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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Black Panther

And here we are again, it's Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie and blog about it.  Just that simple.  Today, we're looking at one of the biggest films of 2018, Black Panther.  This was originally in my notes at May 20, 2018.

And Marvel continues their winning streak at the movies with Black Panther, which made all the money when it came out back in the spring. 

But really?  Do we need to question it?  Well, this one made a lot more because, out of all the superhero films we've got lately, this is the first one with an African American lead, with a predominantly African American cast, and based on the biggest African superhero in Marvel Comics.  But to a white guy like me, it's just another really cool Marvel film. 

Picking up shortly after the events of Captain America: Civil War, where we first met T'Challa, king of the African nation of Wakanda and bearer of the mantle of Black Panther.  Now, for centuries, Wakanda has kept a secret from the rest of the world.  Thanks to a meteorite that crashed their ages ago, Wakanda sits on a literal mountain of vibranium...the fictional, near magical metal that Captain America's shield is made of.  Thanks to this resource, Wakanda is actually the most technologically advanced country on the planet, but they have chosen to hide their technological prowess from the world, for fear of it falling into the wrong hands.  And that eventually becomes T'Challa's core conflict of the film...do they continue maintaining their secret, or do they finally reveal themselves to the world and use their technology and world for the betterment of the human race?

It's a war that becomes quite literal in our villain, Killmonger.  In the name of preserving Wakanda's secret, his father was killed and he was left abandoned on the streets of Oakland.  Having seen the injustices that black people have suffered first hand, he's come back to Wakanda to challenge T'Challa for the throne, and then use all of Wakanda's might to right several centuries of wrongs.  Some of said that between Killmonger in Black Panther and Thanos in Infinity War, this will finally go down as the year that Marvel solved their villain problem.  The fact that our hero actually, at the end goes, "Maybe he had a point," and starts to turn things around. 

And the development that Killmonger gets also extends out supporting cast.  So many memorable characters!  Like M'Baku, T'Challa's chief rival and leader of the gorilla tribe.  He probably gets the best quips in the film.  And then there's Shuri, T'Challa's kid sister and Wakanda's chief scientist.  She's the one responsible for all of Wakanda's latest advancements, and like all little sisters, lives to give her big brother a hard time.  And Okyoe, T'Challa's personal bodyguard and leader of the Dora Milaje, Wakanda's all-female special forces unit.  Andy Serkis gets some time out of a performance capture rig to play international arms dealer Ulysses Klaue, and he has a great time chewing the scenery. 

Not going to lie, with a supporting cast this amazing, T'Challa almost seems a little bland in comparison.  It reminds me of a joke I read not too long ago:  "Harry Potter has got to be the most unappreciated Harry Potter character, because no one ever says Harry was their favourite character." 

But yeah.  At this point Marvel can do no wrong.  I haven't even gotten to the war rhinos yet.  War rhinos!  And the casino scene.  Man, it's like it's ripped straight from a James Bond film. 

Black Panther is good.  End of story.

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