Black Panther

The 1960’s was a very important decade in history. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to the American people on his “I Have A Dream Speech” in his quest to abolish racism. The U.S. military enlisted men to fight in Vietnam. Lyndon B. Johnson took over JFK’s role as president after his tragic assassination. Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins & Buzz Aldrin became the first three human beings to walk on the moon and beating The Russians to their destination.

Besides history, several fads were popular in the decade including, The Beatles who were trailblazers that kickstarted “The British Invasion.” Viewers turned their television sets to watch programs like The Twilight Zone, Adam West’s Batman, Star Trek, Gilligan’s Island & The Andy Griffith Show responsible for introducing former child actor turned filmmaker, Ron Howard to the public eye. Notable motion pictures such as Psycho, The Sound Of Music, 2001: A Space Odyssey, West Side Story, Lawrence Of Arabia, The Dollars Trilogy that made Clint Eastwood a film icon. Dr. No was the first James Bond film, among many others were groundbreaking game changers, to this day continue to influence modern filmmaking.

In 1966, (the exact year Adam Sandler was born) Stan Lee introduced a superhero called, “Black Panther” in Fantastic Four issue number 52 and made a few guest appearances as a member of The Avengers and helping combating Dr. Doom. Seven Years Later, The King Of Wakanda finally earned his comic book series. Similar to Spider-Man paving a new generation of teenage superheroes, Black Panther encouraged comic book writers to come up with black superheroes including, Luke Cage, Blade, John Stewart/Green Lantern, Storm, War Machine, Miles Morales/Spider-Man, Cyborg, Spawn etc.

There has been history surrounding the making of a Black Panther movie since The 1990’s. Wesley Snipes (a fan of Marvel Comics) at first, wanted to develop a black superhero movie to make the character a positive role model for kids and not portray Africa in a negative perspective. After finishing his scenes for Demolition Man, Wesley visited Sony Pictures & Stan Lee to discuss about his proposed idea on making a Black Panther movie. Stan Lee felt skeptical on various scripts for the film, rejecting each one that doesn’t feel right to him, causing Sony to cancel the project and Wesley called it quits, but that didn’t stop him to make a superhero film about a half-man half-vampire that went on to become a game changer in superhero films. If you know what I’m talking about.

Two Decades Later, Black Panther made his big screen debut in Captain America: Civil War which is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU for short) with Chadwick Boseman portraying T’Challa/Black Panther who signed a contract to reprise is role in a stand-alone film, Avengers: Infinity War & a possible sequel to the character. His second onscreen appearance is his solo film set after the events of Captain America: Civil War.

Before the film’s release, a lot of hype was crawling all over the place with a few examples, it broke a record with movie goers pre-ordering tickets, Octavia Spencer bought a movie theater for children to see the movie as a way to show Black Panther as a positive role model & Wesley Snipes himself liked it.

This review doesn’t contain any big fat SPOILERS. You’re allowed to read all about it, if you have never seen the whole thing yet.

Positive: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman, Dani Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett & Andy Serkis all did an excellent job on their respective performances.

Fun Fact: Both Martin Freeman & Andy Serkis worked together in The Hobbit. By the way, Martin also worked with two actors who played Sherlock Holmes. Robert Downey Jr. in Captain America: Civil War & Benedict Cumberbatch in The Hobbit. Jude Law has officially signed on to co-star in the upcoming Captain Marvel film, it means we now have two Sherlock Holmes & two Dr. Watsons in the MCU!

Action Sequences were amazingly great consisting of cat fights, (no pun intended) a car chase, bodyguards defending their home & a Climatic Battle between hero & villain.

Costume Designs for the title character and various tribespeople, are creativity beautiful.

Character Development involving T’Challa, as he must assume responsibility for his father’s legacy as both a king and peacekeeper, in order to protect his birth country alongside other nations across the globe.

T’Challa’s chemistry with his allies and family member felt normal and they all served a purpose.

Killmonger (who is Black Panther’s archenemy in the comics) has an interesting backstory on what motivated him to commit criminal acts in the first place.

Visual Effects are eye popping gorgeous with Wakanda’s city resembling a Blade Runner like future. My eyeballs didn’t spot anything conspicuously fake.

Rapper, Kendrick Lamar provided the song, “All The Stars” and songs for the soundtrack. It is played before The Mid-Credits scene starts.

According to director, Ryan Coogler, (Creed and it’s upcoming sequel) the film is a cross between James Bond & The Godfather. Proving that Marvel is still capable of combining the superhero genre with a sub-genre as a perfectly concocted dish at a fancy restaurant.

Without giving too much away, Killmonger has a special connection to T’Challa.

As a tradition in Marvel movies, there’s a Mid-Credits Scene and a Post-Credits Scene leading up to a future follow up coming out this May. If you know what I’m taking about. Make you sure you stay in your seat if you’re excited to see what’s next for the future of Marvel!

Once again, Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance.

Negative: Shaky Cam is mostly used in some scenes. Seriously? Was the cameraman consuming a boatload of Red Bull cans due to his inability to properly hold the camera still?

The Final Verdict: A-

In my opinion, Marvel Studios made another home run with Black Panther, proving that Marvel is still relevant since Wesley Snipes’ Blade revitalized superhero pictures. Honestly, I don’t think its a game changer as Blade or made an emotional impact since Logan. I’m not saying it’s a terrible movie, it has some amazing elements I’ve listed despite one flaw. If you’re extremely excited to see Avengers: Infinity War like me, I highly recommend Black Panther, because this is just a warm up act, until the main event comes out this May. If you have nothing to do over the weekend, get off you’re butt and support this movie right now!

Bravo Marvel! I can’t wait for Avengers: Infinity War along with Deadpool 2, Ant-Man & The Wasp, Venom, X-Men: Dark Phoenix & Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse!

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