Make superheros crip again.
After the death of his father, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king, and as Black Panther, gets tested when he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. But of course, T’Challa’s journey to making the best decisions for those around him isn’t always easy and it usually leads to him rethinking the steps that he’s made, the people that he loves, and most importantly, where he came from.
ively speaking, Black Panther is a treasure. It’s big, bright, beautiful, and so exotic-looking that you’ll forget you’re watching another installment into the already-long Marvel franchise, but instead, a labor of love to Africa and the culture in which it represents. It’s the kind of movie where you can tell that everyone involved wanted to make this thing look as crazy and as wild as humanly possible, and it somehow works; it’s in-your-face and rather off-putting, but in the best ways possible.
Now, if only the rest of the movie was as much of a treasure.
But hey, hold up, here’s the thing with me and Black Panther: I’m glad that this story is finally being told and even though a major studio is behind it, it doesn’t feel like it’s taking advantage of the superhero-swirl. It was clearly made with lots of love and passion from just about everybody involved and we need more major blockbusters like that, trust me. However, at the same time, that doesn’t excuse the fact that this movie is absolute Marvel formula, even when it’s trying not to be.
Other movies, like Ragnarok, or even the two Guardians of the Galaxy movies, while all playing within that certain field of Marvel and having to follow some sort of rules, they still find small, relatively interesting ways to stray away from the formula. They may not destroy the ground on which they walk and hell, their differences may not be entirely noticeable, but they are there and it’s what helps the movies still entertainingly odd, even despite them still being accessible for mass-consumption. With Black Panther, however, I could feel the formula and I could see everything playing out in front of my eyes, just as I expected it to happen, without any true sign of really straying far away, even in the slightest.
The only opportunity it seems like the movie is willing to take to walk off the line is with Michael B. Jordan’s villainous character who, believe it or not, has a heart, has emotions, and has a reasoning for doing what he wants to do, and it’s not just because he’s evil, sick and twisted. Believe it or not, the few chances that Black Panther gets to be political, comes from him and while it’s smart, it also gets lost in the mad-heap of silliness, action, and CGI.
Which is, yes, literally every other Marvel movie ever made, but still, I definitely expect more from this, especially considering how happy everyone seemed to be making this.
But if anything, what co-writer/director Ryan Coggler does do and he does it well, is that he knows how to keep the action and excitement no matter what. Even when he seems like he’s giving us the same old story, with the same old scenes, and hell, even the same old dialogue, time and time again, he still finds a way to keep things moving and relatively fun. And that’s how all of these Marvel movies should be – I’m not against that in the least bit – however, the bar has been setting itself pretty high to be different and Black Panther should have seen that and reached for it.
They try, but don’t quite succeed. But hey, at least it’s a fun time.
Consensus: Even if its typical Marvel formula, there’s a certain passion for Black Panther that’s hard to ignore and not join in on.
7 / 10
Photos Courtesy of: Marvel Studios