Black Panther

There is a lot of hype and buzz around Black Panther. Early reviews, critics and fans, have praised the movie like anything. Rotten Tomatoes have given Black Panther a 98% rating, which is pretty high for a new movie. So, it was with much anticipation and high expectations that we finally managed to make it to the Imax at 1230am show on Saturday night.

The cinema was house full. Adults and children had huddle together for a collective experience of watching a super-hero movie, which has an all-black cast—except for a white actor (Andy Serkis), who plays the villain (to balance this out, we have another white actor (Martin Freeman) who plays the good guy!

Opening up with a rather informative narrative about Wakanda and the powerful blue element known as Vibranium, which was injected inside one warrior, who was then able to unite the five major tribes in Africa. This warrior was known as Black Panther. Wakanda uses this powerful Vibranium to help people of African descents world over to help them overcome oppression, but yet poses itself as a third world country to the rest of the world.

Our hero, played by Chad Boseman, is the titular figure and is also know as T’Challa. His father has died, and so he naturally assumes the role of the king in Wakanda. He is survived by his mother and younger sister.

The plot is set in motion when our hero and his friends discover of a man who has stolen the Wakandan artifact from a British Museum, and track him down in South Korea. Here, we encounter Eric Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), aka N’Jdaka, who turns out to be a an ex-US black ops soldier, who wants to overthrow our hero, to take over the throne.

I feel like I need not get into the story any further for I will ruin all the fun and surprises that comes with watching this movie.

The first thing that strikes so refreshingly different in this movie is how every major character is played by a black actor. With their unique African dialect, this was a huge step away from watching a regular Marvel movie with American accents. The Wakandan culture and it’s world was beautifully realized in the movie, complete with costumes and tribal music and customs. At times, it almost felt like the grand opening scene in The Lion King.

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Pic Credit: Google Images

Major highlights:

  1. The fight scenes were incredible. I loved the entire Casino fight sequence, with it’s dizzying camera movements. Sheer genius. The fight sequences at the edge of the waterfall was exciting to watch, as well as the finale, which although was well choreographed, sort of fizzled out at the end due to some moments which exposed shoddy CGI.
  2. The characters, were unique and novel. I’ve never read the Black Panther comics, but it was a lot of fun witnessing their journey in the movie.
  3. The creativity and imagination is wild and varied. The sequences that showed a few characters meeting their ancestors was wicked, and in other moments the technology used (body suit, weapons) were ultra-slick and smooth.
  4. One of my favorite actors is in this movie. She’s Danai Gurira, yes, she’s Michone from The Walking Dead, and watching her was such a highlight for me in the movie! She also has some of the best lines in the movie.
  5. Tonally, the movie struck a reasonably well balance between humor and seriousness. The laughter came at the right moments and were not overdone.

Minor letdowns:

  1. There was very little emotional resonance with the characters. I didn’t entirely get them and that prevented me from feeling them. There were a few moments here and there where their relations to each other was endearing, but not to the point where you feel for them.
  2. The CGI were very well done on the whole, but at some parts it was shoddy, which was a letdown.
  3. The script, as is every other Marvel film, is familiar—we know we will get an opening sequence, a back story, a certain tragic moment, and the hero’s rousing return after that tragic moment.

Black Panther was a great watch, and I really enjoyed it. I was honestly getting tired of all these superhero movies but Black Panther came and changed my perspective. Oh, and stay till the end for two post credits scene—we get to find out a new character will be joining the world of Marvel superheroes

4 out of 5

Director: Ryan Coogler

Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Danai Gurira

Genre: Action, Super Hero

Synopsis: Set after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther takes over the throne at Wakanda, only for Eric Killmonger to enter and thwart the succession and remove Black Panther and take over the throne.

Running Time: 134 mins

Rating: 98% Rotten Tomatoes

Seen: Cinestar IMAX, Lahore

 

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