Synopsis: T’Challa assumes the throne of the technologically advanced and isolationist Wakanda, and soon must confront the hard choices of his father.
• A strong cast that was fully supported by a well executed story.
• Largely overcomes the origin story narrative problems by not truly functioning as an origin, similar to Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017).
• Reimagined the narrative style of its predecessors, while still an integral part of the MCU.
• A simply beautiful to watch film.
• The villains were as deep if not deeper than the heroes themselves, merely making valid points in all the wrong ways.
• The Black Panther being in Infinity War (2018) and likely direct sequels negate some of the tension in the elaborate battles.
• The super-spy element of the film seemed a little out of place.
“It’s hard for a good man to be king”
Black Panther was a film about honor, and what that meant in the face of the right thing. This film was easily the most transcendent narratively of any superhero film. It took nearly every element that has made such films successful and made something new. It almost does not even feel like a superhero movie at times. Game of Thrones is almost a better comparison, having people fighting for and over a seat of ultimate power. Both Black Panther and Killmonger wanted the same thing: bring the gifts of Wakanda to the world. The disagreement was in the how. That was the same argument in Winter Soldier (2014), where HYDRA wanted to bring piece to the world by conquering it through SHIELD. Most importantly, however, was how T’Challa needed to clean up the mess of his predecessors’ obsessive isolationism, which was the cause of every problem he dealt with once king. Their vibranium leaks out into the world, they do nothing. A king kills his own brother the maintain Wakandan technological secrets, leading to a vengeful prince. T’Challa may have understood their choices, but had quickly seen the problems with them. His father knew T’Challa was right, but pride kept that past king from admitting that even in death.
Did King T’Challa do the right thing in peacefully showing the true face of Wakanda to the world? Perhaps it will not matter when faced with a self-made god of destruction …
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rotten Tomatoes — 97%