With much hype, Marvel’s Black Panther has finally arrived in cinemas to an overwhelming amount of critical acclaim. The last movie in the MCU’s Phase 3 before the start of Avengers: Infinity War, this movie proves that the genre of comic book heroes can still be fresh. Which can’t be said of a certain comic franchise being carried by a single heroine at the moment.

Not wanting to spoil Black Panther for you all, here is a our spoiler-free opinions:

Strong Cast

The casting choices in Black Panther is simply amazing, With nearly every actor’s portrayal being spot on for us, we can’t help for example picturing anyone as Black Panther/T’Challa but Chadwick Boseman. It’s kind of like how Robert Downey Jr. is forever Iron Man for all us.

Now the ironic part of the movie is that the Panther character is by no means the most interesting one. I would even say that the King of Wakanda was overshadowed by the supporting cast, especially Michael B. Jordan as Erik “Killmonger” Stevens.

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Fixing Marvel’s Villain Issue

Marvel always had issues with their villains being ultimately forgettable and unrelatable. We have had a few decent ones as of late, with Loki still at the top of our list for best villain in the MCU.

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With Black Panther, we add Killmonger to the list. Finally we get a villain that you can understand and empathize with. Black Panther gives Killmonger a proper backstory and just enough information to create this somewhat complex character with actual depth. It makes you even wonder what if X situation happened instead? Would Killmonger been a force of good instead of bad? 

Well as long as we don’t get another Malekith. I actually forgot he existed in the MCU and had to go google this villain.

Strong Female Characters 

As previously mentioned about the casting, one actress stole the spotlight on multiple occasions. Danai Gurira‘s portrayal of Okoye, a Wakandan traditionalist and leader of the Dora Milaje, shows us a side of this kickass warrior with multiple little nuances that make her truly relatable to. You can clearly see her commitment to her duty and to her country.  

On the funnier and less serious side, you have T’Challa’s little sister Shuri. Letitia Wright fits the role perfectly of playing the role of Q to the Black Panther and showing off all the fun vibranium gadgets. Extremely energetic and clearly from a younger generation, she exhibits all the quirks and rebellious streak you would expect from a 16-year-old. Which means do expect pranks and a middle finger from the character, which was laughably censored here in Malaysia.

Heck even the mother Ramonda, portrayed by Angela Bassett had that full regal air about her that demand the audience’s attention. So most of the female cast are spot on and show many positions of power that makes sense in the movie.

Which leaves us with Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia. The only female character that we felt was a bit meh. The script writing showed little growth in the character and we felt that she was a typical one dimensional romantic interest.

Wonderful Setting and Visuals

Even in a futuristic and fictional nation of Wakanda, you still feel like you’re in Africa in a good way. The backdrops are amazing, which pairs beautifully with the colourful costumes and music score that screams of culture. While the CGI’s lackluster visuals at times during large crowd shots is something to complain about, overall the visuals truly aid in telling the story of Wakanda. Though I will advise against watching Black Panther in 3D, it felt like an unwanted distraction.

Minimal Exposition

Mentioned previously about the wonderful setting and visuals, director Ryan Coogler did a fantastic job telling the story with minimal exposition. It never really felt like the film was forcibly spoon feeding information through lengthy exposition.

We See Andy Serkis Face, No Gollum

Playing a South African arms dealer and smuggler, you can tell that Andy Serkis went all out in his role as Ulysses Klaue. Perhaps it’s because he finally gets to act without a full mo-cap suit on, but his portrayal was heavily entertaining. Glad he got more screen time in the MCU.

Extremely Predictable Narrative

This is where most of the points are lost for Black Panther. This feels like your typical plot with little to no intrigue. While the character development was awesome, I couldn’t help but feel slightly bored halfway through the film.

For anyone who likes Game of Thrones, Godfather or the Bond movies, you get the babies version of those here. So for much of the movie, I felt no tension or excitement. It just doesn’t feel as fun as other Marvel outings, even if I do like the direction of having more character driven stories for the whole cast.

Conclusion

Now while Black Panther had many fantastic moments, it’s in no ways perfect. Yet with all its flaws, many of which are minor, I will still recommend watching this film. Even for those who are not up to date with the MCU or even care about it, Black Panther is a great standalone movie to go see. Oh, don’t forget that there are two end credit scenes, one mid way through credits and one at the very end. I promise you that it not as troll like with Captain America in Spider-Man: Homecoming’s stinger.

Can’t wait to see what Avengers: Infinity War brings to the table!

7.9/10

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