The Phantom Voice
The latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther, is stylistic and nuanced bringing forth an all black cast injected full of talent. Compelling characters make the movie although in terms of plot the movie fails to take many risks. It follows a marvel formula that’s been in existence since Iron Man in 2008. In the film T’Challa succeeds his father as the black panther and ruler of Wakanda, and begins to face the troubles of ruling an advanced society hidden from the rest of the world.
The best aspect of this film is it’s array of enlightening characters. T’Challa is a stoic individual yet not unemotional or uncompelling. While his arc in Civil War was more interesting and empathetic, his storyline still has its hardships and final success. Chadwick Boseman is a great actor and gives a fantastic performance here. Daniel Kaluuya, Martin Freeman, Danai Gurira, and Andy Serkis all give great supporting roles for the movie. Letitia Wright plays my favorite side character from the movie enthusiastically portraying T’Challa’s sister Shuri. Her presence is felt in every scene and gives the audience a relatable amount of excitement about what’s happening in the film. The best performance comes from Michael B. Jordan playing T’Challa’s nemesis Erik Killmonger. With a reasonable motive and compelling backstory it’s hard to hate Killmonger, and Jordan’s performance reflects that. His story is tragic in reality turning towards vengeance and anger in the hope of fulfilling his quest. Another fantastic element of the film is the costume design. By basing most of the outfits off of actual African tribes and mixing it with the futuristic vibe of Wakanda the aesthetic of the movie came off really well. They did a great job at expressing culture in this film while also not pressing it too far.
Now the shortcomings of this movie are not many but are also not few. For starters while impressive at times, the action sequences can come across as choppy and not edited in a fluid manner. Furthermore the CGI was incredibly obvious at times and didn’t look great. Another weaker aspect is the central plot. It felt formulaic at times making it difficult to feel tension. It unfortunately forced Killmonger to assume the role as a typical marvel villain when deeper characteristics would have allowed him to break this stereotype. His character should’ve been explored further and had more appearances.