For my birthday PARTY I decided to go and see this film with my friends. Although it wasn’t my first choice, I probably would have gone for The Shape of Water, it fell at just the right time and was most likely to be enjoyed by more of my friends. Upon viewing the split was 50-50 on whether we liked or disliked it: two of us really enjoyed it; two of us disliked it and the other was on the fence not taking particularly to either side. Over the course of this review I will let you guess where I fell and therefore will be structuring it slightly differently.
Director- Ryan Coogler
Writers (Film side)- Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole
Writers (Comic side)- Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Genre- Action, Adventure
Main Actors- Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/ Black Panther,) Michael B. Jordan (Erik Killmonger,) Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia) and Danai Gurira (Okoye.)
UK release date- 13/02/2018
At the right time or a long time coming?
There is much debate surrounding this film across number of aspects, however, one of the main talking points is… Why has it taken so long? This comic is fifty-two years old and gained a significant following at the peak of its success- so with all of Marvel’s significant profits I was interested into what they were waiting for. From what I have gathered via news articles and interviews with cast members: it seems as if Marvel were unsure whether the film would be a success and were waiting for the right time to put this film in the limelight, headed by strong, positive direction to create something that the public would flock too. Some see the introduction of Black Panther to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as unnecessary; and therefore will avoid watching this film. Whereas the vast majority of people, which included me, were excited to see: where this film would take the story; how it would work as a stand-alone film and how it would link to the overall universe (make sure to stay to the very end of the credits if you are interested in this.) I believe this film could not have come at a better time. It’s execution was really something of a surprise to me, as with good critical reviews but poor fan based ones I thought I might let me down.
Are the characters richly textured or cheap and throwaway?
Whether you agree with what the characters represent in the wider society or not, with the representation and strength of women being discussed extensively, I think you would find it hard to argue a case that each of the characters that the film wants us to focus on, aren’t developed abundantly. Where I find this is most obvious and tested most vigorously is where you would probably least expect it. In the third act. When everybody is fighting you know who each of them are and why they are fighting and what they are fighting for. I think for a superhero film that would stereotypically lose its way in the final act, to hold its own, is testament to good writing and direction; so credit goes to Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole for their exceptional work in the making of this film.
What did I think?
Positives- When I look at a film I always ask myself two questions: Did I enjoy it? and Was it well made? I would say on both counts for this film I would have to answer yes as: the fight scenes and build up were extremely engaging and exciting; while character development and cinematography was consistently used effectively throughout to make the audience really engage. I liked that Erik Killmonger was not a standard antagonist, as at some points the narrative led us to empathise with him and his plight as well as T’Challa. Some may count this as a negative as they believe an antagonist should be a complete juxtaposition of the protagonist however I think that both of the characters’ conflicted natures worked well.
Negatives- Although for most of the film I felt it was snappy and exciting; on a number of occasions I found that it was perhaps just a little bit too long-winded. This impacted our general thoughts on different characters in a way that I don’t imagine was intended. Finally, at one particular point towards the end of the film, when we are supposed to feel peril for one of the character’s, we just don’t and that is all I will say to avoid spoilers.
Conclusion- If you haven’t guessed what side I am on by now then you probably just skipped to the end and read this. But anyway I really liked it and if you go and see it I hope you do too.
My Rating- 8.5/10
My amended top 3 of the year:
- Ex Machina
- Black Panther
I’m am still a relatively young blog and could use all of the support I could get. I tried a new method of structuring my review today, so I would appreciate any comments on whether you liked or didn’t. If you have any tips on what could improve my reviews please let me know and don’t forget to follow.