Movie Review: Black Panther (2018)

Quote from Black Panther by T’Challa: “You want to see us become just like the people you hate so much! Divide and conquer, just as they did!”

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Everything Red and White

Marvel Mania has been around for a while now and has been dominating the screens.   Marvel movies also have decent stories, and I can’t keep up with them.  I watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Avengers: Infinity War on Netflix.  I liked Black Panther the best out of the three.   I should’ve seen it in the theater.  Instead, I waited even longer to watch it on Netflix.  I can’t repeat this with the sequel.  If you haven’t seen any of these movies or the first Guardian movie or any of the Avengers series, I recommend watching Black Panther first, then Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and last Avengers: Infinity War. 

Those Behind Wakanda

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Black Panther is a Marvel Studios production with the executive directors of Victoria Alonso, Jeffrey Chernov, Louis D’Esposito, Stan Lee, and Nate Moore.  It was written by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole and based from the Marvel comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.  It was directed by Ryan Coogler.  The major cast includes Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Daniel Gurira as Okoyo, Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi, Letitia WRight as Shuri, Winston Duke as M’Baku, Sterling K. Brown as N’Jobu, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Forest Whitaker as Zuri, John Kani as T’Chaka, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, David S. Lee as Limbani, and Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue.  It has a MPAA rating of PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action violence, and a brief rude gesture. 

Black Panther is a movie about a country hidden from the rest of the world.  Wakanda’s people and survival hinges on whether T’Challa, the heir apparent, can rule the country effectively in a rapidly changing future.  The movie’s strength lies in the realistic elements within the fantasy: race relations, differing societies, and technological advances.  How these elements influence and affect each other can’t be understated and is done effectively.  While this movie is highly entertaining, it remains a commentary on the current times as movies are known to do.  You can’t help but think about the different motivations for obtaining power, actions taken to reach it, energy needed to preserve it, and what methods are used once it’s lost.  Maybe, I’m looking too deep now.

Characters and Plot Summary

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This story begins with vibranium, a herb that transforms people.  After ingesting this herb, a warrior becomes the Black Panther and forms a new nation called Wakanda.  After years of living in isolation with advanced technology, things begin to break apart thousands of years later.  T’Challa is the next in line to sit on the throne as king, but a warrior from the Jabari tribe challenges him.  The battle begins on the high cliffs of Wakanda with danger never far away.  Enter Erik Killmonger who has a mission of his own.  This forces T’Challa, Okoye, and Nakia to travel to South Korea where they plan on finding Erik’s partner, Ulysses Klaue.  A great chase through the streets of Busan takes place with suspicions and secrets not far behind.  When they return to Wakanda, we get the first glimpse when T’Chaka was king and learn about his brother, N’Jobu.  Wakanda is not as isolated as T’Challa believes when Erik arrives to challenge him.  A battle for power begins between T’Challa and Erik.  As Wakanda opens itself to the world, it remains to be seen what the effects are long-term, although in the short-term it is quite obvious.

Gorgeous Sets and Beautiful Costumes

The production design and costumes were absolutely stunning.  I couldn’t get enough of either one.  The richness, variation, and boldness of the costumes, conceived by Ruth Carter, is now a part of history.  The same goes for the design of Wakanda, created by Hannah Beachler, with noticeable differences among the settings as the movie progressed.  You hear people talk about how something takes on a life of its own.  This is what happened in the first fight scene.  It completely draws you into the movie, but then you start looking beyond the fighting and see what is around the fighters.  This is why Black Panther won Oscars for both categories.

Final Evaluation of Black Panther

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I highly recommend Black Panther for its story and entertainment value.  While it isn’t suitable for young children, teenagers and young adults are more its target audience.  Diehard Marvel fans saw this when it arrived in theaters last year, but I encourage anyone who likes a well paced movie who hasn’t seen it to give it a try.  It’s also nice to see not only the men, but women get in there and kick ass.  I actually wanted a few more fight scenes, but there was equal committment to conflict and agreement for the story to progress.  I would say this is one of the better Marvel movies I’ve seen in the past five years.  My only regret is not seeing it sooner.

Watch the Trailer

I rate Black Panther PERFECT at 100%

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2019

 

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