Sunday, February 18, 2018

Black Panther - Movie Review

   Occasionally a movie comes along that transcends the format and becomes a cultural event.

   We saw it this weekend with the premiere of Black Panther, which is not only a terrific action / adventure film, but also strikes a chord with - and sparks the imagination of - the public.

   Based on the character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, it tells the story of T'Challa, who becomes king of the African kingdom Wakanda when his father T'Chaka is assassinated.

   The world doesn't realize that Wakanda hides a futuristic society, thanks to the influence of a huge Vibranium meteor that struck Earth in ancient times - but its rare properties have made the country wealthy, and the four tribes there are led by a king who takes on the powers of the Panther totem, wears a high tech suit and protects the country as the Black Panther.

   But as T'Challa (played with impressive gravitas, energy and heart by Chadwick Boseman) takes the throne, there are threats to be dealt with, including the machinations of the murderous Ulysses Klaue (played by a manic and vicious Andy Serkis) and the aspirations of the deadly Erik Killmonger (played by a dynamic and magnetic Michael B. Jordan).

   The film features an amazing cast, including powerful women (many of the tribe leaders are women) like Angela Bassett (as Ramonda the Queen Mother), Lupita Nyong'o (as Nakia), Danai Gurira (as Okoye) and Letitia Wright (as Shuri) - they are T'Challa's advisors, his guardians and the inventors of his high tech gear - there's not a shrinking violet in the bunch.

   You'd be mistaken to think that this movie is just another action film - it has heart-wrenching moments and tackles some challenging, thought-provoking topics. Is the safety of the people of Wakanda (read: America) more important than sharing that country's gifts with the needy around the world? Is violence justified in the pursuit of justice? Has the world turned a blind eye to the plight of the people of Africa (and of African descent)?

   There are no easy answers here, and the plot takes several twists and turns along the way. It's a tremendous film, and a real accomplishment by director Ryan Coogler and his production team.

   The film carries a powerful message of both heroism and heritage to audiences all over the world - it's a truly impressive accomplishment, and highly recommended!

Grade: A+



Mr. Brooks said...

I was damn proud. I waited a long time for this movie.
Note to the DCEU: "DON'T SCREW UP GREEN LANTERN JOHN STEWART". Watch this movie AND the BLACK LIGHTNING tv show. They get it.

Mr. Brooks said...

Great review.