Black Panther could have easily been my most anticipated movie of 2018(that and Infinity War of course). My expectations of the film were through the roof. I am a huge fan of director Ryan Coogler who also directed both Fruitvale Station and Creed. Chadwick Boseman was one of the standouts of Captain America: Civil War which made the hype for his solo movie even bigger. And then of course, we have Michael B. Jordan playing the villain Killmonger. Mix all of those together and you have one of the most hyped movies of 2018. And to nobody’s surprise – Black Panther delivered.
I won’t get into too much detail about the film(since this is spoiler free), but it takes place a week after Civil War. T’Challa is dealing with the death of his father and is in line to be King of Wakanda. The movie is about his struggles of being King and the challenges he faces. And of course, we have great villains in Andy Serkis’s Klaw and Jordan’s Killmonger.
Right off the bat, the movie is visually stunning. The wide shots that show the country of Wakanda(Africa) is simply breathtaking. It actually made me even more excited to see how Disney’s live-action Lion King movie will turn out since that is also set in Africa. We know this movie takes place in the MCU(Marvel Cinematic Universe), but director Ryan Coogler does a great job in making this film revolve solely on T’Challa and Wakanda. The action sequences are also fantastic and entertaining. 3 of the big 5 fight/action sequences are one on one battles which I actually liked a lot since it makes it feel more personal.
Chadwick Boseman is once again fantastic as T’Challa aka Black Panther. He has a “cool, James Bond” like feel to him. I think the real standout of this movie has to be Michael B Jordan as Killmonger. Usually with the MCU movies, the villains are usually each movie’s weak point. Here, Killmonger is a star. Easily the best villain since Loki(they are undeniably the top 2 villains in the MCU). We learn his backstory, the reason why he is the way he is, and it makes you interested in his journey. It also helps that he’s played by Jordan, who in my eyes, is easily one of the best actors of this generation.
The entire star studded supporting cast does a great job in this movie. We get everyone from Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker to Sterling K. Brown. One of my favorite characters turned out to be T’Challa’s sister Shuri. She is the one who designs all of the technology for Wakanda, which includes the Black Panther suit, and is only 16yrs old(a lot of the humor comes from her)! The only thing I wish we had was more time with the other characters, but that’s what usually happens when you have a big cast. But dont worry – the character development is still great. You care about all of them.
Two things I wanted to make sure to talk about in this review are the costumes and the music. The costumes were colorful and beautiful. Of course we get an upgraded Black Panther suit, but everything from what the different tribes wear, to the armor of the warriors is done with such detail and perfection. The music/score was easily one of the best of any Marvel movie. The African drums and singing really added more depth to each scene. Also – the soundtrack to the movie was excellent. I do love hip-hop, so it was very refreshing to hear some Kendrick and The Weeknd in a MCU movie. And being from the Bay Area, I loved seeing how the movie ties into Oakland, CA(which is also where director Ryan Coogler is from). I wonder if we’ll get an Ant-Man and Black Panther movie since both of their stories take place here(San Francisco and Oakland).
Black Panther is everything you need in a movie. It has great character depth, exciting action sequences, and a great score/soundtrack. Although it isn’t my favorite film of the MCU, it is my 2nd(I’m a sucker for outer space, so the first Guardians of the Galaxy is my 1st). Ryan Coogler is 3 for 3 and should be one of the most requested directors in Hollywood after this one. He is just as important to this movie as the actors/actresses. I would not be mad if every movie Coogler does, Jordan stars in. Whether you like to admit it or not, Black Panther is a game changer. What Wonder Woman did for women, Black Panther does for the black community. It’s a beautiful thing. I can’t wait for the future of this franchise, and I’m sure it will only get better. Especially if Coogler stays on for the sequel. My spoiler review will be up after the weekend once it’s out and people watch it. I’m giving Black Panther a 4.75/5.