Black Panther

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Black Panther

Surprising at every turn, Marvel’s new spinoff throws shade at the white-bread business of blockbustering.

For all their global dominance, everybody wants these superhero movies to be better: funnier, smarter, more inclusive, more super. A huge step in the right direction, ‘Black Panther’ is that dream come true. Proudly African – even if its Africa comes in the form of the fictional country of Wakanda, a powerhouse of secret technologies – Marvel’s latest is, from top to bottom, a conscious reversal of racial paradigms. Handsomely mounted by ‘Creed’ director Ryan Coogler and starring an enviable slate of black actors that makes cameoing comics godhead Stan Lee almost seem lost, the film is provocative and satisfying in ways that are long overdue, like its ornate, culturally dense production design and the deeper subtexts of honor, compassion and destiny.

Wakanda’s young king, T’Challa (a dignified Chadwick Boseman, well-seasoned after playing onscreen versions of James Brown, Jackie Robinson and Thurgood Marshall), recognizes that the world outside his peaceful realm is a divisive place. Still, even as his own armor-clad excursions as Black Panther set up an internal tension between isolationism and responsibility (yes, this is the rare blockbuster with something on its mind), tensions within Wakanda—fomented by exile-turned-rebel Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan, on fire)—threaten to bring him down. In their script, Coogler and Joe Robert Cole take inspiration from the Black Panther’s 50-year history on the page, including a dazzling current run by author Ta-Nehisi Coates, and the film plays like an alternative ‘Macbeth’, with characters riven by ambition, righteousness and the hum of supernatural forces.

Black Panther comes loaded with pleasures big and small, such as ‘The Walking Dead’’s fierce Danai Gurira (made even more arresting without her trademark locks) charging into hand-to-hand combat and a regal Angela Bassett lending grandeur to her every conflicted pause. For all the movie gets right, it stumbles on the battlefield, tripped up by Marvel’s typical bloodless chaos, though the deliriously funny sight of rampaging war-rhinos goes a long way toward earning our forgiveness. The scale and ambition here is huge: Coogler isn’t quite a builder of epic action sequences, but he’ll get there. Yet you’ll thrill to the plot’s consistent movement toward something internal, a metaphorical sense of purpose in a spandex universe not known for being risky. Let the studios take notice. We come to the multiplex to dream, but that doesn’t require that we check our brains – or real-world tensions – at the door. A stealthy detonation at the heart of popular entertainment, ‘Black Panther’ feels like the future.

By: Joshua Rothkopf

Posted:

Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Tuesday February 13 2018
Duration: 134 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ryan Coogler
Screenwriter: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole
Cast: Chadwick Boseman
Michael B. Jordan
Lupita Nyong'o
Danai Gurira
Winston Duke

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4.4 / 5

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LiveReviews|9
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tastemaker

This is a exhilarating & exciting piece of cinema. It has the "usual" Marvel cgi / fights/ car chases etc. On top of that it has great humour, great magnificent performances.Great blend of artistic vision with a fresh screen full of talent.

Tastemaker

Great movie. Champion in many levels of equality. Strong woman empowerment, with many of the key characters being strong females. Great to see the outstanding cast. It delivers a strong message, while keeping the action and cheekiness that is trademark of all Marvel movies.

tastemaker

Wow! What an amazing Marvel film! The colours, the music, the humour! Best film ever!

tastemaker

I wasn't a massive fan... generalizing all African cultures as one seemed like the director lost his creativity. Yes there is action, a bit of blood, good v.s evil but the story dragged for me a tad. I loved the strong female actors, costumes and set design/ scenery but there was too much more to enjoy.

tastemaker

I loved this movie for sure! It blends the usual Marvel action and awesome technology with some very thought provoking ideas about power and what a country's responsibility towards the world is and I also love the portrayal of Africa and the blend of elements from so many different tribes. 

tastemaker

Yes I am a superhero movie fan and I like this movie. This is the first Marvel movie I have ever watched which shows African cultures (the rivalry between the tribes and their ritual) and the current issues faced in our global society. 

There was plenty of action, cool gadgets, and beautiful costumes. What I particularly love about this movie was that it displays compassion strongly. A lot of people left after the movie finished, but I would recommend you to stay until the credits finish so that you could see a couple of great extra scenes.

tastemaker

Wow! This has to be my favourite marvel movie to date! The cast, the costumes, the storyline and the soundtrack are all amazing! It's definitely not your typical marvel movie but I think thats what made it so great! You still have the movie revolve around the superhero black panther but with an underlying message of compassion and honour. Just brilliant! Don't want to give too much away so highly recommend you watch it, you won't be disappointed! :D

tastemaker

i was expecting this to be good but I wasn't expecting it to be incredible!! OK I'm lying i did.

With a cast like this there was no way it wouldn't be.

The storyline is strong and highly interesting. There was constant action from beginning and unlike some of the marvel movies the humour was spot on. Fantastic movie from beginning to end...my only upset is that I didn't get to star in it! Lol

tastemaker

Filled with Marvel standard tropes with a strong mix of incredible acting and humour combined with a strong storyline and a cast you care about.


Sometimes the films like this are more interesting as you don't know much about the character such as guardians of the galaxy and if you're a superhero fan this is a must see.