Black Panther (2018) Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 2h 14min | 16 February 2018 (USA)
Full text transcript of Black Panther critical review
So at Disney press screenings, they take your phone, they don’t trust us, every other studio lets you keep your phone. I mean, they have security in the room watching you, you know, those little devices to see if anyone’s recording.
But Disney makes you hand over every electronic device and they want you going in to make sure you hand it in and you have to put in a little plastic bag and you get a little, you know, baggage claim ticket and you have to pick it up after the screening. And let me tell you, the line is long, but because they do that and you have to get there early to make sure you get a good seat there, no reserve seats at these press screenings. So I decided this time to bring some reading material. And I brought the Time magazine that recently came out with Chadwick Boseman on the front of it talking about this very movie.
And you know what? It ended up being the perfect choice because Black Panther plays more like Time magazine than a comic book. I was very surprised now works and a lot, but it’s different. So allow me to explain. First off, it is extremely political, but I appreciated the political comments it had to make. I think that in the run up to this film’s release, they’ve been made to see much more incendiary than they are. And they’re not you know, they’ve they’ve been made to see more Malcolm X, and I think they’re very much Martin Luther King Jr.. Side note, if you haven’t seen Selma, you should see it. Ava DuVernay was so good directing that movie, she almost got this one.
And she and Ryan Coogler are super close. He talked about editing across the hall from her, A Wrinkle in Time. You know, her editing as well.
And I hope, you know, we’ll see if that movie turns out just as political. But anyway, there’s also a National Geographic element to this film, and it’s exploration of Wauconda, its history and its traditions. And, you know, I have to say, it’s it’s odd to me and, you know, I’m not going to go into spoiler territory, so don’t worry about it. But I have to say that it was odd that a civilization with such futuristic technology like it, it almost seemed made up. It was made up, of course. But, you know, it was amazing. But I don’t understand how they would be so primitive in their leadership structure. And, boy, did that come to bite them in the butt. We’ll discuss in the spoiler review.
And I also have to add that for all the wonderful, dynamic female characters that are featured in the movie, and they’ve made a big deal about that, at the end of the day, they’re all still support staff, which also comes from tribal culture. And I don’t think that’s a great idea either. So but anyway, we’ll discuss all that in the spoiler review.
But while it’s politics and it’s worldbuilding are impressive and admirable, you know what I actually have to say? It reminded me of a fascinating follow up to roots. And that’s hard for me to say, because obviously, as I’ve discussed before, I’m not a member of the black community. I’m an outsider looking in. But that’s what I thought when I was watching the movie as the next touchstone in the journey of defining the black community, its sense of self. And also, I think, you know, for anyone like myself watching this material, how it’s seen and the fact that a comic book movie can achieve that is incredibly noteworthy. Very, very impressive. And again, while that is all impressive, though, the movie doesn’t have nearly enough action. I was surprised how little action it has.
I can’t believe no one brought that up to Ryan Coogler and said, you know, this is all really fascinating and really making me think and I think you’re doing a lot for the world with this movie, but it’s also a comic book movie. And we promised people a lot of action in the trailers, so maybe we should consider delivering it. It has two extended action sequences and they both go by way too quickly, made all the more frustrating by the fact that when they click, they really click. There were a couple of moments in this movie where it took my breath away and most of them were doing the action sequences, but some of them worked. And again, that’s mighty impressive. Now, as a comic book movie, I would put Black Panther on the same level as the first X-Men movie. And also Batman Begins, where a very talented filmmaker was still getting the hang of not just VFX work, but working at this level. I would say in the movie I would say almost never felt like a big, shiny blockbuster. It often felt like a small movie, like the films that Ryan Coogler has been making.
And I would say that the Russo brothers are still the best in the business when it comes to not only doing action sequences, but realizing their importance. You know, it’s like that story, that Steven Soderbergh story, that they they really should teach it in film school and they should put it on every film set where he said, I was at an airport and I saw someone in our target demographic just fast forwarding through a big blockbuster movie just to watch the action sequences. And some people, that’s the way they consume the material. I think we all consume the material that way. Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with that. Steven Soderbergh thought there was. But the Russo brothers understand that’s how a lot of this stuff is consumed and they build their movies accordingly. Ryan Coogler has yet to learn that lesson. And because of the lack of action, I worry about this movies watch ability factor, especially to those it doesn’t resonate with culturally. Another problem in terms of responsibility is that the film exists in a bubble. It has nothing to do with the MCU at large. It doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining, but I just don’t want you to go in disappointed. All right. Next, the music. With all due respect to Kendrick Lamar album Looing Gaudens, and his score does a lot to make this movie.
But frustratingly, like the action, the music comes and goes too quickly. I’d be like, oh, this is so good. Why’d you stop playing it? I wanted more of it. I’m definitely buying the score as it was, both tribal and modern. At the same time, like Wauconda itself, Wauconda, much like Pandora, many people who see this movie say they would like to go there and don’t worry, just like with Pandora, Disney will be happy to oblige very soon at one of their theme parks. And they should I would definitely want to go there. And on that note, we’ll kinda felt like two things. And the other one, though, was like a real place. But what was a theme park, which again, I would very much like to visit while I was watching the movie, and I almost was like, where can I have my my my character breakfast? Where’s the Black Panther ride and what time is the stage show start? It was really cool. But the other thing that it felt like, and this is far more important, obviously, is it felt like an idea. Now, at what point in the film it’s referred to as a fantasy, which was quite touching. But even better, it was also established in the film as aspirational, and that is Black Panthers biggest gift to the world, hopefully redefining how the black community sees itself while not redefining evolving.
I think that’s a much better word, evolving how the black community sees itself, because it’s very much has one foot in the past and also how others see the black community. And I think that’s really noteworthy and remarkable.
And I have given Ryan Coogler another hour to explore this, make it a three hour movie.
I would I would gladly watch another hour of this, but he’d have to promise me that 20 of those 60 Minutes would be more action now that acting is top notch across the board and all the characters are incredibly charismatic, likable and complex. I also was blown away by the strength of the relationships portrayed. And a lot of that is accomplished by the actors. And I was particularly impressed with the brother sister bond between to Charla and Suri. Very unusual to see in mainstream entertainment for any group. I just thought that was really nice as someone who has a very close relationship with my own sister. So I really like that a lot now without spoilers. My favorite daughter, Chadwick Boseman, of course it’s his movie, but in a very understated way, Laticia write in a very understated way. I love her mind and I love her fashions. I would love to raid her closet. She looked fantastic. She I think she doesn’t have any thumb holes, but it’s in the thumbhole category. We would get along. Dinni Guerreiro. Wow. Totally see why she got upgraded to Infinity War. She was one of the moments that took my breath away in the casino.
You know what? Why do you see it? Because you’ll probably have your breath taken away. Winston Duke, what a scene stealer. And that Andy Serkis having so much fun. It’s criminal. Now, as for Martin Freeman, also a warning. He has a very small role. It’s almost existed. But I thought there was some poetic justice in it after having after having to see poor Jeffrey Wright basically run through Bond movies, the last couple of Bond films. Now, I would not see this movie in 3-D.
The press screening was in Tudy and it looked great. And if the studio doesn’t show it in 3-D, that means they know it does not need to be seen that way. For instance, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume two was shown to the press in 3D and it was remarkable, this tutee all the way.
There are also two end credit scenes, but they are very low key. I mean, they’re nice and enjoyable, but they’re not like that’s not one of the things that’s going to take your breath away.
In conclusion, just like everyone should see route’s, everyone should see Black Panther. I honestly feel it’s that important. And as for its place in the MCU and as a comic book movie, just from an entertainment perspective, the stage is now beautifully set and they should greenlight a sequel immediately. I mean, I guess they’re waiting to see how does opening weekend on the strength of this and the strength of the hype. If I were, Kevin Fogarty would have greenlit a sequel, especially seeing that the film can now with its sequel, hit the ground running and have more action. Got to have more action. You know, whenever I whenever I wrote a book called Superbia and at the top of my outline, it always put sex violence in action. And I’d be like, does it have enough of these three things?
And, you know, they should it would behoove them to apply the same strategy to this, to the sequel.
And I know movies, quite frankly. But anyway, that’s my review. Black Panther, I look forward to hearing your thoughts down below, but no spoilers. Save those for the spoiler review.
I really appreciate, you know, in all honesty, talking about this movie with you, it’s very important and tricky film to discuss, as we’ve been discussing this week. And so I really honestly. I always look forward to discussing movies with you down below, but with this one, I am honored to partake in the discussion of something I know is so important to a group that I’m not a part of.
All right. So anyway, I loved it. Write your thoughts down below and you can check out some more videos, as always right now from.
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