Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great characters, lots of fun
The Bottom Line:
Gets entertaining movie
A bit long, still fun
Finding Fun in Superhero Movies Again
Marvel’s marketing is definitely working. By making all of their movies different chapters in the same story, I feel like I have to keep watching to keep up with them all. Otherwise, I probably would have skipped a few of them, and Black Panther is probably one of them. Instead, I was there on opening day to meet the newest superhero to grace the big screen with his own film.
We meet T’Challa, aka Blank Panther (Chadwick Boseman), as he is about to become king of his people. While the rest of the world thinks it is a nation of poor farmers, in actuality, Wakanda is rich and technologically superior to the rest of the world thanks to a special element they discovered centuries ago.
T’Challa has barely taken the throne when word reaches Wakanda that Klaue (Andy Serkis) has stolen some of this element and is planning to sell it on the black market. What no one knows is that Klaue is working with Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordon) who has his own agenda. T’Challa heads out to try to stop Klaue. What will happen?
Like I suspect most people, I watch superhero movies to have fun. I view them as pure escapism. When they take themselves too seriously, I lose that sense of fun (I’m looking at you most of the DC Comics movies). On the other hand, I do want them to take themselves seriously enough that I care about the outcome (Thor: Ragnarok, I’m looking at you). This movie strikes that perfect balance. The action scenes are delightful, and there are some great lines. Still, the movie takes itself seriously enough that we care about the outcome.
This is a hard balance for a film to have, and the actors do a great job of pulling it off. There isn’t a bad actor in the bunch, and they make us care about the outcome.
Do I really need to mention special effects at this point? They are fantastic, and further help pull us into this fanciful movie.
You’ll notice I was talking about having fun earlier. I was a little afraid we’d be lectured a few times in the movie, and they start to go there but they managed to pull back before it goes too far. And I certainly will not argue with the overall message that we are all brothers and sisters who should be helping each other out. Sadly, that is a lesson that we have never mastered in human history.
My real complaint comes from the length. At two hours and fifteen minutes, it feels long. I’m not sure what could have been cut to make the film better, so many that’s just me.
This being Marvel, there are scenes after the credits start to roll. There are two in fact, so be sure you sit through both of them.
Since we’d already met him, it’s nice to see Black Panther get a full movie so we can really get to know him. This is a fun superhero movie that will please any fan of the genre.