Good thing black power is so highly combustible! Amirite? Eh, EH?? (please don’t wiki the combustibility of black powder)
SPOILER FREE feelings on Black Panther incoming! (or at least veeeery light spoilers, nothing that wasn’t in trailers)
I’m writing this after just getting back from seeing Black Panther, and I’m still kind of shaking with energy, it’s SO DAMN GOOD. First thing I did when I got home was purchase the film’s musical score on iTunes, because it’s SO DAMN GOOD. I think the music may be contributing heavily to why I love this movie so much, as well as the super slick costume and set design work. But that’s not to say the narrative itself is bad, in fact it may be one of the most (if not THE MOST) rock solid stories to be featured in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film to date, with clear character arcs and motivations, and well realized and contemporary themes. The cast is extremely likable, with great chemistry all around (although, to be fair, this is true for pretty much all MCU films, always top notch casting). There’s also a refreshing reduction of Joss Whedon-style snarkiness. There’s a good bit of humor, but there aren’t any jokes robbing the emotional and dramatic scenes of their impact. I can only HOPE to get a new Star Wars films that’s daring enough to try this.
But most MCU films tend to let their soundtracks bleed into the background. Black Panther lets its score dictate the operatic drama of the story, a very old school mentality that I alway welcome! The events that play out feel grandiose, and it’s very easy to feel the weight of what’s at stake. Where the vast number of Superhero movies involve a specific doomsday weapon or monster, Black Panther’s threat is more the potential for a destabilizing world leader with vast military power and a fanatical drive to use it, a scenario which is all too relatable. The main villain is also not unjustified in his goals, although his abrasive personality and willingness to sacrifice allies makes him hard to side with from an audience’s perspective.
The only criticisms I have are very minor. I’d have liked to see a few more humanizing moments for Kilmonger to pump up the tragedy of the conflict between him and King T’Challa (not that it isn’t plenty tragic as is). There are also a lot of cartoony looking bits where CG’d characters get thrown twenty or thirty feet through the air and it only knocks the breath out of them. It’s a bit immersion breaking, but by now I just kind of accept it in movies. Also, the couple of fight scenes that take place at night ranged from hard to follow to very hard to follow, although that could have been the lighting in my theater. The scenes might be more visible once I’m watching it on my TV at home. This is some minor stuff. Overall, I was completely engrossed in Black Panther, and would highly recommend it to pretty much anyone, it’s an all around top notch crowd pleaser.
I’m not sure where it lands in my MCU movie ranking. I haven’t rewatched The Avengers in a long time, but I tend to tout that as my favorite, with Winter Soldier just below it. Black Panther may tie Winter Soldier for me, although, dang, I really love hellicarriers (and Cap)! Also Black Panther is a stronger stand alone story, with a fantastic conclusion and epilogue while Winter Soldier is more of an Empire Strikes Back style to be continued. Either way, I’m now very excited for Infinity War.Published on by Alex Kolesar