Thank you to Marvel Studios for the invitation to the advanced media screening to facilitate our Black Panther movie review.
Marvel’s highly anticipated Black Panther movie arrives in theatres with a tremendous outpouring of support from movie critics and audiences alike. Between the amazing story line, stunning scenery, and a tremendous cast, Marvel Studios newest movie in the Cinematic Universe is simply marvelous.
Black Panther’s storyline begins one week after the death of the King of Wakanda in Captain America: Civil War. While you do not have to see Civil War before seeing Black Panther, it would enrich your experience of Black Panther.
Long live the king
Marvel first introduced Black Panther in 1966 issue 52 of the comic book called “Fantastic Four Vol. 1” but he has captured comic book fans young and old since that time. On-screen he is played by Chadwick Boseman and was introduced to the world in Captain America: Civil War. His portrayal of the mighty T’Challa in that movie only highlighted how perfect he was for the role and for a stand-alone film named after his character.
Boseman expertly showcases his ability to carry the weight of the throne for Wakanda while still revealing he is human. He is an absolute delight to watch on the screen where he allows you to see into his heart and mind of what a true king experiences as he grieves the loss of his father while still recognizing the need to serve the people of Wakanda. His desire to get revenge on his father’s killer is ever present in his actions. It is this struggle between being both King and a superhero that causes the greatest conflict within Black Panther.
The opening scene is one continuous scene sharing about the culture and history of Wakanda. The effect continues during a fight scene where it is filmed with a 360 degree feeling as the camera turns continously for the action sequences. This must have been extremely difficult to film because if one person was out of timing they would have had to start the entire scene all over again. Since action sequences are usually cut back and forth this is a refreshing way to view the action and we can only hope future movies include this type of cinematography as well.
We build bridges not walls
Black Panther delivers a line regarding his stance on politics when he declares that Wakandans build bridges not walls. This is a beautiful testament to the culture of Wakanda and the heart of their people.
A formidable enemy
Michael B. Jordan plays Erik Killmonger, a formidable enemy of Black Panther who has his eyes set on dethroning the king. Jordan’s physical transformation is incredible, especially with the hours of preparation it took every day for his scars. Each scar represents a kill and removing his shirt for his first fight scene is when he reveals exactly how many lives Killmonger sacrificed. Enough scars to make the audience gasp. What makes him so dangerous is not just his physical strength but his knowledge of Wakanda.
Jordan’s fiery performance proves you can redeem yourself in the Marvel Universe.
Characters you need to know about
Nakia is played by Lupita Nyong’o. Audiences heard her voice as Maz Kanata in Star Wars: The Force Awakens but in Black Panther she is a Wakandan spy often in other countries responsible for reporting back to Wakanda. She is a delight and shows she can expertly handle being both a voice actor and an onscreen actor. She does not always agree with T’Challa on how things should be handled, leading to conflict with her leader and leaves her questioning her loyalty.
The Dora Milaje are the all-female Wakandan Special Forces team. It was powerful to see an amazing group of fearless women protecting their King and his family. The head of the team is Okoye, played by Danai Gurira. Her skills as a fighter are poweful and also breathtakingly beautiful. She is one woman you do not want to mess with and never, ever get between her and the king.
Daniel Kaluuya plays W’Kabi who is resposible for the first line of defense for their country. His job as the head security is powerful and will protect their secrets at all costs.
Letitia Wright plays Shuri, the funniest and smartest character who also happens to be Black Panther’s little sister. She is responsible for Black Panther’s suit and technology. She is not shy about showing off how smart she is and is clearly the audience’s favorite character to watch.
M’Baku, othewise known as Man-Ape, is played by Winston Duke. As the leader of the Jabari mountain trib of Wakanda, he challenges T’Challa for the throne. Despite their differences, he has great respect for Black Panther. Duke has an important role in this film and lands a hilarious line during a tense situation.
Black Panther’s mother is Queen Ramonda, played by the amazing Angela Bassett. While grieving the loss of her husband, she shows elegance and grace expected of a Queen while still balancing her role as a concerned mother for her son.
The spiritual leader of Wakanda is Zuri, played by Forest Whitaker. His wisdom and knowledge are respected by Black Panther. He feels like a familiar friend who is very important to the story line.
The illegal arms dealer we met in Avengers: Age of Ultron is back. Ulysses Klaue is played by Andy Serkis. He has formed an alliance with another evil character in an attempt to steal more vibranium.
As much as you would like, you just cannot have a Marvel superhero movie without the government’s intrusion. This time it is CIA agent, Everett Ross, played by Martin Freeman. Agent Ross is hunting Klaue, along with Black Panther.
It’s a magical place
Wakanda is a beautiful city that has been hidden for centuries and it is even more beautiful than you can imagine. The lush landscape and the beautiful architecture reveals why Wakanda was hidden for so long. Thankfully Marvel gives us an awesome look into their history and what makes the hidden paradise so special.
Based upon recations from our media screening, the CGI is either something you will fall in love with or irritate you beyond belief. For our family it was a beautiful part that put the finishing touches on an amazing movie. There are a few sequences that feel dream like and are a little over the top with the animation but it feels purposeful to distinguish between the reality of Wakanda and their deeply rooted spritual rituals.
Stan Lee’s expected cameo is hilarious and is one of the top cameos he has done.
For die hard Disney fans, there are some subtle nods to Disney’s The Lion King.
Explaining the Marvel universe with Black Panther brings beauty, culture, action, and an amazing cast. Our family looks forward to buying this movie and adding it to our superhero collection the day it is released on Blu-ray.
Black Panther will return in Avengers: Infinity War.
Parental Advisory (SPOILER ALERT)
Black Panther is the mildest movie of any recent Marvel movie to date. As with any Marvel movie there are instances of foul language and violence. This is the least amount of foul language of any Marvel movie we have seen. The level of violence feels very different with much of it being hand to hand combat.
There is one instance of the finger being given and there is no hoping your child will not see it because they will see it. At least it is done in a humorous way. This scene is immediately following the moment when Black Panther greets his Queen mother dressed in white, as pictured above.
There is one scene of a man and a woman kissing.
Men are shirtless in the ritual fight scenes.
There are two bonus scenes, with the second one after all of the credits have rolled. It is worth the wait.
Our media screening was in 2D but we believe IMAX would be an awesome way to view this movie.
Black Panther is rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action violence and a brief rude gesture.
Black Panther Movie Review by Kids
Be sure to watch the movie review by our Plugged In Kids below.
[quote]Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.[/quote]
- Release Date: February 16, 2018
- Format: IMAX, 3D, and 2D
- Rating: PG-13
- Running Time: 134 minutes
- Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis
- Director: Ryan Coogler
- Producer: Kevin Feige
- Executive Producers: Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Nate Moore, Jeffrey Chernov, Stan Lee
- Screenplay: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole
- Studio: Marvel Studios