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“Black Panther” Delivers One of Marvel’s Best Films

By Mason Masotta; For the Clock
On February 25, 2018

There have been a lot of eyes on this movie, especially with so much social unrest in the air. But, I am happy to say, one of Marvel’s most compelling characters, and more importantly worlds, has had an amazing live action portrayal within “Black Panther.”

The film stars Chadwick Boseman (from “42”) as Prince T’Challa returning home to the country of Wakanda, a fictional country with a fusion of traditional African culture and futuristic technology, after the death of his father in “Captain America: Civil War.” Taught from birth to be a warrior, T’Challa struggles to assume the new responsibilities of being king, while a usurper to the throne plots his takeover.

One of the most impressive parts of this film is its ability to be both a traditional superhero movie, while also a courtly drama. The relationships between the characters are just as important as the explosions that follow this plot from Korea to the heart of Africa.

The film sports a star-studded cast with Boseman as the titular hero, as well as Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Martin Freeman, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis and far too many more to count. One of the most notable additions was the film’s main antagonist, Erik Stevens, codenamed Killmonger, portrayed viciously by Michael B. Jordan.

Jordan bounces straight from his “Creed” spotlight into one of the biggest films of 2018 with seemingly no difficulty at all. Killmonger provides “Black Panther” with a villain who is not only more than a physical match for the main hero, but an intellectual one.

The film takes a tactful approach on issues of race, posing the battle between T’Challa and Killmonger as Martin Luther King versus Malcolm X, with one advocating an equal world and the other demanding absolute superiority. Moral gray areas appear all over, making even the audience question who is really right.

Another standout in the film is Danai Gurira’s (Michonne from “The Walking Dead”) portrayal of Okoye, Wakanda’s head general. Bringing a humorous edge to her hard-hitting fighting style, she stands out in a film loaded with A-list talents.

I would give “Black Panther” a solid 9 out of 10. With a bit of a rushed opening and closing, it doesn’t quite claim a perfect score, but it should easily make any Marvel fan’s top five list. With T’Challa and the nation of Wakanda being a major part of May’s upcoming “Avenger’s Infinity War,” I cannot wait to see the cast of “Black Panther” return and rock this summer with one of the most-awaited superhero films ever.

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