By Brennan Atkins & Noah Barnes
Since the release of “Captain America: Civil War,” Marvel fans have been highly anticipating the release of Black Panther’s very own movie. Fans were even more ecstatic at the announcement “Creed” director Ryan Coogler was making the film. “Black Panther” is the final movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) before the release of “Avengers: Infinity War.”
This film features one of Marvel’s most star-studded casts yet. Chadwick Boseman returns as the king of Wakanda himself, T’Challa. His performance in the movie is fantastic – it does the royal feline-fighter justice as an adaptation of the comics.
The antagonist of the movie is played by Michael B. Jordan, and is known as Killmonger.
Despite such an inviting name, he delivers one of the stronger performances in the film, which is to be expected as he has worked with Ryan Coogler twice before.
This isn’t to say that the rest of the cast isn’t good – Andy Serkis from the “Lord of The Rings,” Lupita Nyong’o from “12 Years a Slave” and Daniel Kaluuya from “Get Out” all work very well as supporting roles and keep the film fun, but also add dramatic undertones.
The visuals in this movie are different from the typical MCU film – there is more of a focus on the cinematography than the visual effects. There are some genuinely beautiful shots in the movie, colors are vibrant and it has a unique style that differentiates from other Marvel entries.
Unfortunately, the visual effects are less than stellar. The ships, animals and some of the buildings are lackluster, and at times can take you out of the movie completely. However, when they do end up using practical effects, it balances out some of the more CG-filled moments.
The soundtrack is refreshing. Recently Marvel incorporated many classic rock songs into their soundtracks, so to have a hip-hop/rap soundtrack is new and exciting.
The characters in the film all have goals they must reach and obstacles they must overcome. T’Challa knows his ultimate goal is to serve and protect the people of Wakanda. However, he has trouble doing this without the assistance of his father, who was previously king.
Killmonger is one of the more interesting MCU villains, showing a side not seen in Ultron or Red Skull. The film shows his past and what makes him who he is today. This justifies everything he does throughout the movie, and his intentions are very clear.
Ryan Coogler did a very good job in contrasting these two characters. In the end, these two are what really make the movie pop, and they’re incredibly enjoyable.
In the last couple years, Marvel has really stepped up its game. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Spiderman: Homecoming” and “Thor Ragnarok” have shown its quality control has gone up exponentially in this last decade.
While there are some problems with visual effects and some odd character choices, “Black Panther” has definitely solidified its spot as one of Marvel’s greatest hits.
Grade: A-, The King of Wakanda’s first solo entry is another Marvel hit!