[WARNING OF SPOILERS AHEAD. PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON WATCHING THE FILM. OTHERWISE, ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. THANK YOU]
If you follow me on any social media, you’ll know I am a huge fan of Marvel (comic books first, obviously, then the films). And with the anticipated Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 coming out next month (instead of May), there was no second thoughts about seeing this movie – unless you count the time I was planning to see it 2 weeks ago with my boyfriend but couldn’t get a train.
Was the wait worth it? Absolutely. This is a must-see for any Marvel fan, especially those who watched Civil War and had a very brief glimpse at Black Panther then.
In this review, I’ll give a Synopsis of the film; What I Did Like About the Film; What I Didn’t Like About the Film and then a Conclusion.
Black Panther follows pretty much were T’Challa‘s (Chadwick Boseman) presence in Captain America: Civil War left off. We discover how the power of the Black Panther began (5 centuries ago, a meteorite containing vibranium fell into the nation of Wakanda, giving plants containing ‘heart-shaped orbs’, granting the powers of the Black Panther and reuniting the Jabari tribe) and get a brief flashback of 1992 when T’Challa’s father T’Chaka (John Kani) found out that his own brother N’Jobu (Sterling K. Brown) had been stealing vibranium behind the country’s back and stealing it to black-market arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis). We’re shifted back to present day, where T’Challa returns home to Wakanda after finding T’Challa’s ex-girlfriend Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) so she can attend the ceremony with his mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and younger sister Shuri (Letitia Wright).
After being crowned the King (despite being challenged by Jabari’s Tribe leader M’Baku (Winston Duke)), Klaue and Erik Stevens (AKA Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan) steal a Wakandan artifact, resulting in T’Challa’s friend W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) to plead for him to bring back, dead or alive. The head of Dora Milaje (Wakanda’s special squad made up of women warriors) Okoye (Danai Gurira) discovers that Klaue plans on selling vibranium to an old friend, Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) in Busan, South Korea. T’Challa, Okoye and Nakia travel to Busan but walk away empty-handed and with an injured Ross.
As Ross is healed by Shuri, T’Challa discovers that Erik Stevens is actually his cousin (N’Jobu’s son) from his father’s friend Zuri (Forest Whitaker), despite his own father knowing of his existence. Erik comes to Wakanda with Klaue’s body (after killing him himself) to the Elders, reveals his identity and challenges T’Challa for the throne. Unfortunately, Erik wins the battle and throws T’Challa’s unconscious body off a waterfall. Erik becomes the new king, and plans on sharing Wakanda’s technology (despite being displaced as a Third World Country) with the rest of the world.
Nakia, Ramonda, Shuri and Ross flee the kingdom and seek help from M’Baku, where they find an unconscious T’Challa. While Erik gained the power of the Black Panther and destroyed the rest of the flowers that grant the powers, Nakia was able to save one and gives it to T’Challa. It saves his life and with the Jabari Army, they attack Erik’s new Wakanda. The two engage in a fight, along with Nakia and Shuri and Ross in a jet (the vehicles in this film are awesome) but despite Erik’s Black Panther skills, T’Challa disables his suit and kills him, once again becoming the rightful heir of Wakanda.
What Did I Like About the Film
Naturally with any Marvel movie, the action scenes, fighting scenes and humour, are great and reach expectations. The humour had me a little worried about how repetitive and/or predictable it can be, but not as much a Thor: Ragnarok.
As I briefly touched upon, the vehicles in this film are fricking cool, along with all the other technology of Wakanda. Shuri is a great inventor!
While this film does celebrate black culture, I feel it also celebrates strong women. Granted, Shuri isn’t much of a fighter but she is a great aid to her people and Okoya is badass. I think I didn’t get annoyed by any female characters (for a change).
Also, I think Michael B. Jordan can be forgiven with Killmonger for his involvement in Fantastic Four.
What Didn’t I Like About the Film
Andy Serkis is one of my favourite actors, so naturally I was really happy to see him as a crazy bad guy, but sadly he wasn’t in the film for very long. He would have made a great Marvel villain if he was still alive. And not killed by Killmonger.
The final battle between T’Challa and Erik stretched out a fair bit and anticlimactic, however the scene before Erik’s death is what really messed with me. After T’Challa stabs Erik in the chest with a spear, Erik tells T’Challa that his father always told him that Wakanda’s sunsets were one of the most beautiful things in the world. So, T’Challa aids Erik out of the tunnel to see the sunset. After seeing it, Erik pulls the spear out of him and immediately dies. Granted, Marvel is not best known for it’s realistic pretenses but I felt it was…unrealistic.
Black Panther does play into the hype that surrounds it, including being the Biggest Debut from a African-American Director and being the 9th Highest Grossing Film Ever in the US. It’s punchy, action-packed and highly animated. Black Panther is not to be missed, and I’m looking forward to seeing him (and some others) in Infinity War soon.
Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed! Until next week, take care!