Black Panther

Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Isaach De Bankolé, Martin Freeman, Michael B. Jordan, Andy Serkis, Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong'o, Daniel Kaluuya, and Letitia Wright in Black Panther (2018)The newest and latest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Black Panther, a butt-kicking superhero film directed by Ryan Coogler, the director of Fruitvale Station and Creed. Taking place in the fictional and technologically advanced country of Wakanda in Africa. T’Challa rises to the throne of Wakanda and becomes king after his father passes away. However, he is challenged by Erik Killmonger, who has serious allegations of T’Challa’s father committing terrible actions in the past. The events in this film take place after the events of Captain America: Civil War.

The film stars Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther), Michael B. Jordan (Erik Killmonger), Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Martin Freeman (Everett K. Ross) and Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi). The performances were all outstanding. Boseman was fantastic as T’Challa, and Michael B. Jordan can apparently play a superhero villain terrifically. The surprise performance of Daniel Kaluuya (the star of the critically acclaimed horror movie, Get Out) was incredible, proving his great abilities as an actor.

The action in this film is absolutely superb. There are plenty of notable fight scenes between characters that leave an emotional impact, and towards the end there’s an incredible battle sequences between two forces that is out of this world. It’s very difficult to watch Black Panther and not get pumped about what you had just witnessed.

In addition to those fantastic sequences, the film also has a great story. Many superhero films focus more on action and less on plot or characters, leading to a fun but ultimately disappointing movie that is meant to please both comic book fans and moviegoers. Black Panther does just the opposite and gives us layered characters with conflicting emotions on either side of them. The film opens with a sequence that keeps us wondering about it’s significance, and then rewards us with the shocking answer about halfway through the movie. This keeps us on the edge of our seats and locked in as the action and character development take us for a wild ride. Not only is this just a great superhero movie, its also a great movie. The acting is superb, its got a wonderfully written screenplay and mesmerizing visuals that keep our pupils locked on the screen.

When Black Panther tries to be funny, it is. With many of the Marvel movies, the humor tends to be more related to the comic books, making references that may only get giggles out of the comic book readers, leaving the rest of the theater silent. It’s nice to know that some superhero movies try harder to take everyone into account. Black Panther is a superhero film that follows comic books but breaks the barrier of just being a comic book movie, extending it further into being a pleasing action film for all.

Black Panther is also much more unique than expected. Instead of telling us T’Challa’s origin story and then having him fight crime in the United States with the rest of the other heroes, it gives us his own story, a unique story that has a lot to add to the extended universe of Marvel. Many superhero fans will love this film, and many who aren’t fans of the Marvel movie may still love it. Black Panther is one of those rare gems within a franchise that will be remembered for years to come.

Grade: A

Rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action violence, and a brief rude gesture

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