Last Friday, while many were basking in the afterglow of Black Panther’s release, a friend of mine went on a rant about Black Panther in our groupchat. He’s a pretty big marvel fan and I was still in the process of catching up on the other Marvel movies (I’d never seen an avengers movie before Wednesday, sue me) so I let him go on. He droned on and complained about bad cgi and that “this really didn’t need to be an entry into the Marvel universe and doesn’t really add anything.”
Being quite honest, I didn’t care much about the Marvel cinematic universe. I liked the first Iron Man movie and that was about it. I mostly find superhero movies to be rife with clichés and stupid jokes that never really make me laugh, so I tend to avoid them outright, but not even gonna lie I got swept up in the thought of having black superhero onscreen in the modern era so I ignored my inner rule and went to see opening weekend. (Blade or Spawn are not modern to me, sorry.)
I feel as though this would be weird to type out in a groupchat, so instead I’m sharing my thoughts here. I’ll start out by saying this: Black Panther has the best written story of any Marvel movie I’ve seen so far. Normally, that wouldn’t be saying that much as a lot of Marvel movie stories really aren’t that great, settling to let the character interactions be the story. For Black Panther, this is sincerely not the case, the story explores different themes that are vital for T’Challa’s character growth. The sins of a father, tradition vs. modernity, isolationism, oppression, the weight of being sovereign and how to navigate it. I applaud Ryan Coogler and all of the writers for having the guts to pack so many running themes into this movie and handle them competently.
Secondly, I think that Erik Killmonger has to be the best villain in the MCU and I’m pretty pissed as I feel that he didn’t get enough screen time. I’ve given enough mild spoilers so I won’t go too much into his backstory. But Killmonger’s “raison d’être” is actually, to me, the strongest out of the villains that have littered this universe. I mean yes it’d destroy the world as we know it, but like the sentiment is nice if you get to the root of it.
I’m no movie buff by far, just a regular guy who likes a good story. Could Black Panther have been better, yeah probably. The pacing seemed a little off but maybe that’s just me. Some things could’ve been cut here and there. But all in all ,in the context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this movie was a damn good breathe of fresh air and deserves all the praise it currently has.