Black Panther is King of the MCU. Review by Kush Hayes
Wri/Dir: Ryan Coogler
Staring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan, Lupito Nyong’o
Black Panther is Currently ‘The Best Marvel Movie’ in the MCU…
... probably not my favorite though. However that isnt important.
What is important is Ryan Coogler took a corner of a dimension where intergalactic travel is a thing and Hulks hang out with Norse Gods (who are also aliens) and made a grounded story with over the top characters dealing with real world consequences. Coogler also takes characters that we didnt necessarily need and erases them from existence while taking others that had no development and definitely didnt need and made you appreciate their part in this chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
I want to go scene by scene but I also like to keep these reviews between 500 and 700 words.
I love the opening explanation of what Vibranium is and where it came from. And before we enter present day, you know I love that our next scene in modern time is 1992 Oakland with a Too $hort antham playing in the background. After that, we establish who the Black Panther was as well as who our villain is.
Michael B Jordan plays Marvels best villain to date and yet ultimately overall is wildly underused comparing what we could have gotten out of him. Coogler gives Jordans character Killmonger, and complicated backstory, and solid motivation for his actions. On top of that Jordan just chews on the scenery and his acting only gets stronger with every feature he does now.
Newcomer (by seven years) Letitia Wright plays the title characters sister and gadget maker, Shuri. Shes definitely the heart of the story. Shes wildly intelligent with no fear and just an explosion of character whose positives only stand out in our story about a country that tries to stay hidden. You never tire of Wrights presence on screen and most of the scenes without her could be aided by her being there. This wont be the last you see of Wright this year, she was already in The Commuter back in January as well as Ready Player One being her next feature in March. Itd be a shame if she is not part of Infinity War in May.
Martin Freeman returns to the MCU as shadow agent Martin K Ross who I felt was not necessary in Civil War and one of the worst characters in that brought nothing to the movie but extending the running time. Director and Oakland Native Coogler gives the Ross character not only purpose, as well as redemption with sprinkles of heroism. His character is a welcome addition to the team who has to defend Wakanda from Jordans character.
Couple things I didnt appreciate was forced jokes, that only got a couple of “ha-ha’s” from Thursday night audience. Quite frankly Marvel still suffers the problem of murdering their antagonists when they could be reused for a great purpose down the line and in Black Panther it happens at least once. And the ending battle looks like a cut scene from a video game. Quite frankly I find these just nitpicks. This is a solid-solid movie.
As mentioned above Ryan Coogler has shown he knows how to take a character (in any situation) and hide their weaknesses while enhancing their strengths and makes you want to know more about not just the characters but their world they’re living in.
I love the backdrops and use of colors and the way Coolger knows how to make something as simple as a royal coronation intense and dramatic. He shows our characters at their highs and then takes us with them for their ultimate lows.
Black Panther is a quick 2hrs and 15 mins.
Its definitely the best movie to date of the MCU and I dont know how Infinity War can top it.
I have no reason to not give this my top shelf score of:
6 out of 6 Blueberries.