Tom Capone, Contributing Writer |
“Black Panther” is the 19th film in the Marvel cinematic universe, the penultimate film leading into “Avengers: Infinity War.” The film stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, who is simultaneously the new King of Wakanda and the Black Panther.
The film picks up right after the events of “Captain America: Civil War,” which introduced the character of T’Challa. However, despite the chronological nature of the two films, “Black Panther” stands on its own. It does not require you to have seen “Civil War” or any other Marvel film to understand what is happening.
In “Black Panther,” we finally see Wakanda brought to life, a feat that is accomplished through the incredibly strong cast, among which there is no weak link. The supporting cast includes: Michael B. Jordan as the film’s main villain, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Guira, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, and Martin Freeman.
Letitia Wright plays Shuri, T’Challa’s younger sister who creates all of the technology used in Wakanda. With all the fun and humor she brings to the film, she is among the many standouts.
It is impossible to talk about this film without mentioning Killmonger, Michael B. Jordan’s character, who is instantly among the best of the Marvel villains and, after a few more viewings, could climb to be the best Marvel villain ever. His motivations are incredible and allow the audience to understand the reasons behind his actions. He, like all great villains, genuinely believes that he is the hero.
Another minor villain in the film is Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Klaue, who first appeared in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” However, he is able to shine even more in “Black Panther.” This is mainly because Serkis gets to have fun playing an “over the top” villain, which in most films can be very distracting, but here it fits incredibly well.
The main reason why everything works as well as it does is because of director Ryan Coogler. This is Coogler’s third film, all three of which are fantastic. He is currently three for three and proves again that he deserves any project he wants.
In terms of things that did not work in the film, the action is not the best that Marvel has ever done. This can be partly attributed to the fact that the story and characters’ motivations are all very powerful. When the action happens, you are more worried about what is going on with the characters rather than with who they are going to fight next.
While talking about the action, there are moments where the visual effects are very apparent. You can often tell that what you are seeing is not really there and was instead created by a computer.
“Black Panther” deals with many different themes: one is the idea of being an isolated country, and whether it is better to focus on protecting your own country or to try and make the world a better place. This concept is very reflective of the United States and the world right now, which is what makes the film great. The themes it explores are far more interesting than the action, something you cannot say about other Marvel films.
“Black Panther” is another hit by Marvel Studios and is a great lead-in to “Avengers: Infinity War,” coming this May. “Black Panther” is a nine out of ten.