A review of the new super-hero movie “Black Panther”

A mainstream American movie with a black director, a black writer and a largely black cast is a rarity. Last year (2017), we had “Moonlight” which won the Academy Award for Best Film.

This year, we have “Black Panther” with Ryan Coogler as director and co-writer and an amazing array of black thespian talent from old hands like Angela Basset and Forest Whitaker to fresh faces like Chadwick Boseman (as T’Challa/Black Panther) and Michael B. Jordan (as the rival Erik Killmonger) with their leading roles and like Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira with their strong female roles. The only white boys in the cast are Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis, both British actors but here affecting American and South African accents respectively.

“Black Panther” provides the back story to a new super-hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: the eponymous leader of the fictional African state of Wakanda which, counter-culturally, has more advanced technology than any country in the West though the good fortune of possesing a powerful element called vibranium.

But this does not look like a super-hero movie: there is lots colour and plenty of noise but the settings are rural rather than metropolitan (except for a foray to Busan in South Korea) and the fighting is more hand-to-hand than super weaponry. It lacks the drama and punch of some other super-hero movies, but it is satisfyingly entertaining.


XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>