Capsule Review (minimal spoilers):
Black Panther is the latest film from Marvel Comics about yet another superhero. T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is the King of the imaginary African nation of Wakanda, who has recently inherited the position after his father’s death in Captain America: Civil War. The nation struggles with the transition, which forms the basis of the story.
The story is full, and there’s a lot to take in, but the pacing keeps thing moving to a very satisfying resolution. Fortunately, it stands by itself – You do not need to know anything about Black Panther or any of the other Marvel superheroes to connect with the film.
The film has a runtime of 2 hours 14 minutes, so be advised. As with other Marvel movies, there’s a mid-credits scene, and a post-credits scene, so don’t leave too early! Black Panther is available in 3-D, but it’s not necessary for this enjoyable entertainment. Obviously, I do recommend the film.
Wakanda is a poor nation, or so they would have you believe. However, that’s just an illusion they put out to the rest of the world. Millennia ago, a meteorite crashed into their land, and it was composed of a material that is the strongest known substance, and it also has enabled the Wakandans to advance their technology far above what the rest of the world can do. Internally, the nation has profited from this, but they keep it a secret. Some outsiders know, but that’s about as far as it goes.
That is the challenge of the movie – how can they contain the secret any longer? Should they? With the transition to a new king, it gives them the opportunity to reinvent the nation, and what it stands for. This drives the story, and it is a good story to tell. You don’t feel shorted or slighted on any front.
They properly portray the grandeur of the nation. Everything is lush, and the cast is reasonably fleshed out. None of the characters appear as window dressing. You get a sense that they all know who and what they are. It’s an impressive feat when you have more than a handful of major players. It’s a rare treat when it’s done right.
It’s a good movie, and it does take a welcome jab or two at the sort of film this is. It is only a borderline superhero movie, in that it’s not the primary part of the film unlike most of the previous ones. I won’t go any further. Definitely see it in a theater, you won’t be disappointed.