Here's a guest writer, my sister, Margarita Del Mar, bringing us her scoop on Black Panther!
Yesterday I had the pleasure of screening the highly anticipated Black Panther. The film did not disappoint! Impressively being this is only his third film, director Ryan Coogler delivers a solid superhero flick. The film offers an abundance of thrilling action sequences, visually stunning scenery, unsuspected twists, and plenty of laughs along the way. It meets all the expectations of a Marvel film with a tribal futuristic flare!
Black Panther is a story about the rise of the King of the Wakanda nation in Africa. As explained in the opening scene taking place in the distance past, the Wakanda nation was hit by a meteorite made of a rare metal called vibranium, that holds incredible power. Proving to be an extremely valuable and versatile resource, the four main tribes of Wakanda unite. Together they agree to keep the vibranium secret from the outside world. They crown one king, who is given the loyalty of the tribal communities. Successfully kept in secrecy for years, Wakanda is considered a third world nation to the outside world but the peaceful community is thriving in wealth and technology.
Jumping to the present, news is received that King T’Chaka has been killed during a bombing at a United Nations gathering, a direct connection to Captain America: Civil War. Now his son T’Challa is to be crowned the king and the powers of the Black Panther bestowed onto him. T’Challa played by Chadwick Boseman is a fair and good-hearted King. Taught well by his father to follow in his footsteps, T’Challa must decide if continuing his father’s path is the right move for Wakanda. The thought-provoking plot line, brushes the topic of the obligation of those with abundance to help others less and is relevant in today’s political climate.
The use of CGI is flawless in enhancing the visual experience of custume and set design. The filmmakers artfully merge Afrocentric esthetics with a high-tech sci-fi style. Every scene is stunning! The elaborate costume design includes the use of bright colors, beads, braids and patterns with a metal modern edge. The story takes place in and out of Wakanda and moves fluidly from scenic sunsets with pinks and purple skies to bustling streets of big cities. The musical score also tailored perfectly to each scene to immerse the audience in each shot.
It was also fun to see the multitude of action sequences. There is raw hand to hand combat, field battle, and high-paced, gravity-defying car and aircraft chases. A personal favorite action scene involves the four tribes in combat. It gives the audience an eye full of awesome when each tribe unleashes their vibranium enhanced fighting styles. From spears to a feline shock-absorbing suit, the audience can geek out on their choice of weaponry! Customary to the Marvel films, the violence in the film holds off from heavy blood and guts to make the film appropriate for a younger demographic.
As I grew to love Boseman in his role as king, I found several of the other characters fascinating. Danai Gurira commands the viewers’ attention with her role as Okoye! Always in red, Okoye is a fiercely loyal tribal warrior that proves a powerful ally. Being one of many female lead characters, it was refreshing to see such a myriad of female bad-assery. The easily hated, sleazy villain Ulysses Klaue provides endless comedic relief is perfectly portrayed by Andy Serkis. There truly is not a weak character in the film and all were exceptionally well-acted.
Whether one is an old fan of the Black Panther comics or an audience member that is now discovering the story, both have plenty to enjoy! Coogler sets the bar high in what seems to be the beginning of the Black Panther Saga! I am excited to see what new cinematic adventure is in store next for Black Panther!
Thanks for the write up Margarita!