King T'Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country's new leader. However, T'Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakanadan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.
Directed by: Ryan Coogler
. Starring: Chadwick Boseman
, Michael B. Jordan
, Lupita Nyong'o
, Danai Gurira
, Martin Freeman
, Daniel Kaluuya
, Letitia Wright
, Winston Duke
, Sterling K. Brown
, Angela Bassett
, Forest Whitaker
, Andy Serkis
, Florence Kasumba
. Music by: Ludwig Göransson
The most anticipated MARVEL film since 'The Avengers' (2012), does the hype surrounding 'Black Panther' pay off in terms of it being an exceptional film, or does it falter under the weight of expectations?
1. There will be major spoilers scattered throughout my review so this is your last chance to stop reading if you have yet to see the film. The movie picks up a week after the events of 'Captain America: Civil War' as Prince T'Challa returns to his homeland of Wakanda and ascends to the throne as King. The plot on the surface is fine and delivers as expected, but the events that follow isn't anything new. Not saying that's a bad thing, but there was nothing that happened I wasn't surprised about. The more interesting subplot revolves around a past event in which King T'Chaka (John Kani) murders his younger brother N'Jabu (Sterling K. Brown) for trading Wakandan arms to various countries. It turns out N'Jabu had a son (Erik Killmonger) that grew up to seek revenge against the country that abandoned he and his father.
2. As much class and style he possessed for his brief stint in 'Civil War', Chadwick Boseman is not interesting at all as T'ChallaBlack Panther. Not saying he's a bad actor, but he plays the character with such drawl and lack of charisma. He does not "own the role" as they say, so it's hard for me to buy into it. Michael B. Jordan was by far the most interesting and sympathetic character by far. He brings much needed life into an already dull film. Jordan steals the show as Killmonger but unfortunately he has very little screen-time. After the sequence at the museum in the beginning, Jordan does not show up in the film until 40-45mins later. Killmonger is such a compelling character that by the time he finally pops up again, they rush through his story to where he feels under developed. I would wholeheartedly agree that he could have been the best villain of the MCU to date had the script-writers only incorporated him more into the story.
3. Andy Serkis was an interesting villain as Ulysses Klaue when he first appeared in 'Age of Ultron', but he's murdered by Killmonger halfway through so there obviously won't be any more development for him to say the least. Despite that, Serkis does make his presence known during the casino and chase sequence in South Korea. As far as action. there were only two sequences that I did enjoy, one being Black Panther chasing Klaue through the streets of Korea and Killmonger kicking the crap out of T'Challa to claim the throne as the new King. There honestly wasn't any other set-pieces I enjoyed or found mildly exciting. The final brawl between T'Challa and Killmonger on the subway track was awful. The CGI was weak and the overall fight was boring without any sheer tension or stakes.
4. Apart from Angela Basset and Forest Whitaker, the rest of the supporting cast is either annoying or flat, and the same goes for the humor in the film. If it was up to me, the script would have gotten an overhaul or placed in the hands of actual writers to modify or (better yet) rewrite the whole damn thing. Despite the camera occasionally doing unnecessary close-ups on the fights, the cinematography on the African plains were amazing. The design on Wakanda and the sets blew me away, however, we don't spend a lot of time on the environments to say I felt captivated by it. Maybe 'Infinity War' might do justice for this character once more, but as for now, the Black Panther himself is a weak and undeserving (so-called) hero. Imagine Thor lost his home of Asgard, lost most of his people and even lost an eye all in his last movie, and I truly believe he'd make a better King than T'Challa and actually have the balls to rule Wakanda.
'Black Panther' will undoubtedly sky-rocket at the box-office from all the undeserving false hype. Sure, kids will love it but there's no reason critics to honestly give such a mediocre film glowing reviews. Seeing it for what it, this movie is no better and probably lesser than some of the MCU film before it.
Review by John Maverick from the Internet Movie Database.