Few films come along that people can say they waited their whole life for. Black Panther, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, is one of those films. First appearing in Fantastic Four #52, dated July 1966, T’Challa, more commonly known as the Black Panther, is the first superhero of African descent.
He made his cinematic debut in 2016’s Captian America: Civil War portrayed by Chadwick Boseman. Now he stars in his own solo film that not only showcases the country of Wakanda but the culture as well.
Cast of Characters
Alongside Chadwick Bosman, the cast of Black Panther is full of actors and actresses that are well known and can hold their own on screen. Talent like Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis round out the main cast. Along with lesser known actors like Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, and Winston Duke, the cast is amazing.
The characters themselves feel different among each other and in the MCU as a whole. Micheal B. Jordan brings a pain and torment to Eric Killmonger that I didn’t expect. While I can see how Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Klaue can rub people the wrong way, I enjoyed the craziness that was within the character.
This movie wouldn’t have worked without Chadwick Bosman’s performance as the Black Panther. His interactions with the other characters is where he really shines. Be it the loving and playful interactions with Letitia Wright’s Shiri or the regret and pain later on with both Winston Duke’s M’Baku and Micheal B. Jordan’s Killmonger, Chadwick’s performance showcases is deep talent.
Black Panther introduces us to the world of Wakanda. A stunningly beautiful nation full of advanced cityscapes and the ceremonial sites. The film takes the time to show that, though Wakanda is a technologically advanced civilization, it is rooted in a deep history and respect for what came before.
The score made this world feel authentic and down to earth. Add the use of an authentic African language, isiXhosa, and you feel like you are there.
We also see a few places outside of Wakanda, most notably Busan in South Korea. Busan isn’t meant to be the next big MCU location but you get enough of that city to show where the rest of the world is compared to Wakanda. Seeing this disparity really sets in your mind just how far ahead Wakandans are from the rest of the world and just how little the world as a whole knows of Wakanda.
There is a lot the Black Panther does well. Be it the political aspect of the story or the character interactions that form the core of the film. There are a few small things that pulled me out of the film. Essentially nitpicking, there is a scene where Klaue was shown missing his lower arm where I could clearly tell that it was green screened. It just didn’t look right to me. The other small issue that I have really isn’t one that could be helped. Everytime that John Kani’s T’Chaka was on screen I couldn’t help but be pulled out of the scene with his close-ups.
I thought most of the humor fit, though there are a few aspects of it where felt out of place. Be it M’Baku’s comments in the mountains or Okoye being licked by a rhinoceros, they just felt out of place. I also felt that Martin Freeman’s character felt inconsistent with the character that was set up in Captian America: Civil War.
Black Panther is a film that handles modern political questions with dignity and tact. But what it really excels at is the character development and interactions. While I did have a few nitpicky issues with it, overall I enjoyed the film.
It can be viewed as a standalone in the MCU as it doesn’t rely on any other film to be able to tell its story. It is also rooted deeply within the MCU with the returning characters of Everett Ross and Ulysses Klaue.
This is a movie I would recommend for fans of the MCU and comic book films in general. It opens a new corner of the world that we have yet to explore and, in the end, makes you want to spend more time with the characters while wondering what the lasting effects of the film will be on the MCU as new films are released.