Marvel’s Black Panther is the Most Ambitious Superhero Film to Date!
Marvel’s Black Panther is the first of its kind! An extravagant spectacle featuring a plethora of futuristic imagery with an African aesthetic. The first real representation of Afrofuturism on a large scale. Previous films before it have given us a glimpse into the movement but none like this. Starring Chadwick Boseman as the Black Panther himself, a prince returning home to take his rightful place as king.
The Ryan Coogler-directed film takes place in the fictional African country of Wakanda and follows the titular character. Taking place after the events in Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa is faced with the reality that his father is gone, and he is now the King of Wakanda.
The film opens with a young T’challa asking his father T’Chaka about Wakanda’s most valuable resource, vibranium. Then we cut to adult T’Challa on his jet with his personal bodyguard, Okoye (Danai Gurira) both of whom are on the lookout for the Wakandan spy Nakia (Lupita Nyang’o). This scene is key because it sets the tone for the entire film. It shows the relationship between the primary characters. In fact, the best thing about this film is the character dynamics between T’Challa and his family.
Furthermore, the character development highlighted in the film is a breath of fresh air. The writers took their time to carefully craft each character to have their own investments in the plot. Particularly W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out) who lost his family to Klaue’s (Andy Serkis) attack on Wakanda when he was a boy. Speaking of villains, the film’s main antagonist Erik Stevens aka Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) has the best characterization in the film.
With most villains in comic book films, they are rather forgetful and have no genuine purpose for why they are bad. Killmonger, however, has key elements to making a great film villain. He has a connection to the protagonist; he has a valid reason to why he’s trying to get the throne of Wakanda.
Additionally, the film’s visuals are tier-one too. While other Marvel films like Thor: Ragnarok take place in other worlds, Black Panther is set in a fictional country. It makes for a visually stunning fantasy world. Coupled with realistic aesthetics this gives the film an organic feel. Aesthetically, the film is an Afrofuturism masterpiece. However, the only sour point in the film is the climax between Black Panther and Killmonger. Most of the film’s CGI is on point, but like many superhero films, CGI fights between human characters are still very clunky. In comparison, the live action fights are beautifully executed!