Without a doubt one of the most important movies of the century, Black Panther was a gamble for Marvel. It has a huge African-American cast which is not something a big blockbuster movie often has and Studios don’t often represent people of color the way they should be represented in today’s society. This was a big risk for Marvel and it paid off. Black Panther is absolutely wonderful and plays perfectly well as a standalone story in the MCU, despite being its eighteenth film overall.
Chadwick Boseman plays T’Challa, ak.a Black Panther, The King of Wakanda. Wakanda is a secret society that is light-years ahead more advanced then us and hidden from our world and knowledge. This world felt real and lived in and had it’s own culture and history. It felt alive and self-contained, even though it was part of something bigger. I’m so glad Captain America or Iron Man didn’t show up in this movie. I love them in their own individual films and in The Avengers, but this was Black Panther’s story.
They didn’t need to be there, because Chadwick Boseman is a hell of an actor and he’s the main star of this movie. He’s a king we can root for and care about and the movie introduced us to so many great supporting characters. Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead) is great here as one of the defenders of the throne and the king. Her character has a nice emotional and compelling arc throughout the movie. Lupita Nyong’o is amazing as always and extremely talented. She plays T’Challa’s former lover and an undercover spy in Wakanda to complete missions. Letita Wright is also fantastic as T’Challa’s sister, who is also very smart and good with technology.
Michael B. Jordan is fantastic as Killmonger and plays one of the best if not the best MCU villain we’ve ever had. He’s menacing, has motivation and doesn’t just want to blow up the world. He has his reasons and a great backstory, which gives him great depth. Everyone in this cast is exceptional. Angela Basset, Forrest Whittaker, Daniel Kaluuya, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis… everyone brings their “A Game” and you can tell how much they’re passionate for the source material.
The real credit goes to Ryan Coogler who did a terrific job directing this movie. It’s beautifully shot, emotionally investing, wonderfully acted and written it also has so many scenes that stick with you. The action is amazing and is unique to all of the other Marvel movies that came before. The sets, the costumes, the cinematography are all amazing. The soundtrack is terrific and the songs pop at you like Guardians but it’s very different and extremely bombastic. The technology was fun and inventive and all of it felt like it had a place in the story and didn’t feel shoe horned in it all. This is the first major african-american superhero on screen and I can’t believe it took this long for something like this to happen. Hopefully studios will start to be more aware and willing to give people of color more opportunities in Hollywood.
Overall, as you can’t tell, I pretty much loved this movie. Black Panther is an exciting, rewarding, emotionally satisfying time at the movies and it will have a large cultural impact that cannot be overstated. It’s an amazing achievement and a must have unique experience. All hail the king of Wakanda.