top of page

Black Panther Movie Review (Spoiler Free)

If you thought Tony Stark had the coolest gadgets in the MCU, wait until you see a whole country using technology Mister Iron Man himself couldn't even dream of.

Genre: Action/Fantasy/Sci-Fi

Director: Ryan Coogler

Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Andy Serkis, Letitia Wright, Martin Freeman, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, John Kani & Forest Whitaker.

Run Time: 134 min.

US Release: 16 February 2018

UK Release: 16 February 2018

German Release: 15 February 2018

I need to confess that I wasn’t all that hyped for this new instalment of the MCU. The trailers did not speak to me and the way it was cut made it look more like an over-the-top superhero-gangster flick. I am also not that versed in Black Panther comic book lore; I did read some of the Avengers’ stories, which included him and tales with crossovers but I never read an actual Black Panther story. Going to the theatre I was excited, as well as nervous since I did not know what to expect. Well, I am glad to say that this is a blast!

King T’Challa (Boseman), also known as the hero Black Panther, returns to his reclusive home, the technologically advanced nation of Wakanda, to serve as its leader. He soon learns, though, that factions within his own ranks challenge him for the throne. While mean, two foes emerge that threaten to destroy the country from within, leading Black Panther to call for help from an unexpected ally.

Just as Doctor Strange or Captain America: Winter the Winter Soldier, Black Panther is not the typical Marvel superhero blockbuster. This is a political thriller at its core with superhero elements surrounding it, and it delves deep into worldwide socio-political issues without ever beating the viewer over the head with its message. In fact, most of the problems that are brought up come in form of dialogues, where the characters themselves realise how they contribute to those affairs and try to find solutions to change the world for the better. Due to this reason and the fact that the story takes place during the inauguration of a young king, the plot reminded me a little bit of The Lion King.

Ryan Coogler did a fantastic job helming this story and produced something fresh and unseen as of yet. While we witnessed the vast races and places of the galaxy in other MCU features, Coogler focuses on the people of a hidden country in Africa and their technological advancements. He immerses the audience in Wakandan culture and blends modern times and African traditions with futuristic looks perfectly. The narrative is not flawless however, as it contains a lot of humour that was either a little too cheesy or awkwardly placed.

This film has a large cast and includes a vast amount of strong side characters that sometimes overshadow Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa. A severe issue, as he is the main protagonist! Nevertheless, Boseman gives a great performance and is really likeable as the king of Wakanda/Black Panther. T’Challa himself is a good person who carries the world’s weight on his shoulders. He is worried about his country and tries to figure out how to best rule it, while also searching for methods to save the less fortunate outside of Wakanda. It is not until his nemesis, Killmonger, confronts him that he realises what he needs to do.

Michael B. Jordan, who plays Erik Killmonger, is extremely charismatic and has one of the best introductions in this picture. In fact, the style in which he is introduced reminded me of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin and his establishment in the Daredevil series. Contrary to the Kingpin though, Jordan’s screen time is cut short, meaning that most of his back-story is hastily explained in the last act. While I could sympathise with his motivations, it was that drawback that hinders Killmonger to become one of MCU’s greatest villains.

Danai Gurira & Lupita Nyong’o portray two strong and proud female characters. Gurira is Okoye, head of Dora Milaje - personal bodyguards of the Black Panther - and very traditionalist. She is a great warrior and a kick-ass character. Nyong’o plays the strong-headed Nakia and former lover of T’Challa.

Martin Freeman reprises his role of Everett K. Ross, from Captain America: Civil War and is one of the movie’s comedic points. It was humorous to see Coogler use him as the token white guy. Andy Serkis reprises the character of Ulysses Klaue, who appeared the first time in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Serkis really steals the show every time he is on screen; he has a maniacal presence that is scary and yet fascinating.

The film makes use of a great colour palette; the vibrant and rich tones suit the mystical African country well and enhance the viewer’s immersion into its culture. Yet as with Spider-Man: Homecoming, the picture looks at times very synthetic, which distracts from the story. The 3D effects are a little fuzzy, especially during some of the action scenes, making it hard to follow but once in focus, them fighting sequences look fantastic. The best computer imagery by far, are the different suits for the Black Panther.

One of the best features this blockbuster has to offer is its grand music. A compilation of African tribal drums and modern hip-hop beats that set the mood for the story's atmosphere. It sounds spectacular!


Verdict: Black Panther is not free of flaws but it is a great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It has a fabulous message and uses it proactively in the plot, not talking down to the audience while doing so. This is unique for Marvel, as it focuses more on the political aspect while spreading out the superhero action segments throughout the film. It also includes a huge cast and a lot of them play powerful and charming characters. As to weaknesses; the story is a little bit overstuffed which affects a few of the characters, especially that of Michael B. Jordan. His story was rushed in the last act, causing the persona to come off as a childish hothead at times. Some of the jokes are also badly placed and sometimes weak. Other than that, it is a beautiful looking movie that includes strong colours and a killer track. It has a couple of visual flaws but these can be forgiven. I'll give this superhero tale an 8.0 out of 10.

What was your opinion of Black Panther? Is it what you expected it to be or less/more? Leave a comment and thank you for reading!

bottom of page