Black Panther

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6.5/10

Being a HUGE Marvel fan, this movie has me torn. The nobility of the character and his supporting characters comes across wonderfully and does justice to the source material in that regard. It’s a well written and acted film no question about it.

Yet, judging it on two different fronts it is extremely lacking. In terms of pure entertainment, it’s on the EXACT same level as Iron Man 2. (And I found IM2 to be the MCU’s weakest effort) Like IM2, Black Panther features very weak action and a “universe building” narrative held together by interesting characters and dialogue. The fight scenes are atrociously shot and almost inept. They are choppy and disjointed and in the larger scenes very cartoonish.

Then, there’s judging it on its political social commentary. That’s where it gets tricky and is where most movie critics fear to speak ill of it. Bottom line is the movie takes a stance that anyone not black is or has been an oppressor. Black Panther agrees but thinks that Wakanda should be better than the enemy and not sink to their level. Killmonger is pure black militant thinking every African descendant everywhere should be armed and violently destroy anyone of a different race. THAT is the tone of the film. In an era of divisiveness, this movie sure seems to want to bring gasoline to the fire. It’s not blatant and tries to hide it in comic book sci-fi visuals and story but it really isn’t all that subtle. The irony is that with all the pandering to today’s “victim blacks” the movie ends up tripping on its own message. Embracing African culture means having everyone dancing around like bush natives but with 23rd century technology. The assumptions it makes is insulting if you think about it. They CAN’T get ahead in modern civilization WITHOUT a “magic metal” that puts them hundreds of years ahead of the rest of the world. The message is that without Vibranium they would have no ability to prosper as a culture??? It seems this movie is less about showing pride in African culture and more about trying to perpetuate the myth that everyone of non-African decent is on some level evil. That certainly has an audience in this era whether you buy in to the white guilt propaganda or are angry at society or your place in society in general.

Does all that make a great film? The answer here is clearly NO but it doesn’t make for a bad film either.



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Yet, judging it on two different fronts it is extremely lacking. In terms of pure entertainment, it’s on the EXACT same level as Iron Man 2. (And I found IM2 to be the MCU’s weakest effort) Like IM2, Black Panther features very weak action and a “universe building” narrative held together by interesting characters and dialogue. The fight scenes are atrociously shot and almost inept. They are choppy and disjointed and in the larger scenes very cartoonish.
Speak for yourself - I'll concede that initial fight in the jungle is a little too dark to work, but I thought the casino fight/car chase worked well enough. Otherwise, that third act is pretty solid as far as MCU third acts go (which were never that strong in the first place so this one plays better than most).

Then, there’s judging it on its political social commentary. That’s where it gets tricky and is where most movie critics fear to speak ill of it. Bottom line is the movie takes a stance that anyone not black is or has been an oppressor.


(seriously, was his whole character and sub-plot really not enough to prove that not every single white person is bad, to say nothing of all the other white heroes in the MCU?)

Black Panther agrees but thinks that Wakanda should be better than the enemy and not sink to their level. Killmonger is pure black militant thinking every African descendant everywhere should be armed and violently destroy anyone of a different race. THAT is the tone of the film. In an era of divisiveness, this movie sure seems to want to bring gasoline to the fire. It’s not blatant and tries to hide it in comic book sci-fi visuals and story but it really isn’t all that subtle.
Why does this sound so familiar...



I mean, they weren't exactly the most subtle MLK/Malcolm surrogates either.

The irony is that with all the pandering to today’s “victim blacks” the movie ends up tripping on its own message. Embracing African culture means having everyone dancing around like bush natives but with 23rd century technology. The assumptions it makes is insulting if you think about it. They CAN’T get ahead in modern civilization WITHOUT a “magic metal” that puts them hundreds of years ahead of the rest of the world. The message is that without Vibranium they would have no ability to prosper as a culture???
First of all, how are you going to use the phrase "victim blacks" and then try to complain about how this movie is actually insulting to black people? Second of all, you're right that, without vibranium they wouldn't have been able to prosper as a culture - but do you know why? Because white colonisers would've destroyed their culture like they did with other African countries in real life. Third of all, yeah, that's what embracing your culture is about - remember that next time you want to stick a piece of cloth covered in stars and stripes on a pole.

It seems this movie is less about showing pride in African culture and more about trying to perpetuate the myth that everyone of non-African decent is on some level evil. That certainly has an audience in this era whether you buy in to the white guilt propaganda or are angry at society or your place in society in general.
It seems like you assumed the film was uncritically endorsing the villain's viewpoint, which was presented with nuance and sympathy but was ultimately condemned by the heroes at the end of the film.

Does all that make a great film? The answer here is clearly NO but it doesn’t make for a bad film either.
I'm legit surprised that you apparently meant everything you wrote in this post yet still gave it a 6.5/10 - that's only two full points lower than what you gave 12 Guys Fight The Taliban on Horses or Something.
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Hello all, I saw Black Panther last night in 3D and I just wanted to share my thoughts to see if anyone received the same message and what everyone thinks about the movie.

To start, I am not a comic book person so I won't be referencing back to the comics, just someone who went into it expecting nothing.

For me, the main message of this movie was liberation, being liberated. Many different demographics I feel can connect to this movie through that message. Whether it's liberation from oppression, sexism, family histories, stereotypes, vendettas and grudges, ect. people can identify with this movie. I really felt it through the womanhood sisterhood aspect. YAS.

The woman in this movie really stole everything. They were everything. The tech sister, who is not nerdy and skanky or social awkward, she's just a bad mamajama. His best fighter is a strong female who wields her weapon so powerfully and when she hopped up on that car in the beautiful red dress and just took names, sisterhood. Lastly, the lover a strong female who stood side by side with him as opposed to a step behind. It was never a question if any of them were qualified for their positions because they are woman, they were just respected as the best in their fields because they were. And with T'Challa being able to keep the peace and lead them to their goal, they all benefitted each other equally.

Besides all that, the music, colors, landscapes, and performances of everyone who took part in this movie was top notch. The score was able to escort you into the feel and be in the moment for every scene. The colors and landscapes were just astonishing, which seemed to be a priority since we were built up to see "the most beautiful sunrise" and it did not disappoint. Finally, the performances of everyone, aside from the main four who, from reading the paragraph above should say how I feel about their portrayal of this story, was fabulous. Winston Duke as M'Baku, Daniel Kaluuya as W'Kabi, and Micheal B. Jodan as Erik Killmonger could easily have been over shadowed by the main four but were able to hold their own. Kaluuya and Jordan I had seen before but Duke really stood out to me. I loved his character who was able to tap out instead of die with integrity and then put his grudges aside to stand by his king in the end. Duke was able to execute this minor character with a memorable performance. Finally, Andy Serkis. Wonderful. A total different character from Gollum or Cesear. Where Serkis generally plays meek or/and the good guy, he buffed out and total harnessed the bad guy believably.

out of 5



Saw it. I enjoyed it but I guess I was expecting something bigger. More epic. Theres no evil in this film. Just a troubled cousin whose anger you can kind of understand. And that made it feel small to me. And I wanted to see more of the suit in action. The chase in Korea was fun but the fight at the end was underwhelming. And the end felt like Back To The Future 2 meets Coming To America. Worth watching but dont expect a massive movie. Its more a beginning. A true introduction.
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That's an interesting comment considering how the common complaints against the MCU (and superhero movies in general) are that a) the villains are generally terrible precisely because they're one-note "evil" types (this even extends to most of the ones that, like Killmonger, are tragic figures who bear grudges against their heroes and end up becoming dark counterparts to them in the process) and b) the stakes of the main conflicts tend to get too high and thus become too impersonal to care about e.g. the hero-against-hero plot of Civil War being more involving on a personal level than the save-the-world-from-evil-robot plot of Age of Ultron.



I dont know he just felt like a training wheels villain to me. A villain for a newbie superhero before things get more serious in the next film. And that felt underwhelming to me. I need at least a little evil.

Yeah, Im sure Ive been programmed to expect monstrous power and evil in my villains now because of Marvels usual approach. I actually liked Ultron as a villain. I appreciated the concept of a homicidal alien robot quoting Nietzsche. I found him compelling. He was enormously powerful but emotionally vulnerable. Killmonger was just an angry cousin. He didnt feel very dangerous to me.



Welcome to the human race...
It seems like most of the Phase 3 villains so far can be described based on a familial (or quasi-familial) relationship to the hero - deadbeat dad in GOTG2, prospective girlfriend's dad in Homecoming, long-lost sister in Ragnarok, and now the cousin in Panther. I also get the impression that Killmonger was ultimately willing to sacrifice Wakanda for the sake for his personal vendetta (even if it is under the guise of the noble intention to arm oppressed black people around the world, the blame would fall on the whole country and cause it to be targeted by the rest of the world for the actions of a single citizen) so that alone should push him a little closer to evil. Ultron was also technically acting on a noble goal of peace on Earth, but it's that literal genie thing where the only way to guarantee peace is to kill everyone who could fight each other.



It seems this movie is less about showing pride in African culture and more about trying to perpetuate the myth that everyone of non-African decent is on some level evil.
I think this is largely incidental to the real message actually. And I think you give the movie no credit for its clear statement about black on black dynamics. This movie isnt about "bad whitey" although Im sure a lot of people will have that knee jerk response to it. Andy Serkis was a secondary character at best and wasnt at all representative of white people in the least (and many of his own henchmen were black by the way).

They could have made the villain some white corporate CEO type or some racist Aryan mastermind trying to take over the world but they didnt. The villain is black. And I think its pretty significant that not only is he black but hes an actual FAMILY MEMBER. I think that’s pretty symbolic and kind of daring actually. Here you have this big black blockbuster film everyone has been waiting for where black culture and power is celebrated and you make the bad guy a black militant as you call him (and I think a lot of Americans would be less charitable and just call him a 'thug'). But he’s more than that. Hes part of the family that’s been wronged and its resulted in him being this cold angry vengeance seeker who has issues with self hate and just wants to burn it all down. And he got that way because of US not THEM is the message. In effect it’s a message from black people to black people saying look inside yourself. Turning your back on any member of our ‘family’ in need is immoral and will result in self destruction and perpetual strife within our own homes and communities. This is a message that can ring resoundingly in black communities from the streets of Chicago to the hills of Rwanda. When you turn your back on your own brothers, your own tribe members, you do them an injustice. And that’s no one elses fault but our own. And yes this is a message that can probably only be delivered in a "black" movie from a black director. But its a message I think you missed.

And this point of view is only reinforced further by showing the conflict that has existed between the Mountain tribe and the ruling tribe for so long. Again, they are all family. And its resolving those conflicts that helps solve the bigger problems.



Keep your station clean - OR I WILL KILL YOU
I loved Killmonger, he is one of only about three Marvel villains I actually liked. His whole reason to be a villain was personalized so well for me, that is what makes a great villain. If I want to watch a Villain want to cause harm, I need to know how they think, why they think that way, and I want to to be able to see how it might be reasonable in some perspective. That's why I loved Killmonger, it was a villiain with strong writing, as opposed to most of the big baddies we see in the other MCU films.



I know how cliche it’s become to say this about Marvel movies but that ending should’a been smaller in scale. It’s actually almost there but it’s mandated to include a cameo from the ship off of Dark Knight Rises.

P.S. maybe it means I know f-all about action scenes but the ones in the movie seemed just fine to me, particularly the first T’Challa / Killmonger fight.



"Honor is not in the Weapon. It is in the Man"
Watched it yesterday and loved it....great action, excellent performances. I saw it as more than your Marvel superhero film...it was also about a potentially fallen kingdom with civil war on the horizon. Had minimal elements of village life as I would see in some Nollywood films as well...a nicely made meshing of the two. My only issue was only a few beats of extreme close ups in some of the action in the beginning...but ultimately, one of the best MCU films. I see it as the "cooldown" before the impending Infinity War.
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I mean, they weren't exactly the most subtle MLK/Malcolm surrogates either.
I didn't know X men were supposed to represent the US civil rights movement until I read about it. But I didn't know anything about US history so...

First of all, how are you going to use the phrase "victim blacks" and then try to complain about how this movie is actually insulting to black people? Second of all, you're right that, without vibranium they wouldn't have been able to prosper as a culture - but do you know why? Because white colonisers would've destroyed their culture like they did with other African countries in real life. Third of all, yeah, that's what embracing your culture is about - remember that next time you want to stick a piece of cloth covered in stars and stripes on a pole.
African countries are not poor because "white men" made them poor, although it's true colonialism was a bad experience that was true everywhere in the world.

And Africa today has a lot of native cultures in fact the regions whose cultures were really destroyed by white men are the North and South Americas: the US is essentially an European country set up over the corpses of a huge number of native American tribes.



I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Saw it last night and liked it a lot. I was expecting a little more superhero suit-wearing action and a little less politics, but it was mostly done well. I thought it looked great. I've seen some complaints elsewhere about the cgi but I didn't see a problem with it. I liked the women in it - probably more women characters than in the rest of MCU put together. Shuri was great. The villain was good. He had a believable motivation enough to give the hero conflict but was still outright evil enough that you knew which side you were on. Actually some of the supporting characters sort of overshadow Black Panther a bit, so he's a little bit in the shade even in his own movie.

On the flip side, the story isn't anything all that new. We've got a the respected old king who has made mistakes in the past which cause repercussions for the new king trying to prove himself and the loose cannon family member villain - so far so Thor. But maybe any fatigue is the natural consequence of just how many Marvel movies there have been at this point. The world-building was impressive but isn't a substitute for story. And I'm on the fence about the armoured rhinos.

The ending annoyed me though - it made no sense that having decided to share their knowledge, the Wakandans decided to send their best people to open a social outreach in America. The rich country that already has Tony Stark. What happened to Nakia saving women from people-traffickers and freeing child soldiers? Isn't that more important than going to the US? Wouldn't they help their neighbours first? It just seemed a strangely American-centric ending that slightly undermined setting it in Africa in the first place. Not to mention a bit of a step-down career wise for both women. I'd have cut all of that and just finished it with the UN scene.

But I enjoyed watching it. You could say at this point Marvel might not have much new to offer but experience counts for something in producing slick, high-quality, entertaining movies. It might be a formula, but it's one that works well.




I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Why does this sound so familiar...



I mean, they weren't exactly the most subtle MLK/Malcolm surrogates either.
Hmm. Magneto and Killmonger are both called Erik. Coincidence...?



I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
One more Black Panther thought (for the moment), wasn't that whole scene in the casino really reminiscent of the casino in Skyfall? Even the way they were walking around separately but talking to each other.



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Was probably going to see this but again critics are wildly out of range with audience. Audience rates this as 7/10 prolly not good enough to go watch, but critics 9/10.
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