Black Panther Screen 94 of 8 reviews

Black Panther

2018

Black Panther Poster
  • There is a fundamental dissonance in the term “African-American,” two feuding ancestries conjoined by a hyphen. That dissonance—a hyphen standing in for the brutal history that intervened between Africa and America—is the subject of “Black Panther”. . . . Marvel has been criticized for failing to center a film on any female characters, but it is the female characters in “Black Panther” whose ideas and determinations dictate the terms on which the rivalry between the male protagonists plays out.

  • Ryan Coogler, who co-wrote the script with Joe Robert Cole, has made a movie that’s both personal and audacious. “Black Panther” fuses the imaginary realm of Marvel characters with world history, contemporary politics, and specifically the experience of black people in the United States. Many Marvel releases reflect American political turmoil of the moment, but this film’s confrontations with the agonies of the day are unusually complex and resonant.

  • In the “silver age” of comic books, before the rise of self-conscious “graphic novels,” superhero comics functioned as deliriously inventive pulp revues—and that’s what Coogler gives us with this kinetic extravaganza. Black Panther delivers explicit messages about the good and bad of tribalism and the need for brotherhood and sisterhood, as well as implicit messages about African and African-American pride, with swashbuckling flair and eclectic, eye-popping spectacle.

  • The most radical thing a Black Panther movie could have done is ask what Wakanda means—and what it owes—to the race. And that’s what Coogler’s passionate, funny, dexterous movie asks, over and over again, both to its characters and to its audience. It’s a mighty question, and it feels like it’s coming alive in almost every one of Coogler’s images: in their sense of the elements, in their dramatic and physical grandeur, in their beauty.

  • Coogler's picture has a social conscience, speaking out plainly about the moral obligations of powerful countries, from sheltering refugees to sharing technology and science to dividing wealth equitably. Those ideas are the movie’s supple backbone, not just stuff that’s been added to make the whole venture seem important. . . . The movie is smart, lavish and fun without being assaultive.

  • A jolt of a movie, “Black Panther” creates wonder with great flair and feeling partly through something Hollywood rarely dreams of anymore: myth. Most big studio fantasies take you out for a joy ride only to hit the same exhausted story and franchise-expanding beats. Not this one. Its axis point is the fantastical nation of Wakanda. . . . There, spaceships with undercarriages resembling tribal masks soar over waterfalls, touching down in a story that has far more going for it than branding.

  • It’s taken a decade and 18 films, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe has finally produced a superhero movie that feels like it was ripped from the pages of a comic book. . . . There are hiccups in its ambition, but it’s hard not to get swept up in all the technologies, characters, and politics crammed into the movie’s compelling dramatic conflict, which casts the charismatic Michael B. Jordan . . . as the most complex villain in the post-Dark Knight cycle of superhero blockbusters.

  • This is a Marvel Studios production first and foremost, and you're never going to forget it in light of the pro forma plotting. . . . Yet the external pressures surrounding the film—chiefly its status as _the_ superhero flick involving and revolving around people of color—have kept the bean counters somewhat at bay. That, plus the fact that Coogler . . . is able to give many things here that impassioned, obsessional tinge required of memorable, if not always masterful, art.

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