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Movie Breakdown: Black Panther

February 15, 2018

Film

Pre-Screening Stance:

Black Panther has legit cultural significance and it’s the final Marvel film before Infinity War.  Do you really need another reason to be excited about it?  I don’t.

Post-Screening Ramble:

Black Panther is another hit for Marvel.  It’s culturally rich, which makes it not just feel like another superhero movie, and it’s generally more of standalone effort than a setup for the next MCU flick (something a lot of Marvel movies struggle with).  Also, I think that it features a couple of all-heart performances from Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan.  The great stuff here is legit great, but the film definitely has a variety of issues that aren’t possible to overlook.  Ryan Coogler, who is a director I greatly enjoy, just doesn’t quite roll out his best work here.  I don’t know if the glitz of such a big budget film threw him for a loop, or if the forced tie-in to a bigger universe is what tripped him up, but there are a lot of bizarre things at play.  The film has a fantastic, Kendrick Lamar-crafted soundtrack, but it’s not really utilized at all.  The fight scenes are borderline terrible, as they’re largely shot from the ground up and are difficult to follow.  The third act is slow and predictable, and I found myself frequently shuffling in my seat as the film’s two hour and 15 minute runtime started to started to stretch on and on.  Do any of these things take away from the overall film?  I don’t necessarily think so – it’s still a good time.  However, I have a hard time considering Black Panther to be a full-on home run.  Instead I think it’s a nice debut film for a relevant and important character.  Better things are yet to come?  Probably.

Go see Black Panther, just keep those expectations in check.

One Last Thought:

Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis serve no purpose in Black Panther other than to awkwardly tie it to the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Surely there was a better way to pull this off?

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