Black Panther review: A visual extravaganza

Black Panther review: A visual extravaganza

Spoilers ahoy

Black Panther review: A visual extravaganza

Director: Ryan Coogler

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan, Forest Whittaker, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman

Rating: 5/5

After the death of King T'Chaka and the events of Captain America: Civil War, T'Challa (Boseman) is now the uprising monarch of the secretive African nation of Wakanda. However, in the shadows, the result of a terrible mistake of T'Chaka and an old enemy of Wakanda bear down upon the quiet nation, threatening to put it and the world in turmoil.

Now, to readers of comic books, the nation of Wakanda needs little introduction. To the rest, however, a brief intro: Wakanda is a highly technologically advanced nation, bolstered to its place by the alien metal Vibranium, the thing that is at the heart of Captain America's shield, Ultron's terrible plan and Vision's body.

As T'Challa claims the throne in a ritual combat trial, the enemy of Wakanda, Klaue, expertly played by Andy Serkis, joined by Erik 'Killmonger' Stevens, played by Michael B Jordan, who returns to collaborate with Coolger after Creed and simultaneously redeems himself of the traversty that was Fantastic Four, plan to sell a piece of Vibranium to an American, launching the newly crowned King's duty as Monarch to bring justice to those who have fallen at Klaue's hand. Joining him on his adventure are his quick-witted sister, Shuri, who would give Tony Stark a run for his money on both smarts and wits, his trusted guardian Okoye, leader of the all-women spec ops squad Dora Milaje and Everett Ross, who just happens to get involved in Wakanda's affairs.

Of course, nothing goes according to plan, and soon T'Challa finds himself facing down Killmonger, his own cousin, the terrible result of T'Chaka's mistake during his time as the Black Panther: Killing his brother. T'Challa, once steadfast on his and his ancestors' creed that Wakanda must remain isolated from the outside world, a belief that is implied to have caused him to split with his girlfriend Nakia, soon faces the result of their decision: A boy who grew to hate his own people because they looked the other way to the suffering in the world, even though they have the power to lead it to a Golden age, and now aims to become King so the oppressed can overthrow their oppressors. The internal conflict presents itself very subtly, in the little twitches and freezes of T'Challa more than his rage at his predecessorrs, as he faces down Killmonger for the fate of the world itself, while no one outside is any wiser that two  men literally fought over the world.
 
Ryan Coogler crafts an intricate work of art, sewing African tribal cultures of old with the swanky, shiny lifestyle of new, much like how the Wakandans sew Vibranium into their clothes. From the fast-paced action on the streets of Busan to high-stakes one-on-one fights on the side of a waterfall, everything is expertly crafted to honor African history and culture, without the appropriation. He builds on the series mythos most faithfully and builds upon it, giving Marvel and Black Panther fans something truly to look forward to as the world prepares for the culmination of every Marvel film to date: Infinity War.

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