Going into the 18th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’d hope you wouldn’t see the same thing over and over that we’ve been watching since Iron Man debuted a decade ago. As the years have passed on by, watching a Marvel movie became something tedious, even though most of the films are fun and enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, Marvel has done a great job with each and every film they’ve put out, but moving into their 18th film, it seems like we’ve seen almost everything and every action scene is something recycled from the previous, whether it be superheroes jumping from car to car during car chases or aliens come out of the sky and destroying the planet. Luckily for all of us Marvel fans, ‘Black Panther‘ breathes new and creative life into a somewhat stale film series in the best ways possible.
Filmmaker Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station), was the perfect choice to bring this character to the big screen as his attention to detail in storytelling, character development, and shooting action sequences is fresh and might be better than any previous Marvel film. If you’re unfamiliar with the whole story around Black Panther, Coogler gives you a short refresher course at the start of the film, showing you that Black Panther or his real name T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) comes from a place called Wakanda, which is located in Africa, but is hidden from the rest of the world. It is the most technologically advanced society on Earth, even more so than anything Tony Stark has thought up. Their society survives and is capable by a certain flower that produces something called Vibranium, which allows for big science advancements, including Black Panther’s super-suit.
As we saw in ‘Captain America: Civil War‘, T’Challa’s father (the king of Wakanda), was killed in a terrorist explosion, which leaves T’Challa the rightful heir. All seems right in the world, but it doesn’t last long as someone has stolen some Vibranium in which to make weapons and sell across the globe. That’s where Killmonger enters the screen who is played expertly by Michael B. Jordan. This Killmonger villain might be the best villain in the entirety of the Marvel Universe, because he is so layered and is actually right for believing his ways. You actually side with him due to the circumstances that is told out in such a tragic way. He’s one of those villains that you truly connect with on many levels and might agree with his reasoning.
On the other hand, we get to witness T’Challa’s struggle with his family skeletons. All this sets the stage for a couple of excellent action sequences, which are never over-the-top, but feel realistic and brutal all at the same time. It’s what we’ve needed in this Marvel Universe for a long time now. At certain points, you might feel like you’re watching a 007 James Bond film as Boseman calmly walks through each scene and is shown by his little sister (the perfect Letita Wright) all of the new gadgets and weapons he will use on his mission. The movie then cuts to an upscale casino scene where T’Challa and a few other Wakandans are undercover trying to execute their mission, which just screams the best of 007. This is also where Coogler shoots the action sequence with the one-shot setup, which is perfect.
Boseman as Black Panther is quite good, classy, and has that quiet yet strong mood as Bond had in his films without the cheesy one-liners. Surrounding Boseman is a great supporting cast, all of which get their time to shine and reveal true emotions and character development, all of which are distinguishable and original. There hasn’t been anything quite this good in the Marvel Universe until now. ‘Black Panther‘ is the ultimate superhero film and I can’t wait to see it again.