I just got out of my first viewing of Black Panther. Let me start this review by saying that I was rooting for this movie from the beiginning. I loved seeing T’Challa in Civil War and everything about this movie got me hyped. I know this one meant a lot to a lot of people. I can’t claim to understand what it’s like to feel underrepresented in the media but I think everybody should feel like they have a hero and this was set to be that for a lot of people. As important as the social commentary surrounding (and in) this movie was, I also think it’s important that it be, well, good. All of the casting and writing and important messages can go to waste if a movie is bad. So, was it? Well I’ve only been able to come up with one word to describe it.
That’s what I found myself saying under my breath through the whole movie. I mean aesthetic was spectacular, the cast was phenomenal, and don’t get me started on the action. Not only does everybody play their part well and stand out from each other, they stand out from the cast of most any other superhero movie. So now I want to break down some of my favorite things.
- The Bad Guy. I’m not even sure I feel comfortable calling him that. I’ve seen the Marvel movies and I’ve always enjoyed them. Even the worst ones are at least serviceable. I’ve always been more of a DC fan and when people ask why I always say “A hero is only as strong as his villain.” Marvel has some brilliant and inspiring heroes but I’m never all that interested in the villain. Sure there are a few good ones but compared to DC’s rogues gallery it’s nothing. THAT WAS NOT THE CASE IN THIS MOVIE. Good God was this a good villain. The writers nailed it. Instead of the usual “Here’s the bad guy he wants more money/power/etc” we’re presented with a guy who trained his whole life to avenge his father and carry out a mission that, while a bit sinister, you can’t wholeheartedly disagree with. I mean the guy saw a problem and wanted to fix it he just went about it the wrong way. You feel for him even after what he’s done and when he is beaten, you still kinda want him to see that Wakandan sunset. Props to Michael B. Jordan. He killed it and really brought that character to life.
- Nothing Felt Forced. This movie had an important message to deliver and often when that is the case, it can come across as forced. Nothing in this movie felt like a hamfisted attempt to get a point across. I’m not sure I have a whole lot more to write about it I mean it’s just straight-up good.
- The Message. Like I said, I’ve never felt underrepresented. We all have our struggles and that just wan’t one of mine. I was worried that I would come out of this movie feeling like the message wasn’t for me but I was very pleasantly surprised. A few lines in this movie really hit me hard. Things like “In times of crisis, the wise build bridges while the foolish build barriers.” and something about us having more that connects us than separates us. I may be grown but I got choked up a few times.
So yeah. It was great. Go see it. Go see it twice or ten times. Let Disney and Hollywood know that this is how you do it.
Verdict: Wakanda Forever!