Saturday, 13 July 2024

Black Panther Review – Big Screen by Antony Brown

After the death of his father, T’Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king.

When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king — and as Black Panther — is tested when he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk.

After a nifty opening animatic detailing the history of Wakanda and a brief prologue that plants seeds that will come full circle later in the film, we are plunged straight in at the deep end.

Set mere weeks after Black Panther’s introduction in Captain America: Civil War, the story picks right up where we left off, with T’Challa back in Wakanda, awaiting his coronation as the new King.

We meet his ex-girlfriend, his bodyguard, his family, his friends and his fellow tribesman.

We witness his coronation and a traditional open-challenge for the throne, in which any one of the five tribes that populate Wakanda can nominate a warrior to fight for the chance to be king.

It’s all very interesting and gives us a fantastic insight into life in Wakanda, but for a film that runs at just over two hours long, an hour of that runtime it is spent on world-building and watching our characters go on little side-missions before the actual high-stakes plot is finally revealed, at which point we then we enter a big rush to the final showdown.

While some of the pacing feels a little questionable, once the plot in unveiled, with the film’s villain finally emerging and his story finally explained, Black Panther really takes on a life of its own, with tensions quietly simmering beneath the surface until they are ready to explode onscreen.

Now, while we’re on the subject of villains, it is no secret that Marvel rarely delivers the goods when it comes to intriguing and memorable villains, with only a handful really standing out as something special.

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