Black Panther still
U/A; Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong'o, Michael B. Jordan, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis
Director: Ryan Coogler
It's an all-out African experience and that is the true beauty of this Marvel engineering. An integral part of the Marvel universe, this new entry takes you deep into the mysterious and hidden lost world in Africa defined by royal traditions and technological wonders. The guys behind Marvel and Producer Kevin Feige introduced Black Panther, the first African superhero to appear in American comics way back in July 1966 (birthed in Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four No.52), in 2016's all-star Captain America: Civil War, with the clear intention of building yet another franchise. And lo and behold Ryan Coogler along with writer Joe Cole, makes it a fantastic franchise opener.
The film opens in Oakland, California, and then draws us intriguingly into the beclouded Wakanda sitting on a pile of Vibranium that makes it the richest and most modern country in Africa. But the world believes this country is so third world that it doesn't merit a second look. And Wakandans want it that way as it helps them stay well under the 'greed' radar of the world around it. This enlightened monarchy is in the throes of crowning a new king, T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) in a spectacular coronation ceremony. Mother, Ramonda (Angela Bassett), younger sister Shuri (Letitia Wright), chief counsel W'Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya), mentor Zuri (Forest Whitaker), and the Dora Milaje, an independent-minded security force comprising shaved-headed women, notably its best fighter Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the rebellious-minded Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) who happens to be T'Challa's intended. The central conflict here is whether to allow outsiders to possess the precious metal. Some Wakandans ( a minority though) are in favour of allowing the other poorer African nations to use it for their benefit but the king and his supporters veto that idea. Then enters the delicious nasty, a white South African gangster and arms dealer named Klaw (Andy Serkis, in a role, carried forward from Avengers: Age of Ultron), who is keen to get his hands on some vibranium.
The colours are stunning, the open vistas, costumes and settings are eye-popping and the converted 3D imagery allows for some augmented thrill. There's a lot of intense drama and action to be had here. We get it when T'Challa fears for his Kingdom and the honour of his position. The action sequences are exceptional. They have native African elements that have never been seen before. The intensity increments slowly but once the conflict begins to take shape it's all-absorbing. Despite being an actioner there's minimal blood-letting. The brief forays into computer-graphical gamey action also adds strength to the overall entertainment value. Add to that the stunning performers and you have a winner all the way!
Watch the trailer of Black Panther