Black Panther is probably Marvel’s best film to date, even if its title character doesn’t want you to know that
The truly special element of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is its uncanny ability to continuously produce topical, effective and thrilling superhero movies. It understands how to show off its stars, it knows how to bring through new heroes and it recognises how to make its stories work. There’s a lot to be said about the quality of their villains, but on the wider scale that is a mere gripe. This is a seriously brilliant franchise of films and stories, and that’s coming from a DC fan.
Black Panther is no different as it gives the titular hero his own passionate story. Not a reboot or a new beginning for his character, but an interesting, revealing and powerful story, that feels as much part of the MCU as it does a stand-alone film. The blend of styles the film brings is simply astounding.
When his father dies, T’Challa (aka Black Panther) (Chadwick Boseman) must compete to become the new King Of Wakanda, yet his challenge is not all that it seems. With a dark force attempting to steal age-old Vibranium, they look to use it to power their way into the country and change the laws of a detailed culture. Only native Wakandans can stop them, but with such a disparage in the five tribe’s views, they may not all be on the same side.
There is a huge overarching power behind Black Panther, and in many ways, it does feel like a huge shift for Marvel. It’s obviously part of the transition from the classic heroes into the newer breed of lesser known characters, but it feels like more than that. There’s no time for Black Panther to play host to the sense of a new hero. He’s been around for decades as far as comics are concerned and Marvel don’t forget that. It’s a real credit to the franchise when they can produce a film of this scale for a hero who beforehand was a relative unknown.
The African style and culture that seems to have influenced every inch of the film feels beautifully respectful, and that detail gives Black Panther such an authentic nature. It’s a film of such precision and vigor there is no time for backstory to block its movement. That is all cleared up within the film, and gracefully done so.
With no wasting of time or pointless character arcs, Black Panther is probably Marvel’s best film to date, even if its title character doesn’t want you to know that.