Kel McGowan is Kelligrafie
Black Panther is one of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year. Does it live up to the hype?
I'm a recent convert to the Marvel universe. I started with Spider-Man Homecoming (and the Guardians Of The Galaxy movies) and grudgingly decided that I should probably watch the rest of the franchise releases so that I would be up to speed with the story so far. I am now totally invested in this universe.
I was introduced to the character of Black Panther during Captain America: Civil War and was really intrigued as to how someone can be a superhero but also a king of a full country. How does that work out? I suppose when your genius sister is creating super speed aircraft, then you can take care of rogue weapons dealers at the other end of the world and still be home in time for a Netflix binge before bed.
As T'Challa struggles to get to grips on what kind of king he wants to be, he realises he cannot sit by and be idle, unlike his predecessors, while the world deals with issues of famine, war and poverty. This is the films underlying message about having a choice to do what is right. It boldly refers to modern day poverty within first world countries, racism and slavery. The filmmakers had an opportunity to get their thoughts across and they seized it with relish, but it never feels like a preach that is being rammed under your nose.
The film is a masterpiece to watch. It's stunning. Vivid. So much work has gone into designing the world of Wakanda. From the locations, to the gadgets, to the costumes. Wakanda feels rooted in reality.
The characters are great. It's refreshing to have a mainly black cast that don't fall into black stereotypes. Every degree of human beings is shown here. There is a black superhero in a predominently white movie universe. Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger isn't just some ghetto thug. He possesses a quiet, thoughtful determination behind him as he tries to put wrong to right in the world. His methods are seriously flawed but you can understand his way of thinking. Andy Serkis is a riot from start to finish.
Black Panther has a variety of non-sexualised, non-token, believable female characters that don't feel like they're part of a box ticking exercise. The female warriors stand side by side with their male counterparts. The head of the Wakanda science division is a teenage girl and nobody questions it. This is long overdue.
Black Panther can stand alongside its Marvel counterparts with its head held high. I found the story line to be quite predictable at times but I'm willing to let it slide because it does so many other things right.
Oh and make sure you stay for the extra scenes at the end of the film. Both of them, one mid credits, one post credits.
File under: Black Panther, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Wakanda, T'Challa, Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o