Movie Review: Black Panther

Black Panther was fantastic. Picking up from where we saw T’Challa last, in Civil War, It was refreshingly different for a Marvel movie, with emphasis on the African culture of Wakanda, its myth, and its people, as well as the breaking of racial and gender stereotypes, which I LOVED. Many movies and TV shows with main characters of color today usually have a plot focusing on racial tensions, a hot topic in current world politics. But Black Panther had none of that. The entire story was focused on Wakanda, its ruler, and the tensions coming from the aftermath of not only T’Chaka’s death, but also the revelation of N’Jadaka, Erik “Killmonger” Stevens, T’Challa’s first cousin and nemesis.

Black Panther - Tea with Tumnus

The worldbuilding was just amazing–the city of Wakanda is unique to the rest of the world as it is technologically advanced with vibranium, a meteorite the five African tribes fought over in the early years of the birth of Wakanda. And yet, the city is also steeped in tradition and the African cultural values, (which, in fact, reminds me of what I’m trying to accomplish in one of my WIP’s worldbuilding. The writer in me is much inspired).

 

The characters were just as epic as the place they lived in. The Dora Milaje, an all-female warrior force are super cool. N’Baku and his fierce tribe up north are fearsome architects. T’Challa’s little sister, Shuri is my new favorite MCU character. And Martin Freeman’s character actually kind of knows what he’s doing in this movie; Everett Ross plays a big part, and I am ever thankful.

Aside from Everett and Shuri, Killmonger was actually one of my favorite characters, with a well-developed arc and tragic story from his childhood up until his defeat. Marvel is not known for being faithful to their villains; none of their antagonists are as well-rounded or as interesting as their protagonists; this is why I was pleasantly surprised with the plot twist in Spiderman: Homecoming, and once I saw Black Panther, I realized they might be trying to improve that aspect of their characters. Killmonger has secrets that we don’t find out until later about who he really is, and his past makes his motives understandable.

As much as I liked T’Challa, a noble and good ruler of Wakanda with a mission, he simply did not have as much background as Killmonger. I hate to admit it, but I didn’t feel any regret or loss when he went down the falls, unless it was for the fate of Shuri, Nakia, and the rest of Wakanda.

Not to mention that the soundtrack was incredible. Since we’re talking about a movie solely based in Africa among African culture, the soundtrack reflected that with traditional roots in the orchestral score by Ludwig Göransson. It’s simply breathtaking, just like the beautiful visuals throughout the movie. The track “Wakanda” had me feeling all the feels.

Summed up, this movie not only satisfied the writer in me, but it was also a beautiful and fresh Marvel experience. I look forward to seeing T’Challa in Infinity War this May!

Have any of you guys seen Black Panther yet? If so, what did you think?

 

8 thoughts on “Movie Review: Black Panther

  1. Haha, I just finished writing my review of this movie! (Hopefully it’ll be going up later) I totally agree with you about T’Challa not having enough development/a good story arc.I love him so much as a character; I just wish we’d gotten to see him developed a bit more. And I love Shuri too! She’s fantastic! Awesome review. 🙂

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    • Ah! I’m off to read your review now. 😀 Yeah, I’m hoping T’Challa will get some more background and characterization in future Black Panther movies (if there will me more, at least I hope so. :D). Thanks for reading!

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  2. I don’t know what it was, but I was able to figure out all the story/journey/plot points early on in the movie. I really didn’t set out to attempt to figure out the movie before the ending, but I did. It made it a whole lot less satisfying than it could have been. And like you two, I agree with T’Challa not having enough character development.

    My other complaint was that I felt nobody important enough died. (I know, I’m horrible.) I thought one person surely would and then when they didn’t, it kind of robbed it of meaning for me.

    Overall, it was a good movie with a wonderful soundtrack, but I don’t think it made it to my top 5.

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    • Sometimes it’s awesome finding out the entirety of the plot beforehand, but I guess in some cases it doesn’t make the story quite as exciting. XD You’re right, no one (at least, none of the good guys) died, and usually we can expect that to happen in such a movie. I didn’t like it when Killmonger died, but then, I really liked his character. 😛
      Thanks for reading!

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  3. I had the same issue with T’Challa as well, especially since many are calling Black Panther the best movie since The Dark Knight, which is a little farfetched and overhyped. I still had a great time with it and Killmonger as a villain is great, but that was just something that bothered me a bit there. I’m thinking of doing a review of it soon myself, so more of my thoughts would be in that post. Loved this post!

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    • I have not heard that some people are saying it’s the best movie since Dark Knight! That really surprises me, and yes, that does seem overhyped. Thanks for reading! I’m looking forward to your movie review!!! 😀

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  4. I saw the movie yesterday with a young friend and his mom because of your recommendation! I enjoyed it…..will have to see it again to dig deeper. Our little group had a great discussion over lunch!!!

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