Black Panther Review: Even if it had nothing else going for it, Black Panther would still be the finest, fanciest Marvel film to date. Supersaturated with vivid afro-futurism and as bold and riotous as a rack of dashiki print shirts, it looks like a particularly excitable Sun Ra album cover. Luckily, the movie doesn’t trade on looks alone.
The score, brought about by Ludwig Göransson and Kendrick Lamar, mixes primal beats with the growling roar of a pack of big cats. Cannily, and unusually for a Marvel picture, Black Panther unfolds in a pretty much self-contained world. There are no smirking cameos from the likes of Tony Stark. The closest we get to acknowledging the MCU is a reference to the assassination of the father of T’Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman), an event that occured in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, and a villain who first showed up in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
T’Challa inherits the crown of Wakanda, the secretive hih-tech metropolis that has hidden itself from the rest of the world. And he assumes the mantle of Black Panther, complete with an impenetrable battle suit engineered by his genius kid sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright, who gets to play with most of the best lines as well as all the cool kit). Supporting T’Challa is Wakanda’s top warrior, Okoye (Danai Gurira), lethal with a spear but who also, in one gif-friendly shot, does an impressive amount of damage by hurling her wig.
Peril comes from Andy Serkis, great fun as Ulysses Klaue, a piratical South African with a grin that looks as though he chews lightbulbs for breakfast. Moreover, there is a challenger to the crown: Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) is the long lost cousin that T’Challa never knew he had. And this is a weak point – Erik’s backstory doesn’t seem to fully explain the frothing hate machine he becomes. Black Panther also falls into the conventional Marvel third-act trap: for all the attack rhinos and the tribal factionalism, it’s still just a grand, loudsy CGI battle climax.
Marvel superhero film Black Panther has enjoyed the biggest opening day of 2018 so far at the UK and Irish box office.
Ryan Coogler’s highly anticipated flick, which stars an almost entirely black cast, grossed £2.67 millions on its premier on 13 February, said Disney, scoring the highest-grossing single day at the UK box office this year.
The superhero movie that Coogler co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole, had already outnumbered Captain America: Civil War to become Marvel’s most-preordered movie in its first 24 hours after release.
In Black Panther, T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman, returns home as king to a fictional African nation known as Wakanda, but finds his rule challenged by a long-time adversary in a conflict that has global consequences.
The movie, which was filmed worldwide (Atlanta, US and Busan, South Korea,) includes a stellar cast in the forms of Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong’o and rising stars Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright and Oscar nominee Daniel Kaluuya.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar produced and curated the soundtrack to the Marvel movie.
Black Panther film has received a rapturous reception from both critics and cinemagoers, enjoying a 98% fresh rating on reviews website Rotten Tomatoes, despite a pushback campaign to bring the rating down.