Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews! In this special edition, I’ll be reviewing Black Panther, the latest instalment in the MCU. I’m going to try to avoid Spoilers-ville as much as possible, but a few minor spoilers or scenes may be either mentioned or referred to.
Prior to watching Black Panther, I had a list of my favourite Marvel movies. The list included X-Men movies too and had Deadpool and Logan in joint first, Thor: Ragnarok in third and Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy in joint fourth. When I found about Black Panther getting his own solo movie, I was pretty hyped. I loved Chadwick Boseman as the Wakandan Warrior in Civil War, and I had high hopes for this film. Reviews for it were promising and I was excited to watch it. I saw Black Panther on the day it came out in the UK (13th February) with friends and we all had our expectations fulfilled and thoroughly enjoyed the film.
With an all-star, predominantly black cast, Black Panther is the 18th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Ryan Coogler directs the story of T’Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman) returning to Wakanda after his father’s death. As the precious Vibranium resource that is exclusive to Wakanda is under attack, it’s up to T’Challa to rise as the Black Panther and protect Wakanda from its threats.
Ryan Coogler did a phenomenal job as director. The ‘Creed’ director was the perfect man to lead Black Panthers direction. One thing that I loved in Creed that Coogler used in Black Panther was the ‘One Shot Fight’. This is used for the water fight between T’Challa and Killmonger and perfectly suited the scene. It was smooth, fun to watch and awesome. Chadwick Boseman takes on the titular character, and I can think of no one better for the role than him. He presented T’Challa as a respectable, fair and noble leader wonderfully. I liked Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, T’Challa’s ex-girlfriend and warrior. Though her character introduction was a little hazy for me, she was great for the role. Danai Gurira played the Head of the Wakandan Women’s Warriors called Okoye. She was awesome and great fun to watch on the screen. W’Kabi, a friend of T’Challa’s, was played by Daniel Kaluuya. I can’t say too much about his character without a little spoiler, but his character arc was smart and beautiful to watch it develop. It’s also worth mentioning Winston Duke as M’Baku, the leader of a Wakandan tribe. Though he’s not a large part of the film, he is key to the final act and serves up some of the best comedy in the film, especially with his vegetarian line. It was a pleasant surprise to see Martin Freeman reprises his role of Everett Ross, a CIA agent we first met during Civil War. He was great fun and, like W’Kabi, had an interesting character arc. I struggled to pick just one character that I loved overall in Black Panther and eventually ended up with three, so I’ll review them in no particular preference order. Andy Serkis played Ulysses Klaue, one of the villains trying to trade Vibranium for diamonds. His character was hilarious and gave the film a less serious tone. Shuri, played by Letitia Wright also brought a comedic element to the movie. The scene of Shuri showing her older brother the new tech at the start of the film was fantastic and really showcased her talent. Finally, Michael B Jordan shines for me as the villain of Erik Killmonger. Though he’s not as evil as Loki, Jordan’s portrayal of Killmonger was without a doubt one of the best things about Black Panther. I must hand it to Boseman and Jordan for their acting in this film. Boseman’s character chemistry with Shuri was superb, as Boseman and Wright captured a siblings relationship perfectly. I also liked the relationship between Boseman and Nyong’o’s characters. It was well done and developed neatly and smoothly throughout the film. I must give some extra credit to Michael B Jordan. He fully immersed himself in the role of Killmonger and no one else could have played him that way, and especially not to the standard that Jordan did.
Assumably, most people saw the soundtrack of Black Panther prior to actually watching the film. I liked the use of ‘Pray for Me’ by The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar for the casino scene, and I felt putting in a kind of pump in the back was well suited to the setting. I had ‘All the Stars’ by Kendrick Lamar and SZA stuck in my head throughout the film but felt it could have been used elsewhere during the movie. The best musical moment for me was the escape from Korea with Vince Staples and Yugen Blakrok’s ‘Opps’ blasting. It was highly entertaining to watch.
Black Panther’s story was smart and sleek. The way Coogler and Boseman had T’Challa torn between being a good king yet still somewhat unstable was awesome. I liked the opening animation to the film, as it gave us an entertaining yet prompt introduction and backstory to the film. It was also done using Coogler’s classic ‘one-shot’ technique. As mentioned earlier, this was used for T’Challa’s and Erik’s water fight, which left me in awe. I found the story to be a little slow moving in a few places, but I enjoyed it overall. I also enjoyed the action and violence in the film was amazing. I’m a fan of goriness in cinema and Black Panther did it wonderfully. I did feel that for the age rating of 12A it was a bit much, but nonetheless still was fantastic.
Out of everything in Black Panther, there are a few things I must praise and highlight as my favourite parts. First off, the casino scene and escape were just amazing. It showcased the real power Vibranium had and was entertaining to watch. I also loved the scene of Shuri showing off Wakanda’s new tech to T’Challa. Not only did this scene demonstrate a close sibling bond, but gave the audience another insight into what Vibranium is capable of, as well as giving the film a comedic side to it too. I loved the water fight between T’Challa and Killmonger. I know I’ve mentioned it in this post before, but it was magnificent and could not be beaten.
Black Panther gets itself an 8.3/10 from me. From fantastic fight scenes to stunning CGI visuals, Black Panther has got it all. It was well worth the wait and hype, and I think it’s Coogler’s greatest film to date, so much so that Doctor Strange has been booted off the favourites list and now Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther are tied in 3rd place. I wait excitedly for Creed 2. I urge you to go and watch Black Panther. Not only is it the next story in the MCU, but it is incredible. All my expectations for it were filled, and it is truly a masterpiece. Hats off to you Ryan Coogler, you’ve done a brilliant job here!
Thanks for reading this special review of Black Panther. What did you think of the film? Let me know in the comments, and suggest me movies that I should watch. Follow the WordPress for the latest reviews, and follow @Ryans.movie.reviews on Instagram and @RyansMovieRevi1 on Twitter (I didn’t choose the username).
Next Tuesdays review will be a mafia movie. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you then!