Black Panther
Director: Ryan Coogler
Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Rating: 3/5 stars
Reviewed by MACKENZIE STEELE

 

Black Panther was much-hyped when it came out in theatres, so I thought I might have a look now that the DVD is coming out. I watch the occasional Marvel film, but I’m no expert in the complex cinematic universe, so I didn’t know what to expect besides great graphics and a lot of action.

And great graphics and a lot of action indeed! Seriously, the visuals were stunning, as was the background music (a look at the credits showed Lucasfilms was involved, which explained a lot). I loved the tech in particular. Aesthetically it was really good, and it didn’t clash with the amazing cultural clothes and vibe. A lot of the movie seemed to be proving that modern technology and its comforts are perfectly compatible with traditional ways of life, and it was very well done.

The cool cultural vibe was everywhere, from the switching out of English in dialogue, to the Guardians of the Galaxy-style text reveal for times and places. The rituals were well-placed- I particularly liked the one with the sand. I didn’t like the being buried bit (shudder), but the visions and the fact that it was used for healing the mind. I loved the idea of closure and preparation through this ritual. I also liked that the tribes of Wakanda were distinct, united, but still different. It felt so real.

That realistic feeling was for the most part kept up in the characters and their relationships. I particularly loved the sibling dynamic between T’Challa and Shuri. In fact, Shuri herself was awesome. Who said that princesses couldn’t be scientists and had to be polite? She had no problems putting her brother in his place, king or not, and he retaliated with glee. The whole movie was dotted with strong women, even in bit parts, but especially seen in prominent roles (Okoye was kick-ass, seriously). Even better, most of the time everyone dealt with emotions more-or-less appropriately rather than ignoring them, like truly strong people do.

It also had some great laughs in there, alongside some epic fight-scenes. I particularly loved the ones without guns, because we got to see some amazing moves. And it was relatively easy for a newbie like myself to pick up the storyline, without the feeling of simplification.

 

But, as you can tell by my rating, it wasn’t perfect. Honestly, the first half of the movie was epic, while the second half was your average over-worked action movie. It was like watching a completely different film. The whole second half reminded me a lot of Guardians of the Galaxy 2, except slightly better and without Baby Groot. Suddenly, almost every choice the characters made was unnatural to their personalities and just for the drama. It had a lot of too-convenient occurrences, clunky statements for the audience’s sake, and predictability. There was a character that appeared to be there solely to symbolise toxic masculinity and colonisation retaliation, which made me sad as it could’ve been very different with more character and plot dimensions. The end scene and both post-credit sequences were okay, but I felt they tried to use the ‘random person asks question of main character, who smiles and doesn’t answer as the credits start because the audience already knows the answer from the movie’ device wrong. Instead of feeling like a part of Black Panther’s crew because I knew this answer, I felt disappointed. On the upside, I had great fun mocking it and complaining about the flaws of the second part with a friend, so it definitely had its uses!

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER. L to R: Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). Photo: Matt Kennedy. ©Marvel Studios 2018

All up, I liked this movie. The second part was ‘seen-before,’ but it wasn’t enough to destroy or even taint my enjoyment for the first part, and there were some scenes in that were good and tied in with the beginning well. The post-credits scenes link in with Infinity Wars and some other Marvel movies (according to the words at the end that said so, and a Google search of a character I didn’t recognise who showed up). Visually and auditory-wise, it was amazing. If you are easily distracted like I am, you will likely be using scene select and pause a lot, because this is not a movie you can do your homework to, as you have to pay attention!

Luckily for you, it’s out on DVD now, so go grab yourself a copy and have a movie night, it’ll be great.

One last thing though – please don’t wear sandals or other uncovered shoes in any lab like T’Challa did. Just no. It’s a health and safety thing. Please wear your covered footwear- like sneakers- but probably lower tech and less fashionable than the ones Shuri made.

 

Check it out for yourself – Tearaway has TWO COPIES of Black Panther to give away! Enter here!

 

MACKENZIE STEELE is Tearaway’s resident evil Aspie queen. Mwahaha! She’s dead set on becoming a geneticist, but she’s interested in other things too. Like Sims, cats, owls, Sims, books, music, Sims, Ancient Roman life, Latin, Sims…

 

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