Film Review: Black Panther

So for Valentine’s day, I got to watch the much anticipated Black Panther. The latest instalment of the Marvel Universe had some rave reviews from previews and showcases alike. And, as suspected, the film has become a box office hit here in the UK.

So many critics pushed this film as a progressive masterpiece. And they’re right to do so, to a certain extent. I can acknowledge that this film is great, especially with an almost all-black cast. It highlights some real issues in the film industry and gives a predominantly white audience a change of pace. I personally loved it, but I wish it had embraced this from the get-go.

We open the film in a very Marvel way, a theme that continues throughout. We see fight scenes, huge SUV chases and classic Marvel tropes such as the anguished protagonist. I feel as though the issue of race was tacked on. I would have loved to see this as the main theme, but that’s just my personal thoughts on it.

I actually think that what they did with race is great. They showed diversity, a problematic generation gap and the hope of change. The narrative itself follows on from Captain America: Civil War; T’Chala is the new king, and he doesn’t just walk into a perfect reign. He finds that his father did leave problems, that he wasn’t perfect, and that things need to change in Wakanda. I didn’t expect this, but I liked it.

The plot in this film seemed to dip, we see the emergence of a bad guy, who effectively then goes missing for about an hour of screen time. He then turns up again for the final showdown. His departure really shows in the film, and I would’ve liked his background brought into it a bit more, especially when I found out exactly who he is (no spoilers).

That being said, the cast in this film really blew me away. I loved Lupita Nyong’o’s character (her outfits/style is so badass) and I think that the women really shone through. My favourite actor in this film is Danai Gurira. There’s a scene where she literally wips her wig off and lobs it at a villain. That’s who we should all aim to be imo. She was a complex character and had little screen time, but she still felt a main cast member.

I give this film 3.5/5. It was great, but I actually think the hype worked against this movie. It built me up for something mind-blowing, but I left a little sour. Also -1 point ALONE for the “what are THOSE” scene. Seriously, Marvel? Cheap shot for laughs.


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