Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan
Directed by: Ryan Coogler
Following the events of Captain America: Civil War and the death of the King of Wakanda, T’Challa returns home to his kingdom to claim the throne and take his place as king where he meets some unexpected resistance.
The newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been much anticipated since Black Panther’s debut in Captain America: Civil War. I’ve managed to see every movie thus far, with the exception of Doctor Strange (I will try and watch this at some point), so was excited to see how the story continued and to find out more about the Black Panther character.
Chadwick Boseman stars as T’Challa/Black Panther and leads an incredibly talented and experienced cast which includes Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis. He is truly wonderful as Black Panther and as with most of the Marvel superheroes is the perfect man for the role. He’s a humble leader who wants to do right by his highly traditional Wakandan people but also is desperate to share the technological advances Wakanda has with the rest of the world and help the helpless. Another wonderful performance was that of Danai Gurira who played the role of Okoye, one of King T’Challa’s generals and best warriors. I thought she was outstanding and was my personal highlight of the movie, such a great display for a relatively unknown actor in such a large group of stars.
Wakanda as a place was visually stunning and there was such great attention to detail. At times the story was moving at a surprisingly slow pace but the CGI and location more than helped pass the time.
Unfortunately despite the hype and the massive build up I felt Black Panther was a bit of a let down. While generally being a solid movie I’ve become very expectant of Marvel movies and this just didn’t quite live up to the rest of the MCU. I didn’t really see the point of Martin Freeman’s character. He plays a CIA agent who T’Challa ends up saving after he gets caught in the crossfire between himself and Ulysses Klaue. I felt the story wouldn’t have changed if Freeman wasn’t involved and it was a bit of head scratcher why a British actor was used to play an American CIA agent as his accent was a little suspect. The story follows a very predictable pattern which culminates in the very clichè and over used story arch of T’Challa’s friend turning against him in his hour of need. This is something that’s a constant within movies and Black Panther just continued the trend which I feel is quite lazy story telling. There was no wow factor offered within Black Panther, everything seemed quite straight forward and routine.
My biggest problem with Black Panther was they try and make it seem as though Black Panther is dead or about to die while battling against Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) when Chadwick Boseman features in the trailer for the new Avengers movie due out later this year. Although Boseman was always going to come out on top I feel any shock or surprise was completely taken away from the movie and all the suspense was a waste of time.
Overall, Black Panther was a solid movie with room for improvement but was easily one of the poorest Marvel movies made to date. With so much anticipation I just felt a little underwhelmed with it all.