Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole’s screenplay is very balanced and overall well-paced. Movie continues from the events of Civil War and the death of his father T’Chaka. T'Challa, now a King comes back to Wakanda and we get to see how he deals with his ascension to throne, vulnerabilities and challenges (external and internal). Screenplay captures every element of T’Challa’s character from his evolution as a king to his personal life as brother/son/lover beautifully and successfully tells the story of who T’Challa is as a person behind the mask. Not only it covers T’Challa in detail but also creates the whole world/culture of Wakanda in a very detailed manner. A lot of new characters have been introduced here and each one of them gets enough screen time and characteristic layers to make them stand out individually. Humor is also very good and flows perfectly with narrative. It is in fact a very funny movie. The only issue I have with screenplay is that it felt rushed at times and the antagonist Erik "Killmonger" Stevens played by Michael B. Jordan doesn’t get much to his story. I wanted to see more of him onscreen.
Action sequences are scattered fittingly throughout the narrative. As I mentioned earlier, dynamics of Black Panther character and his world are very unique compared to Marvel’s other super heroes, which makes every action sequence slightly different from the other. Choreography of the opening action sequence is set in dark with a very hide and seek ninja sort of manner which reminded me of Batman and created a very similar experience. Second action sequence, set in a casino followed by a car chase sequence on the streets of Seoul Korea creates a very bond/ espionage movie sort of experience. And then we have action scenes with African theme set with in Wakanda (especially the duels) with final fight scene set inside the futuristic mine of Wakanda resembling Guardians of Galaxy sort of scenario. All the action sequences are done perfectly except the end action sequence. It’s not horrible but it’s not great either, it’s simply average. When you build up such an intense engaging narrative throughout and then closing it at an average note is kind of a letdown. I guess what went wrong in the end sequence was the CGI, which kept going into cartoonish zone.
All the characters are amazingly defined and have been performed to perfection. This is a film where every character shines and feel integral to the plot. I don’t want to give any spoiler so here I will only mention few points that really stood out for me. Chemistry between T’Challa and his teen technical prodigy sister Shuri played by Letitia Wright is one of the best sibling relationship I have seen on screen, it’s realistic and creates one of the best laugh out loud moments. Michael B. Jordan’s immense screen presence and charisma as Erik "Killmonger" Stevens commands attention whenever he is on screen. In fact, his performance is one of the best from the cast and will make you want more of him on screen. Wakanda herself as a country is beautifully created on screen, city landscape, technology and culture all blend together to form an independent character of its on, this film will not stay the same if you remove Wakanda from the equation. I can say a lot about every actor and their portrayal of their parts but I am restricting myself as I don’t want to spoil fun for you.
Ryan Coogler’s direction perfectly holds every element of this ensemble together till very end. There is not even a single dull moment but as Shuri says to T'Challa in the film,” what makes you think that perfectly working things cannot be improved”, my sentiments are also same. With a better climax action sequence, enhanced CGI work and more screen time, this movie could have easily been a 5 starrer but for now I will go with 3.5 stars.
As always, I would like to thank Novo cinemas for the premiere invites and making this review possible. I will suggest you guys for Novo Imax if you can for a full immersive experience.
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