Thursday, February 15, 2018

Black Panther -- A Breath of Fresh Air

I was a little bit late getting my tickets to Black Panther, but was lucky enough to still find a decent seat at the AMC just down the road and saw Black Panther opening night in Dolby Cinema.

Black Panther was a different kind of Marvel movie, and one that I will most likely see again in the coming weeks. **Some Spoilers May Follow**


 The movie follows King T'Challa after the events of Captain America: Civil War, as he returns to Wakanda and is crowned as King. From an old family foe to an unexpected challenge to T'Challa's reign as sovereign and King, the movie is a breath of fresh air in an increasingly crowded Marvel Cinematic Universe and sets itself apart as an entertaining movie, a moving story, and a much needed commentary on modern social issues.


The Good

  • Tackling Modern Issues: This is one of the few Marvel Movies that brought up uncomfortable, but necessary, parts of our history and our past e.g. slavery, colonization and imperialism, racial inequality, and so forth. I appreciated the tasteful way that these subjects were woven into the storyline -- but it is the first time I recall modern issues being tackled in a Marvel movie. About time!
  • A Black Superhero: The MCU is white. Pasty white. Too white. Chadwick Boseman's stellar performance in Civil War and in his own title movie sets him apart in my mind as a new favorite.
  • Music: I could write pages and pages about the music, but needless to say one of theist memorable parts of the film for me. Beautiful, at times haunting, and inspiring soundtrack!
  • Costume and Set Design: Outside of the bad-a** costume of the Black Panther himself, the Wakandan wardrobe and the movie's set design is simply stunning and breathtaking.
  • Spirituality: I found this to be a much more spiritual film than I was initially expecting, or used to, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (which is saying something considering Thor is a Norse God....) Again, much needed spiritual addition to the MCU after the almost-straight-up comedies that Marvel has recently released.
  • Character Complexity: Instead of a traditional "good guy fights bad guy" scenario, I appreciated the character complexity and development in Black Panther. Not all beloved father figures are perfect. Real moral dilemmas exist, such as nationalism vs. individual and familial loyalty, and noninterventionist pacifism vs. racial equality and justice. In addition to being entertained, I was moved and inspired.

What Lacked in Comparison

Honestly it's hard to complain about anything in Black Panther, but here are a few thoughts I had.
  • Integration of MCU characters: At this point, well into stage three of the MCU, I was expecting more integration of Marvel Characters at some point in the story other than the credits. While not an absolute, for me it would be a "nice to have" element to the story. To be honest, Black Panther didn't need it....but who doesn't love a cameo here and there!
  • Humor: I LOL'ed my way through Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers, and while Black Panther had great humor, it was not as straight up funny as some of the other films Marvel has produced. Again, I think in this case it was not needed. Black Panther is a different Marvel movie, at this point in time one of its kind. I was fine with the different kind of Marvel film...but for those who are used to the puns, one-liners, and antics of Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth, this film has a different flavor and humor to it. 

Overall, a solid 8.5 out of 10 or dare I say even a 9, depending on what you are looking for in Marvel Cinema. I'm stoked to have Black Panther return in Avengers: Infinity War

What did you think of Black Panther? What did you like or dislike about the film? What are your expectations for Infinity War?





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