I was in two minds about Black Panther, and until last week wasn’t even sure I wanted to see it. But glad I am that I decided to go along to the advance screening because it exceeded all my expectations, mainly by being one of the least Marvel like films in the MCU.
Black Panther is an origin story, which is always a good start for a Marvel film, and follows the fate of T’Challa aka the Black Panther. We go back in time to set the scene and revisit a smidgen of Civil War to see his dad die. T’Challa now has to return to his homeland to claim the crown.
This simple concept of a superhero being a King and having to consider the needs of his country immediately makes Black Panther a different film than any other in the MCU. His actions reverberate a lot deeper that most superheroes. But add to this the film’s massive focus on social issues, and you have an action packed super hero film that actually forces you to consider issues that are real today. An impressive feat because not only does the film entertain to the max, but also never feels preachy.
And then there are the more subtle differences. No cities were destroyed. Not even any city blocks.
Of course claiming his crown isn’t a straight forward affair, and the sins of the father come back to bite him fairly hard in the arse. But I don’t want to get too much into that, as it’s something you’ll going to want to discover for yourself.
Lets just say that Black Panther is a cleverly written film, driven at breakneck speed by spectacular action, kept in check by some well placed humour and all set to an absolutely gorgeous backdrop of African sunsets.
Rating: M Violence.