Taking its cue from Logan, Deadpool and Thor, Marvel have again created a film that is in no way generic, as in, it is not user-friendly trite like most of Marvel’s recent films. They are lame and uninspired, with no stakes on the line, pointless romantic elements…they are dull and extremely…. Samey.
Black Panther is a different beast.
We start with the history of Wakanda, a nation in Africa that was formed years after a meteorite hit the planet. Their culture is very different, with many spiritual elements. It is soon learned that the meteorite was made of an extremely powerful metal -vibranium. This discovery leads Wakanda to develop technology far far advanced from the rest of the world, but, they are keeping it to themselves, shielding their country with a mirage of a third world country. Avoiding war, which is ravaging the rest of the planet.
The path T’Challa must take to become king is much harder than he thought, and some incredibly tense scenes follow during the “challenge” for who becomes King. Unfortunately the editors were on adderal at the time so it is hard to determine who is who, or what exactly is happening during the fight.
It soon transpires that an outsider has penetrated Wakanda and has some of this powerful metal. Wakanda warriors disguise themselves and move in on where the deal is taking place, as he plans to sell it. It is a classy looking underground casino. They begin to try and blend in but it soon goes to hell when armed men march into the building to save the man, Ulysses Klaue, and the vibranium. Did they predict the Wakanda plan to disrupt it?
What is the answer? With all this metal, should they be sharing it with other countries, or avoid everything to avoid war as they have done, to stay safe at the cost of the rest of the world?
This leads to some brilliant scenes with some fantastic long takes once the action starts. Some of the long takes are amazing as we follow a female warrior impaling people, the camera then swirling to T’Challa as he destroys people. This amazing cinematography is sullied by the editing department – the two must have had a communication breakdown. Apart from a few long, head-spinning, incredible single takes as the Wakanda warriors fight, most of the action is edited again by knuckleheads on ritalin. Fight scenes where the shots are cut less than a second apart. It is absurd and it needs to stop, it ruins action scenes in every one of Marvel’s films, and Hollywood too.
After trying to fight the men saving Ulysses , the Wakanda nation, and the nature of this metal, becomes known to the world which, bringing problems for Wakanda and T’Challa. Wakanda is attacked and the immense action that follows are scenes edited in the same ADD-riddled fashion.
Of course, almost as if this was needed in society, we have the race factor. Personally, I think it is sad that messages like this need to be delivered on a damned superhero movie, hoping that people will think. If only only films like Mudbound received the attention they deserve. One could argue, perhaps, perhaps, that the writers have pandered a bit here to the audience by making an African nation the centre and strongest part of the movie. It is a very welcome change, but not knowing the comics this was probably already written, and this drunken fool should maybe shut up.
Did I mention the soundtrack? Or the incredible looking world of Wakanda? Finally, Marvel are making films that I can watch without cringing. The editing does ruin a lot of scenes, but the messages the movie offers are clear. This is another unique superhero film. Keep them coming.
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Nice review Jordan. Although I’m a big comic book fan, I’m not really into into superhero movies, though Black Panther is a spectacular blockbuster. I think Ryan Coogler deserves a lot of credit for making a superhero movie that is more overtly political than others, not only in how BP approaches race but in how it condemns nationalism and isolationism.
I’d recommend checking out Ta-Nehisi Coates’ work on Black Panther; if you liked the movie, you’d love his writing.
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I’m not a comic book fan sorry, unless that is a book.
Thanks for the kind words. I totally agree. I just wish they start filming fight scenes with decent cuts. There was one take swirling around the casino, going from one character to another. Its odd they did that awesome long take but didn’t use a similar technique for fight scenes. Every movie, except for John Wick and The Raid, is like this. I really don’t get it
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