Black Panther

Black Panther is a 2018 movie based on the Marvel Comics character. The film is directed by Ryan Coogler and he co-wrote the screenplay with Joe Robert Cole. The film stars Chadwick Boseman from Captain America: Civil War, where he first played T’Challa, the Black Panther. The film also stars Michael B. Jordan (Creed), Lupita Nyong’o (Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi), Martin Freeman (The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, The Hobbit, and Captain America: Civil War) and Forest Whitaker (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and many other films and television shows).  

Black Panther is rated PG-13. Click here for a detailed examination of the film’s rating.

The premise of the movie is that long ago a meteor hit in central Africa. This meteorite contained vibranium, a fictional metal. In the past a warrior ingests a herb that has been mutated by the metal and becomes a superhuman leader, unites tribes and forms the country of Wakanda. Using the metal the Wakandans develop very advanced technology, but hide it behind a stealth cloak and pose as a third world country. All of this is revealed as backstory in the opening minutes of the film.

While the meteor and advanced technology provide a science fiction premise, the movie remains solidly in the superhero comic universe.

There are few black superheroes and few science fiction movies with black lead actors. Black Panther and the country of Wakanda are well done twists on the normally white superhero world. I enjoyed that part of the film. Michael B. Jordan plays the role of Killmonger the main villain of the movie. At first, he appeared to be a one-dimensional character, but as the movie progressed the deeper facets of his character were revealed.

I enjoyed both the unique Wakandan point of view and the character depth of Killmonger. The movie also had humor and several well-acted fight scenes.

Beyond that, there is nothing special here. When T’Challa appears to die I know that he hasn’t. Actually, at that point, I pretty much knew how the film would conclude.

Black Panther is a good addition to the Marvel Comic Universe. If you liked the seventeen earlier Marvel movies I suspect you will like this one. However, I’m getting a little tired of comic book movies. If I had it to do over, I’d wait and rent the movie.