REVIEW: “Black Panther” Is Meticulously Crafted, Worth Second Viewing
I went into Black Panther with high expectations. The film, which stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, with Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o, released to rave reviews from both critics and audience members. When I first saw it, I didn’t quite understand why the film received the praise that it had. However, after seeing it a second time, it struck me that the whole movie fits together extremely well. No scene, line of dialogue, or piece of technology feels out of place in the slightest. The film feels like a meticulously crafted passion project in the way that very few big budget superhero movies do.
However, to a certain extent, even labeling this film as a “Superhero Movie” is inaccurate. A superhero movie comes with certain expectations and tropes, such as the villain being the hero but a different colour, and a giant pillar of light shooting into the sky. Black Panther avoids most (though not all) of these tropes, feeling more like a James Bond-style spy movie than a straight out action film. The originality of this film is a huge part of what elevates it above other superhero films. It is not taking a formula and executing it well; instead, it breaks the formula, and is a far better film for it.
The final reason why this movie is so incredible is the setting. The fictional, futuristic African city of Wakanda feels both familiar and foreign, with traditional African imagery mixed with futuristic sci-fi. The technology used in the film, while not always fully explained, is also very interesting, and the way that they mix the technology into the fight sequences of the movie is a highlight. Speaking of the fight scenes, they are very diverse, taking place anywhere from underground clubs, to giant caves, to the tops of cars on the highway.
Throughout this film the filmmakers demonstrate a level of artistry and craftsmanship that is lacking in many big budget films, and this elevates it beyond just a superhero film. It’s a great film in its own right, and one everyone should watch.