Discussion in 'Black Panther' started by samsnee, Feb 13, 2018.
My official, spoiler-free review of Black Panther.
Ok, so I kinda went in blind not having read reviews. I'll read other opinions later on but here's my review.
This is very much a movie of two halves for me. The first half is a bit frustrating in terms of there not being a lot of interesting drama going on, it's not until the second half of the film where the film finally picks up. It's a strange intertwining of political film, fantasy film, sci-fi film, superhero film and spy film that sometimes works and other times doesn't.
I think the problem is there's a lack of build up to any conflict until the second half of the movie, so for a good 45 mins it's a lot of character stuff that doesn't really go anywhere interesting. It's not helped by the fact the film seems to be taking itself a bit too seriously at times. Second half is where the film turns into something better in a large part thanks to Killmonger, who is probably the best villain Marvel have produced since Loki. Overall the story has more emotional stakes and the pacing increases from this moment on.
What's surprising to me is how uninteresting T'Challa is compared to the rest of the cast. It's almost like Boseman plays the role with too much gravitas. It's only his interaction with Shuri that some sense of personality comes through. Things get better as the stakes increase and Wakanda is under threat, but it take as while to really warm up to the character. Shuri is the best character in the film, she's a bright spark in a sometimes overly serious movie. Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira are both pretty kick arse, although I think Nyongo's character could have done with some better character development. Andy Serkis' Klaue feels like a bit of a waste, I kind of expected more from his character to be honest, and Martin Freeman just feels a bit pointless.
Action sequences are kinda mixed. Some stuff looks overly CGIed, other stuff looks pretty cool, but it's nothing groundbreaking. The third act climax is probably the best sequence of the film, with one of the most unexpectedly hilarious surprises that I didn't see coming (you got me move, you got me). The overall look of the film is pretty good, although I would have like to have seen more action take place within the actual city streets of Wakanda. We really only get a glimpse of life in that part of the country.
So where does this stand? Upper-mid tier of Marvel films I'd say. It's different from the other Marvel films, and it has more of a political voice than I was anticipating (though not a preachy one), and visually it's very unique. Had the first act been cleaned up a bit more and the emotional stakes set up earlier in the film I think this would be up their with the best MCU film. But there's still a lot to like about it, just not something to really love.
A decent 7/10.
I think jmc makes a couple good points about the script. Specifically there is a big lack of conflict in the first half. Not a huge deal breaker for me. I do think T'Challa does a get a bit overshadowed at times.
Very unique and interesting film, something a little bit different from the norm for the MCU and its all the better for it and one of their best villains so far, although Im not sure I would call him that, more like someone who has a different perspective on things (It will make sense when you see it!) but Killmonger was really well done and Klaw was pretty damn good too.
It felt a very separate piece from other Marvel films but again that sort of makes sense once the theme of the movie is shown so it all makes sense.
Its going to be interesting to see the reaction to this one as it certainly doesnt feel like just another MCU film in terms of structure or style, a lot less jokes and much more gravitas this time round, very different to a GotG for example and the action set pieces are almost secondary to the films characters and political views, it also felt a lot slower in its pacing. None of these things are bad, in fact I welcomed most of them, but it may take a little adjusting for some who are used to how MCU films usually play out.
Overall though a darn good entry in the MCU universe, different sure, but maybe thats what is needed, to keep things fresh and interesting each time out. All the cast were excellent and brought their A game and in particular the females of the piece got as much time to shine as their male compatriots.
I just got back from seeing it. I enjoyed it quite a bit, I didn't think it was the strongest MCU movie, but also not the worst I've seen. I think I enjoyed it more than Thor Ragnarok, but not as much as Spider-man. I'm still debating how it compares to Guardians 2.
I feel like Black Panther takes a while to get going, the first 45 minutes (maybe even half) is a little slow and might be hard to sit through on a rewatch. I also found some of it a little confusing. Once it gets going, it gets really good. I feel like the movie started to get great when the bad guy's plan started unfolding. The ending is really entertaining.
I really enjoyed the humor in this one. It wasn't nearly as excessive or annoying as the Ragnarok humor, it all felt appropriate for the situation. A lot of the movie was actually very serious and played straight, which was refreshing (definitely not a comedy).
I feel like the side characters could have been a little more interesting. Overall I would say it's not one I'll be rewatching a whole lot, but it was fun to see and I would reccomend it.
Fantastic movie worthy of every praise its been getting. Going again tomorrow probably watch it several times more.
I second this. I really enjoyed it but it takes a while to pick up speed, when Michael B. Jordan is more front and center. But it was a visual treat, a very topical film and a refreshing detour from the usual MCU formula before Infinity War. The cast was amazing in this, particularly Jordan, Nyongo, Gurira and Letitia Wright.
People keep mentioning the slow 45 minutes. Imo I loved everything about the beginning of the movie and wish it slowed down even more. It was going way to fast and didn't sit in one place enough for my taste. I wanted way more of Sterling Brown's character and Zhuri when they were younger. Idk I guess I was just connecting to the blackness of it.
Best movie since CW imo 10/10
I'm kind of shocked by how often I've read that Chadwick is one of the weaker aspects of the film and and at times overshadowed. I wonder if it's a case of his performance being good just not as good as others (Bale with Ledger in this case Boseman with Jordan) or if his performance just isn't that good. I haven't seen the film yet but from what I've read it sounds Boseman is a little too stoic at times, I've also read people say they liked Black Panther's character more in Civil War.
This movie was excellent. I definitely don't think Jordan overshadowed Boseman. If anything Jordan overacted in the role. Whereas boseman was more nuanced. You believed everything he said as the character.
I was pleasantly surprised by the film, after not caring for Coogler's past movies (not a Rocky/boxing fan, and I couldn't finish Fruitvale Station). It's not a great film by any means, but it's decent enough, and for once Marvel Studios managed to make an earnest film that didn't constantly undercut its own drama.
I suppose the best thing about the film was its ambiance. The actors, locations, tech, costumes and music all added up to creating something interesting to watch. It was a nice change of pace from most blockbusters.
That said, the film was a little jumbled, and with so many characters it felt like we hardly got to know any of them. And the action was very choppy and hard to follow, like the choreography was underdeveloped so they tried to hide it in the editing. The CGI was also spotty in several places, as is customary with these film. I concur with what other posters said about the film taking itself too seriously. [blackout]Zuri's death was almost comical,
yet that's obviously not what the filmmakers intended.[/blackout]
All in all in was a pleasant if ultimately uninvolving time at the movies. I suppose it did its job, though, as it convinced me to go ahead and see Infinity War (which I was ambivalent about). 7.5/10 (I rounded to 8 for the poll). Not sure if I like this or Ragnarok more.
Not bad at all. 7/10 or maybe 8/10 if I'm in the right mood.
No preachy politics so that's a relief. The normal politics you expect from a story about a King.
Movie drags a bit at times. CGI is noticeable in spots too. I didn't think the fight scenes were noteworthy at all and this disappointed me a little after the great stuff in Winter Soldier and Civil War.
The cast does a good job all around. Wasn't too keen on Micheal B Jordan though. The characters were well written and all worked together well.
The story kept me engaged but isn't anything special.
Great visuals! Pretty to look at.
I wondered about that.
But their big scene at the end was very cool.
Another thing that I wonder about that bothers me a bit:
Why does Hollywood so often portray non white races as clinging to traditions from hundreds of years in the past no matter how advanced they become? That doesn't happen with white characters.
Agreed 100%. I didn't really think much of MBJ in the movie. Sterling K Brown was much more charismatic as his father to me. I would have cast him in the role.
I'd also add I like T'Challa much more in this film than CW. In that he came off as a revenge-crazed buffon who couldn't see that he was being manipulated. His characterization in this film was much closer to the comics and what I expected.
everybody came off as a buffoon in civil war because they were all being manipulated, plus his dad was killed right in front of him so it made sense. plus him choosing at the end not to let revenge consume him (whilst the avengers were busy beating each other to pieces in the background) really solidified my liking for him because he made the mature decision.
The difference is that all the other characters were already established, CW was Black Panther's first film. It left a bad impression on me and made me worried about the future of the character. The resolution of T'Challa's arc in that film was heavy-handed and a little obvious for me. The stilted dialogue and Boseman's delivery of the Wakandan accent also didn't help.
meh. his motivations were understandable and his arc felt pretty straight forward to me. is his wakandan accent in civil war any different from the one in black panther?
Damn... It's by far the most inspired Marvel movie to date. Ryan Coogler took what would seem to be a standard superhero quasi-origin movie and added in much needed world building that's not in space. They do a fantastic job on showing you the legacy and history of the Black Panther and how the geopolitics affect the country of Wakanda. Chadwick Boseman nails it as Black Panther even more so when he was in Civil War. It was reserved, but there was levels to it. It probably wouldn't have worked as well if it weren't for the amazing supporting cast. Letitia Wright Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, and the others did an amazing job. Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger is probably the MCU's best villain since Loki. While he's not totally sympathetic, they gave him dimensions to where he's a fully fledged character. The music is another big part of this movie. While I love the soundtrack and it's used perfectly, the score was absolutely amazing... adding vocals to your score makes a big difference. As for the action, it's not as strong as the story side of things (even the CG felt kinda spotty), but there's some great moments towards the end and the final battle. This movie is a great blend of Hamlet and James Bond. It's serious with some light hearted moments throughout. Overall, it's one of Marvel's best and it's a great reminder that the superhero genre still has potential to grow and expand.
Had my second viewing last night this where I start to notice my gripes with a movie and it was the same here.
Still loved it but these were my things that could have maybe been better
Firstly the initial fight scene in the jungle is so insanely dark at times I honestly felt like I was watching a pirate version, not sure if they used a different fight choreographer from Civil War but his fight scenes seemed a lot less original this time.
Why would the most technologically advanced civilization on Earth still decide its political leaders by trial by combat, I think its one of those things that's going to stick out the more you watch it. I realise it might be a big thing in the comics but I wasn't really a fan of that part.
The final fight between BP and Killmonger with each in their suit has got some of the most easy to spot cgi I have ever seen form Marvel.
Saw it yesterday.
Loved almost everything about it. The characters, the world-building, the visuals and cinematography were breathtaking. Michael B. Jordan and Andy Serkis killed it as Killmonger and Klaue and Boseman owned T'Chaka. Great supporting characters too and almost everyone stole the show (Nakia, Shuri and Okoye were a spotlight).
Really liked how isolated it was from other MCU films and how story and character-driven it was. Especially Killmonger's backstory.
The Wakanda stuff was amazing and really great showcase of the afro-futurism with a great soundtrack embedded too. Really hoped for more Kendrick Lamar and others tracks from the album incorporated in the film (Pray for Me, All the Stars and Opps were greatly used, though).
The action was brutal and although not a lot, the sequences were still awesome,
My only grip is with the CGI in the final act (especially the showdown between T'Challa and Killmonger in the mining area). The CGI was very obvious there and at parts looked like a videogame.
Other than that, an amazing and unique MCU entry and would land probably in Top 5 for me.
Just watched it a second time. I liked it more this time around, but my rating and ranking still holds though.
Non spoiler overview.
Black Panther is one of the most thoughtful and intelligent films made in this genre. Tremendous world building; great character development; and a incredibly positive message that had me leaving the theater feeling positive and hopeful.
You quickly get invested in the characters and the story offers a great number of twists that keep you engaged throughout. The movie takes you through a myriad of emotions. I can't wait to get back to this world for another film. Action sequences are incredibly entertaining and are fascinating enough that I want to go back and see in an IMAX theater.
Make sure to sit through all the credits. Two bonus scenes. The last one the best zinger.
It's a great movie that speaks strongly to self-empowerment and managing the hand life deals you. I highly recommend this film to everyone.
Here is my review:
Coming into Black Panther when the project was announced, I was both excited and nervous. I was excited because T'Challa is one of the finest characters Marvel has and one of the remaining Avengers characters worthy of his own film series. But, I had some reservation because of some pitfalls the project could have had. I didn't not want to see the version like in Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes where T'Challa is always talking about how they need to do away with their savage ways and be more like the West. For me, it's an offensive way to see the character as it is kind of insulting African culture. I didn't want to see that. But, Ryan Coogler and Marvel not only avoid such problems, they turn them on their head. Black Panther is perhaps the most socially relevant film the MCU has made.
Much of the credit for the film goes to Ryan Coogler. He is quickly proving to be one of the most talented filmmakers working today. I had seen that with this film, he wanted to make something truly African, and he succeeded in spades. Coogler pays much attention to detail with the costume design, the film score, the accents, etc. Wakanda feels real. Coogler also does not avoid asking hard questions. One thing I see much complaint about with the MCU is the amount of fluff and lack of substance or bite. I don't agree with that, but even the most stubborn critic will be hard pressed to level this against Black Panther. This film shows us a country that is more advanced than any other, and asks the question of how they can sit by and allow others to suffer when they can do something about it? I like this approach to the story. Instead of Wakanda needing to be more like Western civilization, we're seeing how the world needs to be more like Wakanda. This was the right approach and a much better thing for T'Challa to struggle with.
The MVP of the movie though has to be Erik Killmonger. For all the flack the MCU gets for its "villain problem" the MCU lately has just been crushing it on this front in phase 3 overall. But, Killmonger may be the best single film villain that the Studio has produced. Much like Loki, we can see why Killmonger is angry at Wakanda, and the world in general, and much of what he is saying you absolutely agree with. The best villains in film always have a point-of-view the audience can understand, and often times see merit in. It doesn't hurt that Michael B. Jordan gives the best performance in any film I have seen him in, as well. While I still give the nod to Loki for his lasting impact on the MCU and how we have seen him evolve, Killmonger I do feel has the single best appearance in a villain role to date.
As for faults with the film, I had really only 2. First, the CG in this film is not fabulous. It's not unprofessional looking like Justice League, but you absolutely can tell what is CG and what is real in this film without any real issue. I don't think it ever reaches the point it takes you completely out of the movie, but a couple points in the movie almost made me pause. The second would be the first 45 minutes of the film is very much world building and the actual plot doesn't really get going. Once the plot gets going, the film gets fantastic really fast and stays there, though. I get the slow burn being required to suck you into Wakanda, but it comes close to feeling slow.
In the end, Black Panther was an important film. It had the opportunity to be the voice for a culture that Hollywood often times does not recognize enough, and it forces you to ask yourself hard questions. Black Panther and Captain America: The Winter Soldier are probably the "smartest" and most serious in tone films the MCU has made to date. But, it also does not forget it is a superhero fantasy film, either. All parties involved nailed T'Challa, I cannot wait to see this new franchise grow. Phase 3 of the MCU has so far yielded the best collection of films, and Black Panther continues this trend.
Overall Rating - 5/5
Great review Spider-Fan! Well stated.
So much cool stuff in the movie. The tone, the visuals, the imagination on display.
I only wish T'Challa, Shuri, and some of the other side characters were more interesting. Too much time was spent on side characters as well. A lot of the scenes I was surprisingly unengaged.
I also found the pacing way off and repetitive (the amount of times we see the ancestral plane process, for example).
7/10 for me.
I try, LOL! Gracias for the compliment