By: Josh Brunson
This is more than your average superhero movie. With Black Panther, Ryan Coogler delivers an epic, Shakespearean drama that tackles a lot of important and relevant themes, while also just being a great movie. The plot, while simple to follow, presents a Wakandan revolution that echoes a lot of feelings and events, that are happening in the real world today. All of this is anchored in the story about T’Challa, his family and Killmonger facing the sins of the previous generation and trying to break away from it. It’s the differences in how they try to break away that brings T’Challa and Killmonger into conflict. There is a lot that viewers can break down from the plot, but it’s also contained within a compelling action drama that’s fun to watch, and that’s an achievement.
The performances were fantastic all around here, with standouts being pretty much the entire cast, but some of my favorites were Letitia Wright as Shuri and Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger. The dynamic between T’Challa and Shuri is great, with her being his genius tech support as well as his snarky little sister. Killmonger might just be the best villain the MCU has presented us with, thanks in no small part to Jordan’s performance. Also, this movie is gorgeous, with some great cinematography and beautiful visuals that highlight the tribal yet futuristic aesthetic that befits a place like Wakanda. Throw in some well-choreographed action scenes and some solid humor and you’ve got a recipe for one good movie.
Now no movie is perfect, but the only real flaws I see are in two areas. The story does rely on a couple tropes that the MCU has used before in its origin stories (such as the villain being a dark reflection of the hero) but they’re executed so well I can’t complain. The story also moves at a very brisk pace and there’s so much going on, that some moments didn’t have enough time to breathe. However, comparing that to everything this movie does right, those are minor complaints.
Overall, Black Panther is a great movie and well worth buying a ticket. Not only that, but to see a quality, big budget, blockbuster MCU entry directed by and starring people who look like me is a beautiful thing. We need more of this, and from the looks of things, we’re going to be getting more soon. Wakanda Forever!!!