Those of you who enjoyed Marvel Studios’ Black Panther are probably wondering what I, a Marvel fan, disliked about your probably new favorite superhero film. Even though the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made over one billion dollars worldwide and has dominated the box office for what seems like forever, I am among the few people who actually did not find the movie to be that entertaining. And honestly, there are only a couple reasons. So without any hesitation, do keep in mind that the following review will contain spoilers.
While director Ryan Coogler’s different approach to the superhero genre was refreshing and exciting to see, I found the film plot itself to be disappointing and boring. Within the first half of the movie, you know exactly who Kilmonger is and what his intentions are. You are aware of what he plans to do and frankly, the consequences of his oncoming actions were not that terrifying. While the world being brought under Wakandan rule with Kilmonger in the lead certainly created high stakes, the stakes, for me, just weren’t high enough. The only point in which I was genuinely on the edge of my seat was when Kilmonger killed T’Challa. But again, this happened within the first half of the movie. Also, I wasn’t that concerned because Marvel had already released two trailers for the latest Avengers movie in which Black Panther is shown, alive, well, and King. The many threats presented in this film were immediately disarmed because, and I hate to repeat myself here, I had already seen the two trailers for Avengers: Infinity War. Before the movie even started, I was completely expectant of Black Panther’s victory and the only thing that threw me a little off balance was T’Challa’s “death”. One of the few things that kept my interest was Kilmonger’s identity. Yet, within the first half of the movie, his identity is revealed and his intentions understood. For the rest of this supposedly epic adventure, there was just a series of things happening as a result of character’s previous actions. And at the end, Black Panther wins and Kilmonger dies. An ending I saw coming all too soon. Because of this, there seemed to be a missing arch. Something that truly gave the story meaning and definition. Walking away from the theater, literally the only thing you gain is Wakanda emerging from the shadows. And for this reason, I found the plot of the film to be boring and disappointing.
Although, as usual, the special effects and action sequences were larger than life and thrilling, those things equal to nothing if not properly motivated by a good story. Yes, the writing was fantastic as was the actor’s portrayal of the characters. Ryan Coogler took a very different approach, and clearly, it’s paying off. But for me, personally, acting, writing, special effects, directing, and action sequences mean nothing if I’m not caught up in the narrative. And to put it bluntly, I just wasn’t.
One of the few good things I took away from the movie was the unbelievably immersive world of Wakanda. I was so thrilled to finally see a completely different culture on-screen. The dimension and depth of this new civilization was in my opinion, barely explored in the film. And for this reason, I can’t wait for Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther’s upcoming sequel. Finally seeing an all black edition to the MCU’s library of films really tipped the scales in a lot of ways. To me, there simply aren’t enough movies that do justice to that part of our world. So until Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters or Black Panther 2 drops a hot new trailer, I’ll be sitting here eager and hungry for more (hopefully, there’ll be more of an exciting storyline next time).
Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on April 27.