Well, I finally saw it. I’m always late to these things, it seems. Must try to get into the cinema on 27 April for Infinity War… Anyway, I saw an early evening screening on a Thursday night three weeks after the release date and it was still pretty busy. I think this movie might make some money, you guys.
Overall, the movie was just good. A solid B+. There was lots to admire here but the script was really quite weak.
T’Challa starts as a new king looking to do good by the world and ends as a new king looking to do good by the world. There wasn’t much to his journey in this movie other than being prepared to share the real Wakanda with the world, which is as much to do with getting pieces into place for Infinity War as anything personal to his character.
At no point did T’Challa think to mention to his rhino farming friend that his preferred choice for king, Killmonger, may have killed the man who killed his parents but he was actually working with him (and committing further murders with him) for a long time before then? For that matter, why was Killmonger working with Klaue? He already knew how to get to Wakanda and seemingly could have killed him at any time, so why waste all that time in London and Korea instead of just getting on with it? He gained nothing from that stuff and it only served to give T’Challa a heads-up on who he was dealing with. There’s really very little in the first act that serves much purpose to the plot. And, without wanting to open up a whole can of worms, the rule of show don’t tell should still apply within this movie to Killmonger’s concerns about how black people are treated around the world. A makeshift basketball net is hardly enough.
Killmonger poisoned that museum curator by putting something in her drink. T’Challa can lose his powers if he drinks a certain potion. I did expect the script to put two and two together here rather than re-doing the royal combat scene.
Did they mention what happened to Killmonger’s mother?
Does T’Challa and his crew thrashing a few neighbourhoods in South Korea not breach the Sokovia Accords? Considering that they played a major factor in his father’s death they certainly didn’t get any consideration here, not even with Everett Ross around.
The “romance” between the rhino farmer and the royal guard was not developed at all despite playing such a key role in the finale. Maybe this all makes more sense to those who are familiar with the Black Panther comics but as a total newbie to this world it rang hollow. The same goes for M’Baku and his crew doing their Han Solo run-in at the end of the battle. We all knew it was coming but they could have at least added one scene of T’Challa’s mum convincing M’Baku to do the right thing to justify it.
Inadvertently problematic that the proposed black uprising around the world was scuppered by the one white man in Wakanda and his Tron-jet?
All that said, I very much enjoyed getting to see Wanakda and the various societies within it. The costumes, the language, the different regions, the city itself and all of its tech… it is definitely a world that I look forward seeing more of in sequels. Concerns about the script aside, I thought all of the actors were very strong, in particular Michael B Jordan and Letitia Wright. I rather suspect that they will find a way to bring Jordan back in future movies. The music was fantastic and I now own a Kendrick Lamar album, which is something I never would have considered before.
The way things ended adds further fuel to the speculative fire that Tony Stark is not long for the MCU. T’Challa’s UN speech was a neat spin on Tony’s press conference and big truth reveal at the end of Iron Man 1. T’Challa is a very rich man with huge resources embarking on tech-based philanthropic efforts, much like Tony only without the at-times questionable morality or playboy attitude. And, in the real world, he is capable of grossing a billion dollars without having to pay RDJ so much. Basically, Tony Stark is so ten years ago and things are now set up nicely to proceed without him.
I will address this point.
Showing more than this would be like showing that people use a fork for eating. There’s no-one in the audience who doesn’t know that racism is a massively serious issue in the world.
Coogler chose to credit the audience with knowing the wider situation and therefore he was specific about these people in this place (Oakland), which he did (I thought) pretty elegantly.
Saw it last night. Was very impressed with it. “Impressed” is the best word, I think. It was more thoughtful than the other Marvel films, touching on serious subjects and giving you something to think about in a way that Marvel films generally don’t. So because of this, it lacked the lightness that makes Marvel movies (even the faux-angsty ones) fun.
Killmonger is probably the best villain Marvel have put on screen so far. Because you can understand and sympathise with what he says, even when you know his methods are all wrong.
And you can understand Wakanda’s isolationism, just as you can understand why T’Challa ended it, but it’s not at all clear which point of view is right. And the movie quite rightly doesn’t tell you which is right, it explains both points of view and lets you think about it.
So, by Marvel standards, really weighty stuff.
But the main selling point of the movie was: WAR RHINOS!! Woooooooooo!
Still second to Red Skull
Hmmm… no. Red Skull was a pantomime bad guy with generic motivations. Which was absolutely right for that movie, but not really an objectively great characterisation.
You spelled Trevor Slattery wrong.
Had to google who that was.
It’s not Best Picture next year.
But it IS an important and organic evolution of the superhero film genre. A hugely mainstream film that’s also unapologetically political.
It broadens the kind of film that people will be able to get made.
I could see it winning for best costumes but little else honestly.
I think it might be a shoe-in for original score and original soundtrack and I can see it getting co-star nominations and perhaps a best original script nomination, as a nod.
I could see if getting a Best Picture nod just because the Academy wants people to feel like they’re hip or something like that. Especially considering they’re coming off super low ratings this time around because they nominated a bunch of movies no one had any interest in seeing.
I don’t think Black Panther is best picture worthy, but it’s more entertaining (and probably carried more importance from a movie history perspective) than a lot of movies the academy does end up nominating. And it’ll be remembered for a lot longer than those movies too. So sure, nominate it.
Yeah I didn’t think of score, that’s true. I doubt there’s much chance of supporting nominations though and I’d be shocked if it manages to get a best original script nomination.
I’ve seen worse films get noms in both. There’s a lot of politics goes into this stuff and Disney have serious power right now.
Fair enough, I just don’t see it. Especially considering that the film came out almost literally a year before the nominations are made. By the time it comes to nominate films I think a lot of people will have moved on and other films will be dominating the public consciousness.
That true, but of course Get Out came out in Feb of last year and managed to do pretty well. Hard to say how it’ll play out right now.
Is there an Oscar for Best Prosthetics That Make You Go “EWWW EWWWW THAT MAN’S GOT A BIG DISC IN HIS LIP”?
Yes, there is.