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(film review) - Black Panther

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, was a great film.  Arguably for me, the best stand-alone movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Captain America: Civil War, was a great film.  My opinion on the Russo Brothers second movie with Captain America comes in as a tie for me with it's predecessor.  I just don't think it passes TWS, BUT it does do a great job in introducing the Black Panther character flawlessly to steamroll right through this movie.  You got to see this character, his values, how he presents himself, part of his story AND a glimpse of his country.  As soon as he arrives, it's absolutely no nonsense and you immediately loved the character and like me, wanted to know more.  Now having his own movie, it is a wonder how this movie will go.  Directed by the young Ryan Coogler, who also directed Fruitville Station & Creed, Ryan does the most masterful job on showing us who Black Panther is and where he comes from, Wakanda.

Picking up shortly after the events of Civil War, The Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) returns home to be greeted by his mother, Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) and his Royal Guard the Dora Milaje.  Now that his father, T'Chaka (John Kani) is dead, T'Challa must now take up his Kingship and rule his nation of Wakanda as their new King.  With the emergence of a long time enemy of Wakanda Ulyesses Klaue (Andy Serkis), T'Challa must go on a mission to take down this enemy, but when the mission goes wrong on 'Day-One', this sets some uneasiness with some of the locals and also coincidentally brings forth a new foe Erik 'Killmonger' Setvens (Michael B. Jordan), who is a direct threat to T'Challa and the Throne.  T'Challa must overcome these challenges and threats to himself, his people and the throne.

This is a great and very layered film.  From the beginning of the movie until the very end after the Credits.  The Social commentary and political standpoints in this movie are very apparent, but do not beat you over the head with it.  They address current issues in real life flawlessly as well as negating stereotypes and turning them on it's head.  Very culturally aware and without coming across preachy, is able to drip feed a tiny bit of history of the real world, what has been done, what we do as people and what is likely to happen.  Baring in mind that the MCU is set in the "real world", this movie does a lot to change the narrative a little and opens you up to ideas of what could have been, could be and how things should be.

At first, when I heard and read reviews of this film, I was slightly disappointed once I had finished watching it, but then I asked myself, "what could have been done better?" I thought about this long and hard until I decided that although the film isn't perfect and should have been a little longer, ultimately I needed more from the villain.  This made me realise that, not only was the villain great, his story was also great.

The visuals are amazing.  The colours usedThe acting in this movie from everyone was excellent.  Sure some accents were not THAT great, but you understood where they were going with it and what was being said.  The costumes and outfits were amazing and very well realised and detailed.  Pulling a lot of real life culture into this movies and you could see it.  I've not read a Black Panther comic book, BUT the imagery looked as though it was taken directly from the comics.  The fights scenes although, not a lot, were all pretty good.  The mission fight was just excellent in every way and the use of the camera and the angles were great.  The last fight scene was not THAT great, a little CGI heavy, but they were awful and did not take away from the story.  I do believe that Marvel did a better job in giving us what they have done for a few films now, with their bad guy.  Mentioning the bad guy; excellent.  You understood his motives and although sometimes you just want to hate the bad guy and he must be defeated, he makes you feel sympathetic to his cause.  The film is VERY funny in places, may actually make you cry and I walked away from the film ranting and raving about the character M'Baku (Winston Duke).  People will have their favourites but he was mine.

A lot of people may want different things from this movie due to it being a comic book/superhero movie, but this movie is much bigger than that.  The fact that it didn't really feel like a superhero and it feeling different, but still feeling the same was an achievement which walks the same line as The Winter Soldier for me.  A stand-alone movie that raises the bar and connects to the larger MCU story-arc and will definitely get you excited for Infinity War.  Go watch may even watch it more than once because it is THAT entertaining.


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