Black Panther Screen 17 articles

Black Panther


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  • We rarely get to experience the spectacle of a superhuman body in motion, which in other films offers viewers the occasion to rediscover our own bodies through the dynamism of another. Here, the character’s potential panther-like animorphism is underexploited. . . . The lack of such superhero conventions also makes certain sequences, like the one set in Busan, stand out.

  • There are martial-arts combat scenes set at the lip of a waterfall that have Coogler and Jordan re-creating kinetic Creed magic, while a sinuous long take in a casino follows Okoye, dressed in a flowing red gown, as she pulls off a series of acrobatic stunts with impeccable grace. . . . The film’s subversive energy, however, is heavily constrained by the context of the Marvel franchise in ways that starkly illustrate the shortcomings of the big-budget studio model.

  • There are several things that Coogler can hang his hat on early in his directorial career, but the Ryan Coogler fight scene is almost a character unto itself. As we saw in his stunning work in the Rocky franchise reboot Creed, the fight scene through his eyes is almost an act of intimacy. It isn’t tender, but the violence is nearly perfunctory. The fights in Black Panther are romantically choreographed tornadoes of limbs.

  • Killmonger’s rage and potential liberation comes from a uniquely complicated place, but we’ve yet to conjure a word for the pain of that proximity. Understandably, Black Panther only has room for so much politics, but it is important to acknowledge that it is in this selection that it reaches and abandons so many people. . . . The film’s righteous anger is grounded in a real America with real problems, while its hopes lie in a fictional country distinctly removed from the reality of Africa.

  • Wakanda, as everyone keeps reminding us, doesn’t exist. This gave Ryan Coogler free rein to create a country in the subjunctive mode: what if…? . . . Black Panther is Shakespeare meets Shaka Zulu, Too $hort in Timbuktu. The film mingles myriad cultures, fashions, geographies, and (a quibble) accents from across the black diaspora. But even my skepticism about the casting of non-Africans fell away in the face of this glorious Pan-African cornucopia.

  • As much as I enjoyed being in its cosmos visually, and as warmly as I felt Wakanda welcomed me, Black Panther ultimately left me feeling cool by its end. This was largely because I couldn’t get myself to root against its antagonist, Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and because I found its ending political message far more conservative than the revolutionary possibilities teased by anything with “Black” and “Panther” in the title.

  • The spectacle of black adversaries, connected by continent and by blood, takes the film’s struggle to a deeper register. Killmonger is wrong about many things, but he, like Nakia, is right that there is suffering around Wakanda. . . . A more censorious film—ruled by the politics of respectability, the impulse for narrative tidiness—would have shied away from such a fiendishly appealing villain, but Coogler knows that escapism is rarely so pure.

  • Ryan Coogler's thrilling and moving "Black Panther" is a rare superhero fantasy that's plugged into the real world, even as it mirrors it in an inconsistent and distorting way. It's sure to inspire scrutiny as deep as that which greeted the TV version of "Roots" four-plus decades ago, and that swirled about "Get Out" this time last year.

  • 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.

  • It almost suffers too hard from "the villain is right" syndrome, but Coogler (and Jordan) treat him with such sympathy and respect that it circumvents the usual problems with that sort of antagonist, while the many conflicting politics and interpersonal relationships of its large cast manage to feel balanced and as well-realized as Wakanda itself. . . . Not all the action lands, but Coogler has a keen ear for sound design and editing alongside music that gives his fights an extra kick.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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