I’ve been at the edge of my seat ever since Black Panther was announced. I’d decided to do something different this time – I chose not to be led on by the film’s trailer. Trailers have a way of making things predictable and boring. They show all the good scenes to lure in the audience and I was not going to fall for it. Well, atleast starting now. So, my knowledge of the Black Panther was limited to what was shown in Captain America – Civil War and quite frankly, I walked into the theater blind. There were only two-ways this could have gone – it could have either been an effing kickass movie, or just a menial bottom feeder in the deep oceans of MARVEL.
With my heart beating with anxiety, I reclined my seat, put the 3D glasses on and waited to see if Marvel had created a marvel. See what I did there? No? Okay, I won’t be doing that again.
As you know, King T’Chaka (John Kani) dies in Captain America – Civil War. Prince T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns to Wakanda to take his father’s place on the throne and serve as the new King and the Black Panther. Now, this nation of Wakanda is what caught my attention. It is a thriving country whose wealth and technological advancements are masked from the world, literally. The appeal of an empowered African country was what set my heart towards liking this movie. The concept isn’t something you see everyday. The technology in Wakanda is unseen and raw, hidden from the hideous chaos of the war ridden world. However, this is the main reason of conflict in the movie. People with the knowledge of Wakanda feel that Wakandan resources and technology must be used for empowering the black communities worldwide, but want to go about it by raging war on the ‘colonizers’. The storyline is strong, but a tad predictable (no surprise there, it’s a superhero movie for crying out loud).
Black Panther doesn’t fall back on the action department either. Action sequences are the prime components of a superhero film and while it may not be at the Avenger/Doctor Strange level, it certainly isn’t something I would complain about.
Black Panther has a plethora of strong female characters and they have been utilized to the point that the story beautifully relies on them.
The General to the Dora Milaje and the head of the army for Wakanda, Okoye (Danai Gurira) is a warrior who is not to be messed with. Her sass level is on point with a correctly placed sense of humor and is an absolute delight to watch on the screen. Another pillar of the movie is T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Letitia Wright), who also is a complete comedy-intelligence package and is responsible for the tech gadgets the Black Panther uses. Angela Bassett as Ramonda/Queen Mother is every mother in every superhero movie and her costume gave me a lot of American Horror Story vibes while portraying her character. Academy award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o and her role as Nakia, a Wakandan spy/War Dog and T’Challa’s ex is exquisite and not at all distracting from the plot of the movie.
Performance wise, the movie has had some of the best acting I’ve seen in a superhero movie after Doctor Strange (I keep Doctor Strange as a bar for other movies to hold up to).
With the great performances from the actresses, the male characters weren’t bad either. Martin Freeman as Everett Ross, a C.I.A. Agent and Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger were top-notch and memorable as actors. Jordan almost steals the show from the Black Panther with his unforgettable portrayal of Killmonger and swagger charisma.
So, great story, great performances and definitely, without a freaking doubt, Black Panther is a MUST WATCH and you know what, I can watch it again and laugh at the jokes, again. The only downsides Blank Panther has is the predictable plot (including Stan Lee’s appearance – this is not even a spoiler) and the depiction of Wakanda. While they have managed to maintain the traditional look of Africa along with the technology, it could have been more enticing to the eye and that is a minor disappointment. Other than that, Black Panther is an eye candy for all movie watchers out there. Marvel has indeed created another Marvel. Darn it! I did it again, didn’t I?