Review: Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ Is Black, Beautiful & Brilliant

Marvel Black Panther Ryan Coogler Chadwick BosemanBack in 2014 rumors flew around that Marvel Studios was looking to cast Chadwick Boseman as its leading man for Black Panther. Those rumors were heavily denied up until Marvel Studios held an event at the El Capitan theater in Hollywood, showcasing its entire slate for Phase 3 of The Marvel Cinematic Universe. The studio surprised the crowd with the news that Captain America 3 would follow the Civil War storyline as well as introduce none other than Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther. It was also announced that Boseman would have a solo film two years after Civil War hit theaters. The introduction of Boseman in Captain America: Civil War was a home run. Fans loved him and wanted to immediately see more of him. Black Panther was such a great character in the film and the story acted as a great device to lead into his solo film. Ryan Coogler, who is normally at home with Warner Brothers, was essentially poached by Disney and Marvel Studios to direct Black Panther, and that’s when fans knew Marvel wasn’t trying to play games with this film.

When Coogler boarded Black Panther it was automatically assumed by fans that his long time collaborator Michael B. Jordan would also join the film, and that assumption was correct. Jordan joined Black Panther as the film’s villain, Erik Killmonger. This stunned fans because Jordan was attached to the failed Fantastic Four reboot and they thought he would be contractually obligated to return, but lucky for us, that was all out the window. As the film’s cast developed with the likes of Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o and The Walking Dead star Danai Gurira, it was becoming more apparent that this project would be like no superhero film before it. Black Panther would be the first superhero movie with a predominantly black cast, with just two supporting white characters. Every trailer, TV Spot and bit of news that was released amped up excitement for the film. When it was announced that Kendrick Lamar would be composing an album for the film, fans went nuts. Black Panther was becoming something special.

My excitement and expectations for the film were quite high. I’ve never gotten a real black superhero movie before. Yeah, I mean you can count Blank Man, Spawn, and Blade. But, the first one was a comedy and the latter two were kind of demonic anti-heroes. So, Black Panther is the first black superhero film of my generation and pretty much of all time. I finally got to see Black Panther last week and when I tell you that I wholeheartedly feel like this is one of the best superhero films of all time, I mean that.

Marvel Black Panther Black Panther continues Chadwick Boseman’s story as the newly crowned King T’Challa. The movie’s plot is one of the most complex plots that Marvel Studios has ever done. Full of amazing twists and turns, Black Panther is one of the most separated films from the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. It has the bare minimum when it comes to connections to the larger universe as a whole and that’s one of the areas it succeeds. The movie itself celebrates African culture and shows people of color in a light that has rarely been done on this scale of film. It’s a much-needed change of pace for blockbusters and it’s way past time that we see people of color shine the way they do in Black Panther. There’s even a scene with Danai Gurira that will make you proud of who you are no matter how your hair is and looks. This will resonate with millions of black women and girls around the globe and I think it’s the perfect message for a film like this to send.

Besides the message the film succeeds to send, the stunts and how they portrayed the strong women of the Dora Milaje and Lupita Nyong’o’s character was amazing. All of the stunts in the film supersede a majority of superhero films and the action definitely takes the cake. The film has Ryan Coogler‘s stamp all over it. You can tell it’s his film and it finally feels like Marvel is letting the directors run free in Phase 3. The acting in this film is by far the best in any Marvel Cinematic Universe entry and this film gives us the best-portrayed villain any Marvel or DC film has ever done. I believe Michael B. Jordan has just taken the crown from the late and great Heath Ledger as the best comic book movie villain of all time.

Black Panther T'Challa KillmongerChadwick Boseman plays the role of the young king who has just ascended to the throne due to the loss of his father so brilliantly. Boseman’s T’Challa has grown since we last saw him in Captain America: Civil War. He is no longer the man who wants vengeance for his father’s death, so we get to see him in a very different, non-vengeful light. His chemistry with the entire cast just works. But it’s the scenes that he shares with Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira and Martin Freeman where he shines the most. His banter and cool aura make him worthy of the Black Panther mantle. His weakest moments are when he plays off of Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger. Jordan’s on-screen charisma and acting ability completely steals the screen away from Boseman. That’s not to take anything away from Boseman, but Jordan’s backstory and portrayal of Killmonger was absolutely incredible. He has this way of making you feel conflicted and almost want to root for him to succeed as his character is more like an anti-hero, but you know that ultimately his way is not the right way. The film evolves the relationship between the two leads to the point where Boseman becomes the Martin to Jordan’s Malcolm. Jordan’s final scene is a tear-jerker that’ll make you reevaluate your feelings towards his character’s ideals.

The women of the film shine so brightly. Danai Gurira plays a military leader and right hand to Boseman’s T’Challa and she whooped some serious butt in the film. There’s an action sequence with Gurira’s Okoye that will leave the audience in awe. Lupita Nyong’o shines as Nakia, the reluctant revolutionary that comes back to support her King. Throughout the film, Nakia struggles with her place in Wakanda, but ultimately finds her way by the end of the film. Nyong’o hasn’t done many action films, so this film includes her first of many fight scenes and she definitely brings the pain. Action sequences with women are few and far between but with films like Black Panther and Wonder Woman opening the door the future is looking very bright.

Marvel Black Panther

Letitia Wright is the comedic relief of the film and that is seriously not a bad thing. She’s like a female Tony Stark, capturing the screen and making you want more of her. Angela Bassett plays the role of Queen as well as she does with any other role. She doesn’t really have a stand out scene in the film, but she gets no complaints from me as Angela Basset can do no wrong. Forest Whitaker has a more complex role than the marketing lets on and what happens with him in the film will shock you. Sterling K. Brown’s secret role in the film is the glue to making the entire plot work and he plays his part marvelously. Martin Freeman returns as Everett K. Ross and he has a more hands-on role in this film compared to Captain America: Civil War. His character is the only white character that has a lot to do and he handles it with expert precision. Andy Serkis returns as the villainous Ulysses Klaue and now that he’s one hand short, he’s even more menacing. The first time we met Klaue was in Avengers: Age of Ultron and what we saw of him there was a great indicator of what would play out in Black Panther. Klaue was already branded a thief by Wakanda and the film doesn’t shy away from that.

Black Panther does what other Marvel films don’t really get a chance to do. It breathes. It explains the plot, builds its characters through one film instead of many, and develops a villain with a backstory that rivals any comic book movie villain that came before him. What feels like a slow build ends up making Black Panther feel complete. I’m glad that Marvel let Coogler do what he does best with this movie. The cinematography and the special effects make everything beautiful. This movie will make any Black Panther fan proud. It was everything you’d want it to be. It’s black. It’s beautiful. It’s brilliant. More importantly, it’s for the culture. Go see it.

Rating: 10/10

10 Characters That Need To Be Avengers In Marvel’s Phase Four

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Avengers Superhero Stories ThriveAvengers: Infinity War arrives this year, and will be followed by a currently untitled fourth Avengers film that will close off Phase 3 and will mark a new chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In Phase 4 it is safe to say audiences will meet a new roster of the Avengers.

Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America have been the pillars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since its inception, as their individual films have guided lead audiences into each Avengers film. But with the next two Avengers film it is safe to say the curtain will set for those three. That means the Avengers as audiences know them will change dramatically. This means the team will need some new members, ones that will make a big impression to fill the shoes of their predecessors.

While the status of other founding members like the Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye and more up in the air right now, part of the fun in the Avengers comics is the ever-changing roster. The latest roster for the Avengers needs to make a statement. This isn’t the same old Avengers, this is the beginning of a new chapter. Some characters should be upgraded, others will take center stage as the new tentpole franchises, and the Avengers will be new.

Here are the ten characters that should make up the roster for Marvel’s New Avengers. Click Next to get started!

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Nate Brail

Nate Brail

Executive Editor. Lion. Geek. Friendly neighborhood A-Hole Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @NateBrail

  • Clark

    “Better than Ledger” I stopped there

  • KnightSecular_

    yea won’t be seeing this in theaters, just dont give a crap.

  • Seb

    It’s good but it’s just another Marvel movie, there’s nothing particularly special about it

  • Cris

    It was a beautiful movie. Jet the story was a little thin and predictable at times. That being said: I do not understand how this is a game changer or how the endcredit scenes are gamechangers. I don’t understand the hype around it in general. Maybe you have to be american to understand.

    PS: Killmonger was good but still worlds away from Ledger.