Sins of the father
Directed by: Ryan Coogler
Written by: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright
Swift shot: The most hyped comic book movie since Avengers itself is finally out in theaters. Does it deserve all the fuss? Black Panther lagged in a few places, but overall the film definitely delivered a solidly entertaining story with interesting characters. Like all comic book films; though, the story is only as good as its villain. The vengeful Killmonger makes for the perfect malevolent mastermind in a struggle reminiscent of Shakespeare.
Following Civil War, the Black Panther, T’Challa (Boseman) must return to Wakanda, his hidden techno-marvel empire, to claim the throne following the murder of his father by the waste of flesh (and screen time), Klaue (Andy Serkis). After an almost thirty minute sequence for challenge day, T’Challa defeats the only tribe leader foolish enough to take him on, a beast of a fighter, M’Baku (Winston Duke). I loved this dude, and I am going to be keeping an eye on his future work.
T’Challa immediately sets about finding the man responsible for his father’s death, as any good king (and son) should. But, his general W’Kabi (Kaluuya) would rather the new king stay back and let his troops deal with the task at hand. T’Challa does bring along his strongest warriors, Okoye (Gurira) and his ex-girlfriend, the spy Nakia (Nyong’o) along with his incredibly plucky, genius sister Shuri (Wright) in reserve. How she ends up providing assistance to the mission is a really cool concept that I don’t want to give away here. But it was well shot and executed.
While on the black-bag mission to capture or kill Klaue, the team stumbles onto a CIA mission in South Korea to retrieve some vibranium that was stolen by Killmonger (Jordan) and his cohorts. CIA agent Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) becomes more than a pest, as he proves somewhat useful in the mission to nab Klaue. But that is short-lived, as Klaue, of course, escapes with the help of Killmonger. So, just who is this aptly named Killmonger who seems to know all about Wakanda?
As T’Challa gets closer to the truth, he finds out a great secret, a lie, that his revered father has kept from him his whole life. And that secret demands payback . . . in blood.
I can’t give away much more about the story without divulging some major spoilers, but T’Challa ends up failing (and falling) more than once in the film. This is what made him both interesting and believable.
Ultimately loyalties and the very concept of honor are put to the test as a skirmish breaks out in Wakanda over the throne. W’Kabi and Okoye are lovers who must decide what is more important, faith in their duty or faith in their bond. So, there are some pretty dramatic conflicts happening in Black Panther. I just wish there was more action in this action film. Granted, when there is action, it is well shot and the team of ILM delivers some of the best special effects ever.
What I thought was annoying is that they made a point of showing how T’Challa had to relinquish his super-powers to battle for the throne. This convenient device (what I call flower-power) to show how fair T’Challa was got a little ridiculous. They had one flower that gave him powers and one that took the powers away, repeatedly.
As I have mentioned before I didn’t really read Black Panther comics growing up, but I was always intrigued when he would make an appearance. Kind of how I always thought Snake Eyes was cool, because of the ninja gear. So, I can’t speak to the veracity of his origin or the origin of his powers, but I really enjoyed the origin we got in the film.
Overall you will be entertained with Black Panther. But, will you find it worth all the hype? Only one way to find out. Go see it for yourself!