Fasten your lap strap! “Black Panther” has all the thrills of any Marvel superhero movie to date. The action is spectacular and the sets are lavish. The film cost billions of dollars to make (which they’ll probably get back in a weekend), and you can see where every dollar has been spent.
“Black Panther’s” also offers a great storyline, as T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns home to rule the fictional country of Wakanda, after his father’s assassination, only to be challenged by his estranged cousin Eric Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) for the throne.
However, “Black Panther” offers more than popcorn thrills, it’s historical featuring and all black cast, and a black superhero headlining a Hollywood big budget movie. “Black Panther” also echoes ‘60s Civil Rights activists who were at odds on rather to use peace or aggression to level the playing field in a white privileged world. The film also empowers black women and youths, who for the first time can identify with a big screen superhero that looks like them. It’s really a landmark achievement.
Even though Boseman is the film’s signature hero, he’s upstaged by Danai Gurira (General Okoye), who wields a mean spear. Okoye is just as powerful and resourceful as her male counterparts, and should probably get her own big budget movie. But that will never happen. Oscar winner Lupita Nyon’o turns in another solid performance as Nakia, T'Challa’s love interest, and like Okoye, she’s a strong no nonsense character.
Five minutes in, “Black Panther” met all of my expectations. Two hours later, it surpassed them checking all the boxes. It does, however, suffer from the same affection as all Marvel movies, some of the fight sequences go on a little too long. It’s great desert, but you can’t live off a steady diet of sweets.
That aside, “Black Panther” is brilliant and the supporting cast is magnificent. Of course there are two after credit scenes, one of which whets our appetites for the big showdown with super baddie Thanos this summer’s Avenger: “Infinity War.” Save me an aisle seat.
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