review by Bobby Blakey
Captain America: Civil War was not only an awesome film it also introduced new players in the Marvel Cinematic Universe like Spider-Man who already made a big splash on the MCU with his own new film Spider-Man: Homecoming. For me though one of the most exciting additions was that of the Black Panther played to perfection by Chadwick Boseman. Now T’Challa is finally getting his own feature aptly titled Black Panther that features a great cast including Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis with Creed director Ryan Coogler at the helm, but does it to his majesty justice or will it fail to live up to the legend of the king?
Black Panther follows King T'Challa who returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country's new leader. However, T'Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakanadan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war. There is a lot of anticipation and expectations to this latest Marvel entry and it more than lives up to the hype, but might not connect with everyone. This has nothing to do with race it has everything to do with the way this film is constructed.
Picking up right after Captain America: Civil War it uses this as a catalyst to connect you to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but this is a movie all its own. Much in the way that the first Guardians of the Galaxy came out of left field to do its own thing, Black Panther uses the same format playing up the fact that Wakanda has been kept a secret from the outside world. There are numerous layers to this film with the biggest being T’Challa finding his place as the new king as well as the struggle to keep the traditions and secrets that Wakanda has maintained for years. Chadwick Boseman steps back into the role with ease getting to flex his acting to give the character even more depth than the small amount of time he had in Civil War.Everything about his portrayal and
that of the world of Wakanda makes this film so much more than most of the other Marvel films. That doesn’t mean it is better, but it makes no secret about making sure that it is not just falling in line with everything else while still keeping connected.
Boseman leads the charge to perfection bringing layers to T’Challa and making him more than just a superhero, but a leader that is a necessity for the character to work. On the other side of the same coin is Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger who is easily the best of the Marvel Universe villains to date. You can understand and sympathize with what he feels and why he is doing what he is doing. This is a man filled with a lost sense of purpose and pure hate and rage that has a purpose and it isn’t some cheesy take over the world scheme, he has purpose and vengeance in his heart and mind and he will not be stopped. The rest of the cast are all great as well with Letitia Wright stealing every scene she is in as T’Challa’s sister Shuri.
This is a visually stunning film that fully embraces the cultures and technology like we have never seen before. The traditional flair to the music is awesome and adds a whole new layer that I loved that made the film work so much better. As great as the movie is there are some pretty slow moments and elements that I had hoped they had embellished a bit more on. I have truly loved the Black Panther character since I was a kid and had high hopes for this film and while it isn’t the best in the MCU for me it still works great enough that I cannot wait to return to Wakanda soon. As always stay through the credits for two extra scenes that aren’t anything that will wow the audience, but are still fun to watch and set the tone to the future.
This release not only includes the record breaking feature, but also a ton of bonus content including a director’s intro, commentary, deleted scenes, a first look at “Ant-Man and the Wasp”, a gag reel, and numerous featurettes taking you behind the scenes of bringing this film to the big screen and a special exclusive sneak peek at Marvel Studios first ten years.
Join the fight for Wakanda with Black Panther available now on Digital HD, 4K Ultra HD™ and Movies Anywhere and then on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™, DVD and On-Demand on May 15.