Shakespeare in Africa.
The introduction of Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War is an excellent example of introducing a new character without a ton of flashbacks or expositions dumps and how to have a well-develop subplot with supporting characters that have depth.
But does Black Panther have enough to stretch into an entire movie based on him?
The story of Black Panther feels unique and fresh than a lot of superhero movies in the past. Part of this is because it isn't an origin story about a kid who got bit by a panther but is about the transition of power and our hero learning the struggles and dark secrets of being a king. The story covers some same tropes as other superhero films but plays out more like a light Shakespeare play set in Africa with a splash of James Bond. You won't get it till you see it, but it's great!
A majority of the film takes place in the fictional country of Wakanda which the director, Ryan Coogler, described as 'Afrofuturism.' It followed the idea of what if an African nation wasn't colonized and ripped of resources or people but grew and flourished to be the most advanced country in the world, and it is beautiful. The futuristic nation that leans a lot more in the sci-fi realm with an enormous amount of African culture and heritage in it, especially in the costumes which when you look at where they got the inspiration from, it's impressive.
Following that line of thought the score for the film, for the most part, doesn't sound like a Marvel film. I applaud this as past Marvel films have had a weak spot in the scores with a lot of them sounding a bit repetitive. Black Panther does have dull moments in the music, but overall you can hear the inspiration in the music from African nations, and it is great! There is a part however with a chase scene, done splendidly, that has a song, written and performed by Kendrick Lamar, that I wish they had turned the volume up on the song and down on the driving and shooting. That is more of a sound mixing complaint than a score one.
Lucky, all the creative settings, costumes, music, and plot are not in vain as the character are far from paper thin. Reaching from our hero and villain to the supporting cast, they are all the one thing that stuck out the most during the whole movie. All the performances are top notch, and the characters they represent are all well rounded with clear values and goals that even collide with allies making this one of the best acted Marvel films yet.
In all, Black Panther is above all a solid movie that feels unique and is a breath of fresh air with the settings, costumes, music, and acting that come together to make one of the best Marvel movies yet. So, watch it and have a blast!
Thanks for reading!
© 2015 S. W. Ellenwood. All rights Reserved.