Gonger Reviews: Black Panther
The Gonger goes to the movies...
...to watch Black Panther
Black Panther (2018)
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel “Get Out” Kaluuya (might do that for every movie he’s in now. Might not. We’ll see), and Letitia Wright.
Synopsis: Bulletproof kitty man drinks magic juice to become the Black Panther! King of Wakanda! But dark forces collude to take his crown and steal the technological masteries of the peaceful but secretive country. Can the Black Panther stop tyranny dead in its tracks? Probably. But it's all about the lessons you learn while doing it. Amiright?
Acting: Nobody, and I mean nobody is calling this one in. The whole cast has a great energy and their character work is spot on. Chadwick Boseman certainly had his work cut out for him to create a defining superhero persona but he nails it by creating a softer more approachable character. He doesn’t brood like Batman or wise crack like, well, every other superhero. He maneuvers and is diplomatic. A nice new take on the superhero. The supports are strong in this flick too with Letitia Wright shining bright taking on a Q-like character with all the humour involved. She goes out of the way to build her own character and again redefine how that type of character is presented. That all being said, the acting does get a little over the top and dare I say too cartoonish for a comic book movie? This flick had some heavy themes and the players (Michael B. Jordan) could have balanced the delivery a bit better to drive the point more directly. And one more thing, and I might be type-casting a bit, but Martin Freeman playing an American just doesn’t work for me. Guess I’ve seen him in too many of his native British roles. The voice just doesn’t match the face! Great character work though, as always. 1.5/2
Editing: Well... it's a little sluggish. I was wondering when this flick was going to pick up the pace. Sure the fight scenes were cut well but the dramatic scenes where sloppy and oddly cut. It really hurt the flow of the film which is a shame because the content presented wasn’t bad. The run time on this one is far to long, as well. They could have left some things on the cutting room floor and ditched the flashbacks to Civil War (2016). It seemed like something was really holding this flick back from truly reaching its potential and that was the editing. Such a shame. 1/2
Writing: Here's the thing, I actually thought there was far too much exposition in the flick but then I remembered, as much as they are trying to appeal to me, the 30-something comic book nerd, this flick is geared toward the tween and teen crowd and there are some pretty cool lessons involved. Let's see, when I was ten what was I watching... well, a quick search reveals that in 1997 Austin Powers came out and I was learning to be a complete idiot. So let's be glad for Black Panther teaching kids about kinetic energy and that science is cool! I thought science was cool, too, but I was also watching a ton of Next Gen. I digress. Now a great movie talks about the times it's made in. This flick attempts this and overall accomplishes this goal. With themes of oppression and tyranny opposed to progression and peace it mirrors our world and shows us what we as a people can become. Movies help change cultures for the positive and negative and for me, this picture gives a positive message to think about. There is too much plot going on though and this message can become lost with the glossy facade of a comic book movie. However, based on the box office everybody has seen this movie twice over so maybe it's all good. It would be pretty cool if we all started treated each other better because of a kitty cat man flick! 1.5/2
Costumes: You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been ripping on the look of the Black Panther. Truth be told, it's a pretty cool concept and I love how he moves like a stalking wild cat. Nice use of colour, too, for an all black costume. Brings in some nice depth. The Walandans look fantastic, too! I don’t know much about traditional African dress but I can only assume these costumes are inspired! Usually, too much colour distracts but not here. Ruth Carter takes calculated risks and the pay off is a feast for the eyes! Well done! 2/2
Soundtrack: Again, inspired. Using African (tribal?) sound and cinematic orchestra Ludwig Gorensson completes a rich fun score. Theres actually two soundtracks for this flick! Kendrick Lamar and a bunch of other artists I’ve never heard of bring some interesting hip-hop vibes to contrast and compliment the cinematic score. The only thing is I didn’t get a defined theme for the Black Panther. With such a defined score we should get a defined theme for the hero much like Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman. You hear that music and you know who’s coming and thats fun! Marvel kinda misses the mark on this front though so theres that. 1.5/2
7.5/10 With great acting and story its worth your time. If your not into comic book flicks though, maybe wait for it to show up on your Netflix.
Thats it! I’m all done!
Allan Stringer @Gonger_Reviews
Allan Stringer (if that's his real name) hails from the Mutara Nebula and has travelled through space and time to check out the only thing us pathetic humans have to offer: movies. Marvel at his intelligence!