A couple of days ago, I finally went to see the Black Panther. At the end of the movie, I had a love-hate relationship with it. Whilst having a late lunch with my friend, who I went to see the movie with, she said the best way to look at the movie was to take it as complete fantasy and not focus on specifics. Since then, I have been looking for a moment to write a review of the Black Panther movie.
I guess from a non-African’s point of view and if you were there simply for entertainment and to pass the time, you would probably give the movie a 9 out of 10.
Before I start, in case you have been living under a rock in isolation, here’s a little info about the movie.
About the Black Panther movie (taken from IMDb)
After the events of Captain America: Civil War, King T’Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country’s new leader. However, T’Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakandan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.
T’Challa : Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows. We can not. We must not. We will work to be an example of how we, as brothers and sisters on this earth, should treat each other. Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe.
|Ryan Coogler||…||(written by) &|
|Joe Robert Cole||…||(written by)|
|Stan Lee||…||(based on the Marvel Comics by) and|
|Jack Kirby||…||(based on the Marvel Comics by)|
My review of the Black Panther movie
My review of the Black Panther movie is going to be analytical with a combination of the things I did like and the things I did not like as I progressed through the movie.
Review of the scenes
Within a few minutes of the start of the movie, they showed the Sambisa forest in Nigeria. Yay (I hope you could guess my sarcasm already) they portrayed Boko Haram militants. The thing that really annoyed me about this scene is that the militants who were meant to be Nigerians (from Northern Nigeria) did not sound anything like a Hausa or Fulani would sound. For the budget that was spent, you would think that the powers that be would make sure that the accents were authentic.
I think I speak on behalf of all Nigerians when I say “thank you Hollywood for trying to include Nigeria in your movies. However, we have the Nigerian Movie Industry (Nollywood). Please do not represent us anymore in your movies with fake accents. I think the Ghanaians would like the opportunity”.
So that was the first bit I absolutely hated about the movie.
As a Nigerian, I have seen a number of Nigerians increasingly bleach their skin. So I absolutely loved that this movie used really dark skinned women. I could totally relate to the women in it. Not just because of my dark skin but also because every now and then, I shave my hair completely. To me, for the first time in a Hollywood movie, I saw women who looked like me: FIERCE AND BOLD WITH BALD HAIR!
The Wakanda female army gets a resounding 10/10. All the female warriors interpreted their roles exceedingly well, it was almost like the role was cast with them in mind.
All in all, the movie was actually quite enjoyable. It didn’t get my pulse racing as much as I would have liked but it was still a good movie. I would give it an overall 7/10
Review of the characters
T’Challa and Nakia
I, possibly, might be the only person in the world who feels this way but as good an actor as he was as T’Challa, Chadwick Boseman did not fit the role like a glove. To me, he simply acted the part. He was not the Black Panther.
I felt no chemistry between him and Lupita Nyong’ o as Nakia, his love interest. Just like Chadwick, Lupita did not fit the role either, she simply acted the part. If anything, there was more chemistry between T’Challa and his General Okoye (Danai Gurira).
For effort, Chadwick and Lupita each get a 6.5/10.
***If I were the writer, I would have written that T’Challa and his General were an item. I would have explored the internal conflict the General would have felt between her loyalty to the throne and for the man she loved when she thought T’Challa was dead***
Danai Gurira fit the role as a general to perfection in my opinion. You could easily imagine that she was a real General in another life. Danai gets a 9/10 for her interpretation of her role as a General in the Black Panther movie.
Forest Whitaker had no business in this film and especially not as Zuri. The writers should have consulted Nollywood writers on how best to interprete Zuri’s character as a (for lack of a better word) ‘Shaman’. In my opinion, there’s only one person on this planet who could have interpreted this role to perfection and that is no other than Pete Edochie.
Queen Mother Ramonda
Angela Bassett seemed lost in this film as a Queen Mother. It was almost like she was going through the motions of the role. I think she was way over her head in the role as a Queen Mother. What would have helped her interprete her role better was if she watched a few Nigerian movies, especially the English speaking ones, or even some Ghanaian movies. I don’t know about other parts of Africa but in West Africa, Queens are powerful in their own right. I did not feel that power watching Angela.
If I was the producer, I would have cast someone like Ngozi Ezeonu for the role of Queen Mother.
I guess it should be no surprise that I would rate both Forest and Angela 3/10.
The character I loved from the first moment I saw her was T’Challa’s sister Shuri. Everything about her was perfection, from her accent to the way she carried herself. I even had to Google her to find out if she was South African. It turns out that Letitia Wright is a British-Guyanese actress. I was well impressed and I look forward to seeing more movies with her in a lead role. Giving her a 10/10 was too easy.
Another character I loved was Winston Duke as M’Baku. Winston carried himself perfectly and his role fitted him like a glove. In fact, it wouldn’t have been amiss if he was the one cast as the Black Panther. I’m a big fan of his now and look forward to seeing more movies with him in a lead role. Giving him a 10/10 was super easy.
For whatever reason, I neither liked nor disliked Michael B Jordon’s acting and can’t even give him a rating. I guess I could feel his anger through the movie and that can only be to Michael’s credit. Actually, Michael did interprete his role well, maybe I just didn’t like his character.
My thoughts about the world of the Black Panther movie
After the movie, I asked myself if there were panthers found naturally in Africa. Whenever I had thought about a panther, the first thing that came to mind was a cougar or a mountain lion. I had to turn to the oracle that is Google.com for more info. According to Wikipedia, a black panther is the melanistic colour variant of any big cat species. Black Panthers in Asia and Africa are leopards (Panthera pardus), and those in the Americas are black jaguars (Panthera onca). Melanism in the Jaguar (Panthera onca) is conferred by a dominant allele, and in the leopard (Panthera pardus) by a recessive allele. Close examination of the colour of these black cats will show that the typical markings are still present, but are hidden by the excess black pigment melanin, giving an effect similar to that of printed silk. This is called “ghost striping”. Melanistic and non-melanistic animals can be littermates.
Teaching moment, the Yoruba name for Leopard is Àmọ̀tẹ́kùn. So a black Panther in Africa is very realistic.
Considering that the Panther spirit was seen in the plains I didn’t understand why the ‘Coronation/Challenge grounds’ had to be in water. I would have thought it would be on proper ground. The only reason that the water scene would have made sense to me was if the base of the waterfall was the base of the remaining stock of Vibranium. Then when T’Challa fell into the abyss, he would have gotten infused with even more Vibranium, seeing him become more than a man, considerably stronger than when he simply had one panther spirit.
In West African traditional wrestling, the first to ‘eat dust’ is usually the loser. As I don’t know what traditional setting they based the fight between T’Challa and Killmonger I can’t really comment on it. Killmonger did not fight honourably when he threw T’Challa into the abyss and I think that should have been reason enough to not make him King. What would have played out better was if he tried to ‘beat’ the elders into accepting him as the King.
Irrespective of the above, this movie to me is more than a movie. It’s existence alone can be and has been a force for a lot of good.
For starts, if it stops one dark-skinned sister from bleaching her skin due to some imaginary idea of beauty, that would truly be AMAZING. I hope it would encourage more sisters to ditch the wig and weave-ons. If you find an afro hard to manage, SHAVE IT OFF. Here’s your opportunity to show off your well-rounded skull with no ‘gallops or potholes’.
I watched an interview where people in Seoul were asked what they thought of the movie. I could not believe it when one said that prior to the movie, all they ever knew of ‘blacks’ was that they were slaves. WTF! I couldn’t believe that in 2018, there are some people who do not realise that Africa’s history was halted by slavery. So I guess it’s a good thing the movie has educated at least one person in the world that there’s more to Africans than slavery and African women are extremely beautiful.
I used to wonder how Africa was conquered in the first place and this movie showed not only how Africa was conquered but how Africa can re-build itself to be even more glorious than in the past.
UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL!
W’Kabi was angry at T’Challa that he didn’t keep his promise to him. T’Challa should have been more open to W’Kabi and his counsel about what happened in Seoul. When you withhold information, things are very likely going to go wrong. This also gives outsiders a loophole to exploit.
I just checked the word count and I have written 2000 words in this review. I didn’t imagine I had so much to say about the movie and more, but I think I’ll stop here.
OK here’s a PS to Nollywood actors and actresses. Please up your game! Did you see how fit (literally) all the actors in this movie are? Now, where are the black investors? Nollywood needs you
What do you think about my review of the Black Panther movie? What are your thoughts on the movie? Please leave a comment below