Cinematic Releases: Long Live The King: Black Panther (2018) Reviewed

Using a slow build up that offers one of the most unique final battle scenes in the ten years of Marvel movies, Black Panther is the one we've been waiting for. 

Having not known much about this character other than what was shown in Captain America: Civil War, this was a blind introduction that delivers in more directions than one. Abandoning the Marvel template in several ways but still teetering on some expected formulaic elements, Ryan Coogler's foray into comic book movies has the markings of one of the best entries from Marvel Studios. And it has a heavy amount of believable character development on total lock down. Jumping from drama to action can be a large leap of faith for some directors. Coogler's hand is steady as he moves from genre to genre. Fans of his work will be happy to know that Black Panther is just as good as his other projects. 

People that are familiar with the backstory for Black Panther will be thrilled with the massive set design, the technological look of Wakanda, and the way that Coogler transcends past movies in a long line of comic book characters to show an adventurous study in the importance of culture and the threat of the outside world. Those that don't know this property will be blown away by the on screen chemistry between Boseman, Nyong'o, and Gurira. Sparked by a fiery amount of modern political thematics that trace back to the early '90s, Black Panther is one of the best tales that this studio has produced to date. This is a bumpy thrill ride from front to back, nursing in a new era that feels much more relevant than many of the previous films. 

You just want to fight and I'm all like
check out these chicks from Flash Gordon!

The partnership between Coogler and Michael B. Jordan comes to a head with this latest comic book movie. Having already worked on Fruitvale Station and Creed together, their symbiotic partnership conceives a villain that actually has some teeth. Unlike many other antagonists we've seen before, Jordan's Killmonger is an actual threat. He has motives that he wants to fulfill at all costs. Departing from the inhuman baddies of the Avengers series so far,  Jordan thrusts all his charisma at the screen in a different way than he has before. And it works perfectly. This man is all talent. Black Panther utilizes his skill set to its full potential. 

With Chadwick Boseman given more time to revel in the starring role, his penchant for delivering the human side and a temperament for action tops off a movie that could have gone either way. Considering his long line of dramatic portrayals, Boseman uses his years of experience to finally bring the onscreen version of Black Panther to fruition while adding charm and humor to the part. Building on what we saw from him last time around, he's now super comfortable with endearing moments, kicking ass, and showing fans that he's totally invested in the character. 

Always. I repeat. Always bet on Black. 
My tech is so cool. 

There's not much bad about Black Panther other than a few areas where the CGI action looks underdeveloped or not rendered for the human eye. The main fight scene that takes place between T'Challa and Killmonger has an animated look that's stifling to the excellent graphics work throughout the rest of the movie. When you sit through nearly ninety minutes of perfection to be treated to an onscreen battle that looks like a cartoon at times, it rips the viewer out of the film. But, if that's my only complaint, not much is wrong with Black Panther

Before going into this, I was on total Marvel burnout. Now, my head is back in the game. I'm finally looking forward to Infinity War and happy that I am. If you're looking for a movie to see this weekend, Black Panther is it. Don't miss this one. Seriously.