The Marvel Cinematic Universe had the much-anticipated Black Panther film released on Friday, February 16, to showcase their latest production of a big screen superhero film without any ties to the traditional out-of-this-world white dominated flicks of the 21st Century Hollywood. So this time, they doled out a radically different kind of superhero. A superhero with proud Afrocentric origins featuring a nearly all-black cast that focuses on the diversity of the black race, and more specifically on the fictional nation of Wakanda. My buzz review of Black Panther is a candid appreciation of the kind of brilliance that true representation could bring to Hollywood.
As popularly said, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. Black Panther sees a utopian status kingdom of Wakanda, wrongly thought to be a very poor third world country by the rest of the world. Wakanda is eventually revealed to be the most advanced civilization on Earth due to its possession of the rarest metal on Earth; Vibranium. Wakanda has a newly crowned king – T’challa (Chadwick Boseman aka their daddy) who would eventually learn not only to be concerned by his nation’s boarders, but to shelf his believe of seclusion, and eventually offer the vast amount of knowledge and resources his nation bears to the rest of the world (Aka Gum People).
From glowing blue lips to advanced weaponry and graffiti workshops, Ryan Coogler’s work has obviously expanded in scope and scale, being more ambitious, audacious and technically dazzling (you can already tell from the posters in my buzz review of Black Panther) . Black Panther hones a very interesting line of soundtracks. It comes bundled and polished with the usual marvel cinematic universe genre formula of tomfoolery, in-jokes, mythology and crowns this with a stellar delivery of pure black excellence (even Ifa must be proud).
The Black Panther film shows the king; T’challa clothed in a slinky suit powered by a mystery metal; Vibranium. The film manages to bring the audience up to speed on T’Challa’s story by sketching his past and looking to his future with as much detail as possible. It brilliantly points to existence of other Marvel Cinematic Universe warriors posing the possibility of expansion of Marvel within the African context (Sango? Yes?).
Black Panther manages to lay a perfect groundwork for a two-layer villain masterpiece by rendering Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis), an underworld arms dealer with a weaponized arm, and an Afrikaans sneer and rampaging cohort; Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). As his name connotes, Killmonger has issues to go with his striking body buildup plus a “This time it’s personal” sense of vengeance (like they put 200 Mushin boys into one body, gave him weed to look fierce, and then took him to a spa to look fresh).
Both villain performances were great, but I do no justice to my buzz review of Black Panther if I do not commend the outstanding performance put forward by Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger. Michael was so brilliant, putting forward a performance that would rival Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight, Alan Walker’s Sirius Black in Harry Potter and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek: Into Darkness (he was the bad guy and he made us know it!).
Other excellent performances to look out for would be the main man himself; Chadwick Boseman (or Chadwick Bossman as I like to call him), he completely connected with his role and tied the audience to his burden both as the ruler and protector of Wakanda. Dania Gurira as Okoye and Lupita N’yongo as Nakia brought performances that emphasized the strength and independence of the black woman (you’d feel sorry for any man who challenged them in the film). Letitia Wright as Shuri exhibits the truest form of female intelligence that makes it actually believable that she can actually rival Tony Stark (The ladies were not playing around).
From the breath-taking sunset scenes of Wakanda to Busan and South Korea, the cinematography was the best of futuristic advancement fused with African cultures. The diversity of the cast is beautiful as it features most actors and actresses with African roots from Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Angela Basset, Lupita N’yongo, Daniel Kaluuya among many other interesting acts. The plot was completely different and impactful, tugging at some of the most sensitive topics in black history and maintaining a balance of humor and engagement with the audience (searching for plot holes would be like searching for the 36 million naira swallowed by our Nigerian Snake – good luck finding it).
Black Panther is not just a film, it is a triumph. It reemphasizes the truth behind the black race and serves as a reminder to every African nation out there, that true strength comes from within. Marvel absolutely outdid themselves this time by putting in the most intense form of research I have ever seen. The accuracy was spot on and the delivery was beyond incredible, Ryan Coogler is indeed the real hero of this entire story for bringing to life a superhero film with almost no flaws.
My buzz review of Black Panther is not completely free of flaws as the Afrikaan accent was a bit over emphasized and unreal for a few actors, but this film will go down in history as a subject of discussion for all ages, all races, all shapes and sizes. It could even be taught in schools, debated among intellectuals, to be seen as “the moment everything changed”.
In other news, I am no longer Nigerian. Wakanda Forever!
Kindly let me know what you think about my buzz review of Black Panther in the comments section below, did I leave out anything? I’d love to hear from you.
Buzzers Consensus:(5 / 5)
Audience Consensus (Vote here):
Official Synopsis of Black Panther
After the death of his father, T’Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king — and as Black Panther — gets tested when he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people.
Official Trailer of Black Panther