That’s not hyperbole. I was so drawn in by this movie that I completely forgot I was supposed to take notes. Luckily, it was so good that I remember everything.
I’m going to write as spoiler-free of a review as I can because you should absolutely see this movie. It is beautifully shot, a wonderful story and is such a great experience.
At its heart, Black Panther is a coming of age story, following T’Challa (brilliantly portrayed by Chadwick Boseman) who is tasked with taking the mantle of king after the events of Captain America: Civil War; and deals with choosing between the way Wakandans have traditionally done things (because they are actually so technologically advanced, they portray themselves as a poor Third World Country and do not share their advancements with the world); and being more open to the outside world.
The other main conflict of the movie involves Erik “Killmonger” Stevens, who Michael B. Jordan absolutely nails. I don’t want to spoil his role, but you can really feel the motivations and pain of the character in the role, especially in a really wonderful moment in the third act.
One thing that works so well for Black Panther is the overall lack of connectivity to the MCU. The only real required watching is Captain America: Civil War and Avengers Age of Ultron, making it far more accessible, while also not hindering the plot. The movie is able to stay focused on T’Challa and his story, which is a nice breath of fresh air.
The major crossover comes from Everett Ross (Martin Freeman, reprising his role from CA: Civil War) and Uysses Klaue (Andy Serkis coming back from Avengers: Age of Ultron.) Outside from the two of them, there is not much crossover and you can go in fresh.
As somebody who hasn’t read many of the Black Panther comics, the experience of going in fresh was a nice change. You get to learn about all of the characters as Ryan Coogler excellently weaves the tapestry of the story together. The rich Wakandan history and characters like Okoye, the head of the guard, Nakia; T’Challa’s former love and current War Dog, and T’Challa’s sister Princess Shuri, who is the head of the Wakandan Technology.
The movie focuses on character and story, and is a bit light on the action scenes. It does solve the problem that I have with most Marvel Movies – their weak villains and weak third act. Black Panther overcomes both in its main villain Killmonger and his excellent plot and development, and by the conflict between T’Challa and Killmonger.
There’s not much I can say other than to absolutely see this movie. I don’t want to spoil it. It’s great and probably one of the best, if not Marvel’s best movie. It’s so wonderful, and you need to see it as soon as you can.