Black Panther (2018) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Lion King dressed as a different big cat

This is going to be difficult; did I enjoy the film – it was OK without being brilliant. Did I think it was as good as the critics say – not by a long way. Do I think it is worthy of all the awards and plaudits it has received – not entirely. Do I think it’s been talked up due to the ethnic diversity contained in the film, particularly the cast – yes (sorry). Is the diversity a good thing – of course it is.

Black Panther introduces the Marvel universe to Wakanda, the fictional home of the Wankandan people and their king/leader/superhero saviour – the Black Panther. In a nutshell the movie is this – a new king is born metaphorically), he doubts himself, the crown is threatened, a new quasi king emerges and dethrones the old king, the new king turns out to be bad, conflict ensues to the point of civil war, fights occur everywhere, the old king realises his worth and fights for the crown and his people. By the end of the film everything is OK again, the end.

Chadwick Boseman plays a good role as T’Challa, but I felt that Michael B Jordan played a better villain in Killmonger. Boseman does display a wide range of emotions as he learns his worth through the plot, he is solid enough, but it is not really anything new. It is this that was slightly disappointing for me – I was more enthralled when he made his appearance in the Captain America movie. It is refreshing to see a black superhero, but the critics seem to have forgotten that there has been a black superhero before in Wesley Snipes’s “Blade”. With a more diverse script to work from and a character that portrayed a wider range of emotions, Jordan slightly outshone Bosenman for me in this film. Both were let down by the CGI fighting/ballet dancing though.

The coolest things about the film were the weapons and tech, the best character was Shuri (Letitia Wright) because she delivered humour as well as action. For the good things that Shuri brought, it also felt like I was watching a scene from a James Bond 007 film, where she was Q, and she was explaining to Bond what a gadget did. Playing the queen, Angela Basset delivers poise and grace, but again drawing on comparisons, she could been portraying a version of M from James Bond 007 films too. The whole tribal council thing felt like it was from a Star Wars film too – a kin to the Jedi council.

The plot was average because it has been done before, in fact I’m pretty sure that this wasn’t far off the plot of “The Lion King”. This was the biggest let down for me, not only had it been done before but it was plagued with light, throw-away ideas that weakened it. It didn’t feel like a polished Marvel film that I was used to seeing, and it certainly didn’t feel as good as the critics had been raving about.

I have an issue when superhero’s fight practically identical carbon copies of themselves, for example; the worst part of “Antman” was Antman fighting Yellow-jacket as they were practically the same. The worst part of the Iron Man films was when he fought against carbon copies of the Iron Man he had made. I even hated computer games that did that – Ken/Ryu in Street Fighter – SubZero/Scorpion in Mortal Kombat – It is lazy and it’s cheap! Black Panther sadly does exactly that. Throw together two black panther suits, identifiable mainly by the varying shades used on the trim – and then the action scene’s just look like lazy CGI dancing, something you’d expect to see a college computer design student make. On the topic of CGI, it was in abundance here. Usually Marvel does it in a way that the film looks natural enough, but in this film it was that overused that it felt at times like I was watching a cartoon.

I think this movie got the acclaim it did because 99% of the cast were black – for me I don’t care what colour, race or religion somebody is – film is about the story, it’s about losing yourself to something fun and exciting. There are some seriously great films out there with a black cast, but they do not get the praise they deserve – I’m sure there will be excellent films in the future with black superhero’s saving the day too. Unfortunately, this film felt like it had already been done before a hundred times over. For me, it did not live up to the expectation of hype I’d read into. I really wanted a lot more from Black Panther – I just hope that the next instalment has a better and more original story line. I’d love to rate this higher but the best I can give it is 6 out of 10 because it didn’t feel original or fresh, it looked good in places, but it didn’t have the substance within it to make it a classic for years to come.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (6/10)


1 thought on “Black Panther (2018) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”

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