Before I even start to review this film, I feel it is necessary to write about how important this film is. In all my 22 years of life, I cannot think of a single film that included a majority black cast that had absolutely nothing to do with slavery or the civil rights movement. Words cannot express how refreshing that was to see. Additionally, it was nice to see Africa and African culture represented in a positive way. Normally, when Africa or the African Diaspora is represented on screen, it is this impoverished or corrupt image that does Africa or Black people no favours. But this time, we were Kings! We were Queens! Soldiers and Inventors! As a black British woman of Afro-Caribbean descent, it was an amazing to see people that looked like me on screen in positions of power and strength. Furthermore, if it was this impactful for me, I can’t imagine what it would be like to someone younger than me. So good job Marvel, good job.
Speaking about the actual film now, I have to say it pretty amazing, everything I have come to expect from the MCU, but here’s what I thought in more depth:
First of all, Wakanda was amazing! One of the things that I love about watching films and reading the fact that I get to discover and explore new worlds. In terms of world building, Wakanda did not disappoint! My favourite parts of the film were the scenes where we got to truly see Wakanda, its people and Wakandan culture. It was rich, layered and complex, much like cultures in real life. So props to Ryan Coogler for realising a world that was as fascinating as Wakanda.
Furthermore, the MCU is building a rep for great movies but lacklustre villains, however, I’m glad to say that Black Panther successfully bucked this trend. Coogler managed to create a well balanced villain. In Killmonger, the audience got to see a person who wasn’t villainous for the sake of it. Instead, the audience learned that Killmonger was person who had suffered tremendously in his youth. Moreover, he also saw others around suffer needlessly around him with no one willing to do anything about it. This frustration turned into an angry desire to do something, anything to spark change. However, the anger and frustration behind this desire led to Killmonger becoming single-minded and cruel. All this makes helps make Killmonger one of the best MCU villains ever. Furthermore, Michael B. Jordan performance as Killmonger contributed to the success of this character. He perfectly portrayed the character’s struggle and passion but also his cruelty and brutality.
Now, for the sake of a balanced review, I would say that the film didn’t always land its jokes. On a few occasions, I thought that some of the jokes didn’t really work in that particular scene and could have been omitted. However, these were so minor that I cannot name any actual examples and it didn’t dampen my enjoyment of the film.
In addition, I was so excited to see the film, so much so, that I watched all the little sneak peaks and trailers that Marvel released for the film. Thanks to this, for the first 30 minutes of the film, I felt like I had already seen a lot of the scenes. That being said, they were still enjoyable to watch- so no real complaints here.
To conclude, Black Panther was an amazing addition to the MCU that managed to live up to, maybe even surpass, the hype that has surrounded it. I encourage everyone to watch it, in particular little black boys and girls who have been starved of positive representation in film, TV and media.
So what did you think of Black Panther? Leave a comment below! 😊
Featured Image taken from Denofgeek.com