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I just recently braved the theatres to go see Black Panther, and I was not surprised by the hordes of people scrambling to get their tickets. This film has been critically acclaimed by websites like Rotten Tomatoes, who named Black Panther the greatest movie of all time, and audiences alike. However, after my viewing, I can't help but to be disappointed. Don't get me wrong, this was a good movie, but was it that good? I think that it was completely overhyped, and I would like to touch on a few key points that I think should be discussed.
My main issue with the film is how predictable it ended up being. I was able to pick out where the viewer was supposed to be surprised and tricked, and it all just made the ending completely lackluster. T'Challa solidifies himself as the Black Panther, goes after Klaue, has to fight Killmonger, "dies," doesn't die, and then comes back to kill the villain. Even everything about Killmonger's past and how T'Chaka covered it all up was predictable from the opening scene for the veteran Marvel fan. I don't understand how this movie can even be in the conversation for the greatest movie of all time when I knew exactly what was going to happen every step of the way, and perhaps that just shows how seriously you should take critic websites.
This has been the first Marvel movie that I didn't even chuckle at, and that's perfectly fine. I didn't come into this movie wanting to laugh, yet there were still comedic moments in it that just fell flat. From Shuri referencing a popular internet saying, to T'Challa freezing, I just couldn't get even a giggle. I feel like this should have been the one Marvel movie that was completely serious. Perhaps Ryan Coogler just isn't suited for putting humor into his films? Whatever the case, I feel that the Black Panther sequel should either be completely serious or have a director and writers who are well equipped for timing where a moment of comic relief should go.
Can someone give me a good reason as to why Klaue died? I understand that it was an important plot point for Erik Killmonger to get into Wakanda, but couldn't there have been another way for him to infiltrate the country? Perhaps, I don't know, just showing up there? He was taken prisoner anyways, and whether or not he had people on his side because of killing Klaue, he still would have gotten to fight T'Challa because of his blood. And guess what? His interests still aligned with W'Kabi's vision for Wakanda at the end of the day, and the whole movie could have had the same outcome as well as a villain for the sequel. Please, if you could possibly think of someone who could be the villain in Black Panther 2 besides Klaue, sound off, because I can't think of a single character.
The Fight Scenes
The one thing that I cannot stop praising are the glorious fight scenes in this movie. From the very beginning where T'Challa picks off a whole group of heavily armed soldiers using stealth and guerilla tactics, to the final battle where everyone in Wakanda gets a piece of the action, every single combat sequence was so perfectly executed. Even in Black Panther's battle with M'Baku, he uses a reverse-triangle choke to make Man-Ape tap out, which was a brilliant use of real life, practical jiu-jitsu technique. Not to mention, they totally had battle rhinos. You could tell me that there's a battle rhino in the new Fifty Shades of Grey movie, and I would buy my ticket right now. Throughout the whole movie I couldn't help but to impressed with how much thought was put into each and every fight scene, and that was a major redeeming quality in my eyes.
The fault of most movies these days is the fact that they don't take the time to develop characters that people can look up to and connect with. That was Black Panther's main selling point, and it more than delivered. Okoye, Nakia, and Shuri all had their own individual qualities that made them special, and yet they still managed to be badass and fight in their own ways. There were so many point of views being explored by different characters that everyone's motives were completely justified and understood, and there was really no villain in the story. Killmonger was justified, W'Kabi was justified, Okoye was justified, and no matter whose side you take, your point of view will be represented in this film.
After going home and having a chance to sit and think about what I just watched, I've come to the conclusion that Black Panther was a good movie. However, that was it. It was a good movie. It's not the greatest movie of all time, and I personally don't even think it's the greatest Marvel movie of all time. Perhaps in the top five? It was groundbreaking in the terms that it gave people representation in a way they have never had it before, but aside from that, the movie itself was mediocre. I would watch it again, and chances are I will watch it again, but I just expected more from a film that has taken the world by storm.
What did you think? Did you agree with my opinion on Black Panther?