Chad Reviews "Black Panther"
The Marvel Studio machine seemingly never sleeps. After soldiering forward and creating their Marvel Cinematic Universe, established in 2008 with the incredibly well received “Iron Man” and rolling out in distinct “Phases”, the studio was able to create a cohesive timeline that had their own set series of climaxes. As we are currently hurtling toward the climax of the current “Phase Three” with this summer’s inevitable mega Marvel opus “Avengers : Infinity War”, we now have the opportunity to bask in the glow of a character who’s journey to the big screen has been a long and laborious road. Over the last two decades, a number of attempts have been made to bring his presence to life, with success mostly limited to one off guest appearances in already established animated series. With the appearance of Chadwick Boseman in “Captain America: Civil War” as T’Challa the Prince of Wakanda, whom after his father is assassinated at a U.N. Council, assumes not just his role as their ruler as King of Wakanda, but his mantle of his predecessors that sat on the throne before him as their sworn protector. Now after an agonizingly long wait, his solo adventure is upon us with the release of “Black Panther”.
T’Challa has returned home to the hidden kingdom of Wakanda to assume the throne, and after reuniting with his mother Ramonda (Angela Basset) and sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) after a mission with his trusted General Okoye (Danai Gurira) to liberate his former lover Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), he is challenged by M’baku (Winston Duke) a leader of a rival tribe in ritual combat for the throne of Wakanda. T’Challa defeats him, but spares his life. Shortly thereafter, the ruthless arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) aligns himself with Erik “Killmonger” Stevens (Michael B. Jordan) to obtain a supply of Vibranium (the mineral that the Wakandan wealth and technology is built upon) to create a new brand of super weapons capable of eradicating any army. As the stakes are raised, and battle lines are drawn, T’Challa is drawn into a challenge he never saw coming, as the future of his country, the safety of his family, and the existence of the Earth itself is threatened, and only he has the power to stop it.
The character of Black Panther has quickly emerged as my favorite in the MCU. His devotion to his family, love of his country, sense of style, and overall swagger are undeniably appealing, and Chadwick Boseman brings it crackling to life with irresistible intensity. His grasp of who T’Challa is comes shining through, and I never tired of seeing him interact with everyone around him. Director Ryan Coogler has assembled a stupendous cast for Boseman to accomplish this with, seen in Gurira as Okoye and Wright as Shuri’s amazing chemistry with him and each other, making their scenes really stand out as some of the most enjoyable in the entire film. This is SUCH a major milestone in filmmaking, particularly in this genre. It’s refreshing to see a film of this magnitude featuring a relatively obscure character from the pages of Marvel make such a powerful statement and embraced so strongly. It really gives me hope.