The Black Panther trailers are very misleading in the best possible way. The hype around the movie is also very misleading. So before I go on to talk about many aspects of the movie, I have to say that it is worth seeing on a big screen. The movie wouldn't be as good as it is if you see it on a small screen. I'm talking about going to a movie theater with a huge screen. Now if you need more convincing, or just want to know more, here it is. Black Panther is a good Marvel solo movie that shares the good and bad of being part of the MCU.
This is the most colorful MCU movie made yet. This is probably the most colorful movie that won't be an animated movie this year. The colors are striking and really build up the world. There are moments where the movie falls into modern filmmaking tropes like the casino scene, but the color work is still amazing. This directly impacts the realization of the city of Wakanda. The whole world building team, set designers, anyone who worked on bringing this fictional place to life, deserves to be recognized. During the movie, you will focus on costumes and the way technology was depicted because they all draw you in.
The acting from any main character or prominent side character was fantastic. This is mostly due to the actors and actresses mostly being from more prestigious backgrounds. This isn't to say that there weren't some weird things going on with extras but every movie has that problem.
The commercial soundtrack released with 14 original songs, 13 of which were not in the movie prominently. The most interesting part about this is, the other 13 songs had no place in the movie. The story and tone the movie went for would have been hindered if more of the album tracks were in the movie. If you watched the trailers, you would have thought this is an action-packed movie with some beat-heavy music. This is far from the truth because it relies on more traditional music heard from the region. I would have it no other way. The composer who did the score is the real star here.
Let's start talking about what didn't work. No character really has an arc. The main character might have decided on something by the end but the reason for the change was fighting and killing the bad guy. Like I said before, this movie takes all the good and bad of being an MCU movie. That means it is watchable, funny, and has problems.
The first part of the movie is underwhelming because nothing is really new at this point. The hero is put in a new position where a lot of people are relying on them. They deal with this and personal problems making their life hard. I'm not saying this is bad, just it's a very MCU thing to do. But then Micheal B. Jordan's character is introduced. His first sentence got my attention. It was a much more dynamic character from a presentation standpoint. Killmonger was then joined by Ulysses Klau and Andy Serkis continued to do a great job acting as him here. The two villains were the most interesting thing in the movie because they didn't have the familiar feeling the heroes did.
But slowly new and exciting feeling is lost. For all the great acting, all the great visuals, appropriate soundtrack, the story wasn't strong enough. No main character goes through a change supported by convincing story reasons. The main villain's motivations are revealed to be surface level. That special feeling ended up being "a comic book movie".
Black Panther isn't the seminal film people thought it was going to be. It's not the next Dark Knight and even though I love Logan, even that movie isn't considered to be on the same level.
Final movie note that isn't super important to the review but I wanted to include it because I like talking about movies. The action scenes in Korea were great and bad. They were great because the camera was so dynamic. Instead of overusing cuts, the camera moved through the scene creating a sense of flow. They were bad like many of the other action scenes in the movie because the choreography wasn't the best along with not great fight acting. The action scenes were at their worst when it was a CGI fight. This means that heavy cuts were used and stationary because of CGI. Also, there really wasn't a lot of action.
Like I said at the beginning if you are going to watch this movie, do it in a theater. I cannot see the spectacle of the movie on a small screen. So yea, watch it if you're into "comic book movies" because this a really good one. Other than the generic comicbook stuff, it has spectacular visuals and some truly great acting.