Review: Black Panther
The King has arrived.
After the events of Captain America: Civil War, T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is heading back to his home country of Wakanda to officially become their King. When an old enemy Klaue (Andy Serkis) is spotted about to make an illegal vibrainium deal, T'Challa along with his general of his Dora Milage guard, Okoye, (Danai Guriria) his ex girlfriend and War Dog spy, Nakia, (Lupita Nyong'o) and some virtual help from his tech genius sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) They stumble upon Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) who has a very compelling reason to hate everything Wakanda stands for.
Black Panther was a stand out in Civil War and now he comes to us with one of the most nuanced stories Marvel has every done. This is more than just a comic book movie. It's that, it sets up Infinity War subtly and nicely, but it's also a Bond film. A social commentary on privilege. A film showcasing female empowerment. It's so much and director Ryan Coogler balances it beautifully. This guy is a powerhouse.
The funny thing about T'Challa, while he's wonderful and amusing, he's not the most interesting character here. The stand out to me was Shuri. Wright was fantastic as this genius teenager who can't help but to mouth off every now and then. She's my new favorite Disney Princess. Of course you all know the abusive relationship I have with The Walking Dead, so you know I'm a huge fan of Danai Gurira and she shines here. If only the TWD writers could give her something this good. Other supporting characters played by Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Basset, Forest Whitaker, and Wintson Duke all have amazing moments as well. But there's a lot to be said about Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger.
A lot of people say Marvel has a villain problem, which is true. It's not specific to Marvel in my opinion but really only Loki and Ultron stand out as memorable villains. But now there's Killmonger. He's easily the most layered villain out there. He's extreme and dangerous, but I understood where he was coming from 100%. His environment made him the way he was and in a way I sympathized in a way I haven't with the other villains. His last line in this film is one of the most powerful things ever said in any comic book movie.
The film does fall victim to a few tropes, but I don't care. I had too much fun. If I have one complaint it's weirdly with Andy Serkis. He was really over the top. His character was a tad goofy in Age of Ultron but he dialed it to 11 and it just didn't work as well as it could've. I'm saying this now, even though it's early, this film needs an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design. I will accept nothing less.
Memorable (non spoiler) Quote: "WHAT ARE THOSE!?! - Shuri (Letitia Wright)