Back in 1966, a Marvel character named Black Panther made his first appearance in a Fantastic Four comic book. For the non-comic fans, Black Panther was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Jack Kirby. Something I didn’t know, Black Panther was the first superhero of African descent in mainstream comics. Now, over the years, Black Panther has had his own title run in comics and has made appearances in cross-over titles along with numerous appearance in animated television shows and movies.
Jump to the present, and thanks to Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Black Panther has now crossed over from the animated world into the world of live-action. In case you haven’t been keeping up with your Marvel movies, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a live-action Black Panther. We first caught sight of Black Panther when he showed up in Captain America: Civil War (2016). This stand-alone film marks Black Panther’s first solo film and Marvel’s eighteenth superhero movie since the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) was created.
Black Panther is an action/adventure/sci-fi movie with a hundred and thirty-four-minute runtime. It was directed by Ryan Coogler and was written by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole. It’s rated PG-13 for language and violence. Here’s what you’re getting into with the movie. After his father’s death, T’Challa has stepped up to become the king of Wakanda, a country in Africa. To the outside world, Wakanda looks like a country with very little to offer anyone.
However, Wakanda is actually the most technologically advanced place in the world. They just prefer to keep it to themselves. Like all the kings before him, T’Challa must not only take on the responsibility of leading his country but the mantle of the masked protector known as the Black Panther. After T’Challa takes over the throne and becomes king of Wakanda, a dark secret from his father’s past comes to light. An individual, named Erik Killmonger, claims he has a blood right to the throne and challenges T’Challa for the right to be king of Wakanda.
Right off the bat, I have to say I seriously dug the movie. I’d rank Black Panther as my second favorite Marvel movie so far, after Guardians of The Galaxy (2014). Now, we got a short introduction of T’Challa/Black Panther in the Captain America: Civil War (2016) movie. So, we already had an idea of who he was and what he was about. The Black Panther movie gets to use that existing foundation and continue building and expanding on that.
I liked how the story was told using the past when T’Challa’s father was alive, and the present as T’Challa is going through everything. I thought they did a great job blending the past and the present together, but I was starting to get burned out on the flashbacks. Don’t get me wrong, each one was powerful. It was just the story was getting really good and everything was building up…. then we get another flashback. The flashbacks pulled at the heartstrings every time, but I wanted to see where all of this was going. That is the only problem I had with the movie. Other than that, I thought the story was great.
The playthrough was really good, but there were a couple of spots, like the third flashback, where my attention started to wander for a second. Then, the movie would grab me by the face and had my full attention all over again. The action scenes were off the charts cool to watch. From the simple bar brawls to the highspeed car chases that we saw in the trailer, there’s almost too much going on at times for your eyeballs to take in, which I loved.
Some of the cast is Chadwick Boseman (42), Michael B. Jordan (Creed), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Danai Gurira (The Visitor), Letitia Wright (Top Boy), Martin Freeman (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Angela Bassett (Stange Days), Forest Whitaker (Battlefield Earth), Andy Serkis (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and Winston Duke (Avengers: Infinity War). Boseman has totally won me over and has turned out to be a great choice as T’Challla. Jordan, yet again, has surprised me with his performance. I really liked what he did with his character. Jordan’s character, Killmonger, is one of those types that you like and hate at the same time. Yeah, he’s doing bad things, but because of his past you can’t help but have some pity for him.
Bassett never fails when it comes to her acting and she only continues to show that here. Black Panther is the second time I’ve seen Wright act and I think she’s good, she has a natural vibe when she delivers her lines. She even managed to steal a bit of the spotlight in scenes with other seasoned actors. As far as the rest of the cast, I thought everyone did a great job and worked well together.
Everything from the special effects to the scenery looked amazing. I thought the Black Panther suit already looked cool, but the new one he gets in this movie was even cooler looking. I dug the updated version of Klaue’s arm, it still carries the comic book characters abilities, but fits the real world vibe the MCU has created.
Overall, if you haven’t seen Black Panther yet, you need to!