‘Black Panther’ (2018, 12A)

Is ‘Black Panther’ a claw-some superhero blockbuster or a bit of a panth-failure?

After the events of Captain America: Civil War‘, Prince T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns to his home nation of Wakanda — a country with technology and equipment that far surpasses any other, hidden behind the guise of a third-world state deep inside Africa. But after he becomes king, T’Challa sees that Wakanda’s privacy and isolation is under threat, and he must protect his nation’s borders by becoming the Wakandan warrior and defender: the Black Panther.

We first saw Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther back in ‘Civil War’, and then his character and performance left me with a lasting impression — his weaponry and armour, made from advanced technology and futuristic materials, merged with his traditional and tribal panther imagery, is a symbol of his entire country, these futuristic technologies merged with ancient traditions seamlessly. This was the perfect backdrop for a film tackling some pretty big political subjects, but hidden within an excellent action-packed superhero plot.

As to be expected with Marvel films now, the visuals were superb throughout ‘Black Panther’, especially the CGI and other visual effects. What really brings this film alive though is the excellent performances from all the cast, as their chemistry and charisma is all there, especially in the lead, Chadwick Boseman. I think probably my only gripe is we didn’t get to see much of the main villain, played by Michael B. Jordan, though what we did see was portrayed excellently.

The action in this film is very good — though I’m in two minds as to whether there was enough or not. Part of me wishes for a bit more of a hard-hitting, ‘The Dark Knight‘-esque plot with lots of martial arts fist-fights, but then on the other hand I feel that we needed a lot of the expositional parts of the story included in the film to explain what was going on, and I never felt bored or as if the film was dragging on. However, the action-scenes in ‘Black Panther’ are exceptional, especially those when we get to see the Black Panther in his full, expertly-trained fighter glory.

The plot of ‘Black Panther’ is nothing special — it’s solid, and does well to introduce the character of Black Panther and his life in Wakanda, though at some points it is a little predictable.

Overall, ‘Black Panther’ is a strong addition to the Marvel universe, featuring some good action and characters. For that, it deserves an eight-out-of-ten.

8/10.

 

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