2018 is going to be a fantastic year for those of us who love the Marvel Universe. This year we are blessed with Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, Ant-Man and The Wasp, and Venom. [Click any of those titles to open a new window where you can see the official trailer.] And the very first one out of the gate is definitely setting the pace. Black Panther officially opens in Canada and the US today, and it is a force to be reckoned with.
I am lucky enough to live near a Cineplex theater that shows blockbusters starting the night before, so our family always goes to see superhero movies on the Thursday before official open. Last night we went to see King T'Challa show us the wonders of his beautiful Wakanda.
As I say with all of my reviews... I am really weak at writing a succinct synopsis, so I give you this one from google.ca:
The Black Panther movie stars Chadwick Boseman as King T'Challa/Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger, Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, Daniel Kaluuya as W'Kabi, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Forest Whitaker as Zuri, Winston Duke as M'Baku, and finally, Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue.
To say that this movie is packed with talent is an understatement. We have some big names like Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker, Oscar nominees like Daniel Kaluuya, fan favorites like Danai Gurira (I am so in love with her as Michonne on AMC's The Walking Dead), and some up and coming talent like Letitia Wright (she's done mostly TV until now). It's a wonderful cast and the chemistry between the characters is spot on.
I would be remiss not to point out (if you haven't already noticed), the predominantly black cast. I feel like Marvel released Black Panther in February not only to warm cold Canadians, but more importantly to celebrate Black History Month. This cast is strong, talented, and as if you needed more, there are so many strong black female characters, you could say they carry the story.
Black Panther gives so much to its audience. There's so much action, you definitely know you're watching a Marvel Studios movie. It's an origin story, because although we were introduced to the Black Panther in Avengers: Civil War, we know little of this character so far. But it is so much more than just an introduction to King T'Challa; we are told the lore behind the Black Panther and taken on a tour of the beautiful hidden city of Wakanda, a place the outside world knows as a third world farming community that is in actuality the most technologically advanced society on the planet, thanks to their mountain made of vibranium (the stuff that makes up Captain America's shield).
Marvel Puzzle Quest screenshot
Aside from loads of action, this movie packs sadness, happiness, beauty, and duty to country in equal parts to give us an extremely well-balanced film. I was absolutely in love with the way the director, Ryan Coogler, blended the traditional look of African Tribal Elders, farmers, and royalty with technology. The "coronation" of King T'Challa was fantastic, wild, and visually stunning.
The soundtrack is nothing to sneeze at either. Available on Spotify, it boasts talent like Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz, Khalid, and The Weeknd.
You can also download for free the February issue of Cineplex Magazine here, where you can read a short interview with the King himself, Chadwick Boseman. There's also a short intro to the timeline of Black Superheroes in the Marvel Universe (in the comics).
Whether you're in to superhero movies or not, Black Panther is worth a watch. It has a great story, is visually stunning, boasts some stellar acting, and shows off some pretty imaginative technology.
I give this movie 5 movie passes out of 5.
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