Black Panther

If you like Captain America: Civil War and James Bond then you probably like this.

  • Screenplay by Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station) and Joe Robert Cole (Amber Lake)
  • Directed by Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station)
  • Starring Chadwick Boseman (Captain America: Civil War, Get on Up), Michael B Jordan (Creed, Chronicle), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave, the latest Star Wars Franchise) …and so many more
  • Budget of $200m

My initial thoughts 💭<<<
al blockbuster of a film even though we are still a few months away from the summer. Ryan Coogler has really made his mark with this film by creating a Superhero movie that asks real-world questions about what is right or wrong. He cements his position as one of Hollywood's most valuable directors and the Black Panther will have you purring with satisfaction.

The ‘ccc’ review<<<
lowing on a few weeks after the events of Capital America: Civil War, with the King of Wakanda now dead, his son T'Challa (a.k.a Black Panther) must now return home to take his rightful place on the throne. However with challenges made to his throne by one familiar and one unfamiliar throne and questions asked about the future direction of the country, will he be able to lead Wakanda into the new era??? Even more importantly, is the hype of the film to believed….yes it is and what a brilliant film it turned out to be.

Black Panther has always been considered by Studios but no one was willing to pick it up – maybe they didn't believe the commercial viability of the project and felt that a black superhero wouldn't sell. It is believed that Wesley Snipes wanted to play the Black Panther after being approached by Marvel in the 1990s, but given the limitations in special effects at the time it would have meant Snipes battling villains in a leotard and cat ears. Thankfully they waited, Snipes went on to work with Marvel by being the title character in the Blade franchise which went on to be a commercial success in its own right.

Ryan Coogler has done an outstanding job with the Black Panther. He has clearly taken this opportunity with both hands to ensure that the film was a success. Along with his collaborators, he has created a unique identity for the Wakandans drawing from influences from many African cultures. Production designer, Hannah Bachler has used the cultures of Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo and Ethiopia fused with modernist Zaha Hadid and the film Bladerunner to influence the Wakanda's architecture.  Costume designer Ruth E Carter uses the clothes of various African tribes, including the Massai, the Basotho and the Zulu to influence the design of the Wakandan's clothing. As you can see every detail has been considered, and Coogler's Wakanda is his attempt to represent the African continent as a whole.

But it is his story, written along with Joe Robert Cole, that really brings this country to life. There are a number of themes which are brought to light in Black Panther. Mining of the precious vibraninum which enables all the Wakandian technological advances – should this be shared with the world or held back to benefit the country only? Coogler has compared this to  the valuable mineral coltan (used in manufacturing digital products, found only in the Congo region).

Questions are also asked about what is right or wrong to protect communities and countries and bring about real change. Much like how Professor Xavier is based on Martin Luther King and Magneto is based on Malcolm X, we have similar characters in Black Panther. Michael B Jordan turn as Killmonger is brilliant and a great counter to Chadwick Boseman – both their outlooks are at odds with each other but their final goal the same.

The film's central theme as responsibility and identity. As Coogler puts it; "What do the powerful owe those in need? It separates the good-guys from the villains. What value is strength unless you're using it to help someone?". This is where the main conflict of the film is derived.

This doesn't mean this is a dramatic film with no explosions – this still has all the hallmarks of a superhero film, but the story is done with a bit more class and it feels more like a James Bond film rather than a Transformers film.

This is a project where it clearly seems the cast and crew are committed – this is Ryan Coogler's greatest achievement. The cast is very balanced with many influential characters.

Chadwick Boseman plays the principled titled Character with distinction and Michael B Jordan as the brash and ruthless Killmonger is a great juxtaposition to the ethical Black Panter (much like Civil War it is also refreshing to have a villain with no superpowers…initially). Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira are very strong supporting characters and Letitia Wright is entertaining as the Wakanda version of James Bond's gadget guru Q. I haven't even got time to mention Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya and Andy Serkis!!

What are my final thoughts 💭<bfilm will be known as a trialblazer in years to come. There has been a lot that has been made of the film being written and directed by African Americas, having a predominately black cast and being the first major movie superhero to be played by an African protagonist – it has already become the top-grossing film in history by a black director and we wouldn’t be surprised that it continues to smash box office records. But do not let this distract from that fact that this is an excellent film in its own right.  This was the eighteenth film released by Marvel Studios for the Marvel Cinematic Universe [MCU], and I would put it easily in the top 5 best films (Guardians of the Galaxy, Spiderman: Homecoming, Doctor Strange and Civil War are all worthy contenders for the best MCU film) – but this is a debate for another time. Black Panther has made a huge impact and is here to stay (more so because Chadwick Boseman has signed a 5 year deal with Marvel). Bring on Avengers: Infinity War.

🎥 😊A brilliant film that deserves the hype

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