Marvel’s Black Panther joins the ranks of the best comic book films. It’s up there with Captain America and Logan. It’s an original movie, full of sights I have never seen before, villains with actual motivations, and directed with vigorous passion that should cement director Ryan Coogler as a cinematic force to be reckoned with.
Black Panther starts off after the events of Captain America: Civil War. T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), has been through the ringer. His father has just died, he fought with the Avengers and now, he must return home to his native Wakanda to claim the throne as king. But it’s not that easy. In his way, he must face waring tribes, a brutish arms dealer (Andy Serkis) and the evil mercenary Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan).
Once again, I must admit that we’re getting way to many superhero / comic book movies. Some are good, few are , in my opinion, great and the rest are forgettable. Many of them follow a familiar formula, relying on effects and action scenes to hide story issues. So imagine my surprise to sit through Black Panther, a film about culture, humanity and family. Its refreshing to watch a film that, while eye popping, is about ideas. Spectacle takes a backseat to story.
The cast is excellent; there are no weak links. Even in the supporting roles. From Angela Basset, Forest Whitaker, Daniel Kayuula, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman, all are stellar. But I must single out the best in show and that is Michael B Jordon for his villainous role. His turn as a baddie is miles above any villain in the Marvel films. Yes, even Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. He is given reason and is fleshed out so that we understand why he has such anger towards Wakanda.
Director Ryan Coogler (Creed) brings a style like no other. This does not look like your run of the mill comic book film. This is a lush looking movie. He gave this a beating heart by creating a believable world in Wakanda. He took what the comic creators have done and brought it to another level by developing an actual culture for the Wakandian people. This shows that he cares about what’s on screen rather then being a paint by numbers director.
This is the first great film of 2018. Marvel has another hit on their hands here and it is well deserved.