Black Panther

Reviewed
Fri. 3/9/18
Black Panther
3.9166666666667
Acting
4
4/5
Morality
4
4/5
Music
3.5
3.5/5
Story
3.5
3.5/5
Visuals
4
4/5
Kernel Factor
4.5
4.5/5
Empowering thanks to a great cast
Reviewed By: Steven Siwek
Viewing Environment:
Theater
Viewing Crew:
Myself
Times Watched:
1
Genre:
Science Fiction
Payment Method:
MoviePass
Review:

Guys don't hate me, but I'm the person who has had superhero fatigue for about 5-10 years. I honestly can't watch all of them, but with all the hype and $$ surrounding Black Panther this was a must-watch for me to see what it was all about for myself. I was pleasantly surprised! Mostly because it didn't feel like a superhero movie - thank God. For me a superhero movie is so predictable and usually built in 3 basic arcs: the average person finds they are special/becomes special, they use their powers for good only to find there is a menacing force that's going to destroy the world, in the process of the bad guy/girl/force destroying the world and temporarily possessing the precious thing (that only earth has) our hero finds their true inner self and conquers the enemy while in the credits a new villain emerges. Oh man, it makes me mini-puke just thinking about it. That being said, "Black Panther" actually has a very interesting story! I think it completely breaks down in its final act, but the first 2/3's of this movie is absolutely incredible and so well built. Read more for the in-depth scores.

Acting
Ever since "42" I've been a huge Chadwick Boseman fan. He is absolutely key in this role. I don't know a lot about the Marvel Universe, but I'd say he and Captain America are my favorite characters. He's so likeable. And Michael B. Jordan is so solid as well! One more stand-out to me was Andy Serkis - wow, good evil character. The supporting cast excels with the exception of "Agent Ross" played by Martin Freeman. In no fault of his own. This is a script error. Martin's character is treated as the token white guy who can just get tossed around. His character is totally unnecessary, and I thought somewhat distasteful at times in terms of how they used him. 
Morality
There is a good amount of senseless killing and more language in this film than other Marvel movies. But the empowerment of women and the oppressed is very well done but in no ways is it subtle. I think this film shows the hurt of the black community in a very interesting way, and I hope it leads to helpful conversations because the film straddles between Malcolm X and Dr King language - almost combining them at times.
Music
The music that represents Michael B. Jordan's character, "Erik", is amazing. Edgy, loud, and filled with catchy beats. They should have carried a similar theme throughout the film. That being said, some sequences are perfectly matched with sound and music while other times the music seems misplaced with the desired emotion.
Story
Oh, they built this story SO well! They built a world that seemed so real. Absolutely an incredible feat visually (discussed in the next section). And that world also helped tell such a good story. HOWEVER, they fell right back into the Marvel model toward the final act. I won't spoil anything, but I'll just say the rhinos are on par with the rock creatures from "Noah" - yes, that bad. This movie could've achieved the same ending in a different way that aligned with how they were telling the story versus resorting to just a war sequence, which ironically doesn't promote the love and unity that they are trying to do so hard throughout the film.
Visuals
The tech in this movie is sick! Amazing job to that team. The visuals are all good - we're still in the time period where green screens are so obvious. Also, ticky-tack, but I can't understand how none of "Black Panther" was filmed in Africa. Strange.
Kernel Factor
There‘s a lot of things I could say here. This movie has a lot to it and it’s amazing they were able to pull it off. That’s the reason I guess I’m at least intrigued about watching MCU movies - they are massive projects with thousands of people coming together to make something. I really admire that. And what I admire with “Black Panther” is that it goes one step further - this is a relevant and timely story, with heroic themes, and evil character(s) who are quite complex and not stereotypes. Good job.

Check out the recently popped reviews