10 years of Marvel Cinematic Universe.
18 movies. It’s safe to say Marvel plays a huge part in this generation. From its generally likeable characters and light hearted humour, to its breathtaking cinematics and epic score, Marvel never fails to strike the right balance to constantly release amazing films. Black Panther proved to be no exception.
Note: I wrote this summary under the assumption you have seen the previous movies (more specifically ‘Captain America: Civil War’). If you haven’t, I highly recommend you do so as it is a pretty good one.
Somewhat Brief Not Highly Specific Plot Summary:
The film is set in Present day Wakanda following the events of ‘Captain America: Civil War’. King T’Chaka (played by Atandwa Kani) is now dead, leaving the legacy of Wakanda to his son T’Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman) . Wakanda is seen to be a country living in poverty that struggles to provide for themselves. This, however, isn’t actually the case: Wakanda is rich in the world’s strongest metal, Vibranium (the fancy stuff that makes Captain America’s shield and the Black Panther Suit and Bucky’s arm and some other things which is weird seeing as it is meant to be “rare” but ok).
Anyways, we see T’Challa become King then lose said role to his long lost cousin that appears out of the blue and also happens to have a badass name ‘Killmonger’. Then there’s a big fight and it all ends reasonably happily ever after. Yay. A whole bunch of stuff happens in between that’s probably important but we should probably move onto the actually opinionated part of this article.
This film was insanely well received by Critics and Viewers. Which is why my urgency to see this was almost worthy of being compared to my urgency to see Peter Rabbit. It gained a solid 97% on Rotten Tomatoes making it the current top ranked Marvel movie based on their website. It’s currently the 12th highest grossing movie ever made and is still climbing. Based of all this hype, the movie was surely bound to be a good one.
Personally, I can narrow the success of this film down to 3 main factors:
Acting: The choice of actors for this film was incredibly well done. Props to the Casting Director. It was truly refreshing to see a role being played by someone who not only took the appearance of the character well but was also able to BE their character in many ways. So a solid 9/10 for acting.
A pretty legit villain: To me, a movie is usually only as good as the main villain within it. Sure, there are many other things which contribute to the success of the film. But with a strong villain, usually comes a strong plot. You know a villain is good when you literally want to reach through the screen and hit them really hard in the face. That’s where Killmonger got it right: he was such a strong-willed character but had the reason to justify what he was doing. So even though he may have done many slap worthy things throughout the film, he still left me sitting in the theater actually using my brain to consider the different perspectives. The character development of this villain undeniably gives it a 10/10.
A good balance: Finding a good balance in a film is tough especially for the MCU. For Marvel to be able to sneak humour into places where you wouldn’t usually think to find it is pretty impressive. From humour level of ‘Thor Ragnarok’ (aka. Laughed too much I couldn’t breathe properly when I left the cinema) to ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ (amount of times I laughed could probably be counted on a hand and a half) Black Panther got it just right. You were able to laugh along on the right occasions without forgetting that you were indeed watching a Marvel movie. Deemed a 9.9895/10.
And brief shoutout to the costume design for that film because T’Challa’s suit made Iron Man’s look like an ugly metallic Christmas sweater.
Overall, Black Panther was a brilliant film as part of the MCU, but there were some brief faults within it. Like at this point is there anything that Vibranium can’t do? Because if in doubt, just put some of that in everything and problem solved. That and the somehow endless supply of it makes it overpowered. Also there was the mildly cringe-inducing re-introduction of the ‘What are thooosee’ meme so they do lose points for that one. But where they lost points in a bad joke they regain in the 100% creative and intimidating name ‘Killmonger’.
Black Panther was an exceptionally well made Marvel movie that is safely in my personal Top 5. So here’s to waiting for the next film which also happens to be ‘Avengers Infinity War’ where we get to see at least half of them get killed off.
Correction: T’Challa’s relationship to “Killmonger” is as his cousin
Header image by Marvel, exempted from copyright restrictions as fair dealing for purpose of criticism, review under Copyright Act 1994
Written by Jean Loh and Radina Boteva, Published on The Collegian’s launch day