following the death of his father in Captain America: Civil War. The African land gets power from a fallen meteorite in prehistoric times which have enriched them with technology and magic, but the truth is kept secret from the outside world in case it falls into the wrong hands, such as the warmongering villains in this movie who seek to bring about a new world order with Watanga's technology.
The plot to the film does seem to draw inspiration from The Lion King, Thor and African folklore, and there is a bit of a slow build up to the handful of action scenes which are quite erratic in their execution, some of which seem to have been following the Michael Bay handbook of filmmaking, which is a huge shame.
Still, much of the visual element of the film is impressive, though some of the effects could do with another lick of paint. There can't be any complaints with the performances, though some of the jokes feel completely out of place.
One minor irritant (SPOILER ALERT) is that the titular hero is bested fair and square in the challenge to take his crown, but wins it back with the aid of others. Isn't that cheating??
All in all, it's well worth the price of a cinema ticket and adds another entertaining chapter to the Marvel franchise.
For some reason, the Oscars thought this was good enough to nominate for Best Picture...