Black Panther is a standalone entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that follows T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) as he heads home after the death of his father. He's to be king of the marvelous Wakanda, a place of advanced technology beyond anyone's imagination. It's viewed as a third world place to other nations as the people have kept their wonders a secret. There's a lot of setup here as we get a slow yet well paced build up for some of the stakes at play. We quickly understand who each of the core characters are and their place within this society.
It then jumps to some missions that further help create a sense of conflict and give a purpose as to why T'Challa is the rightful king of his land. These aren't spoilers, but really just the opening key points for what's going on here. It's very much a more intimate tale as opposed to just another entry in the overall universe. We essentially get an origin story as it helps round out Black Panther as a character. This is not only for him as an individual, but also with those that are close to him.
I was impressed by the quality of the story and the world. Wakanda is gorgeous and it does fit that futuristic yet realistic style perfectly. Each scene was colorful, popping with nice visual details and it provided a completely fresh cultural style. I'd compare it visually to Thor 3: Ragnarok, but Black Panther definitely stands out as distinctly unique. The cast was fantastic with the side characters being engaging. I even felt the main area of conflict was well handled with the core enemy having a true reason for his hatred.
The story while engaging and backed by well timed music did have some later pacing issues. They spent a tad too much time at the start and then sped right into things at the end. It could have used more time to slow things down during a great moment of conflict, yet it jumped right in which was disappointing. I know it's a rather long film in comparison to others not in the genre, though tweaks here or there might have made the journey to the end smoother. This area is also where the CGI had some minor dips in quality where it didn't look quite as real as the rest of the film. It's not bad, but some parts did stick out here.
Black Panther is great, there's amazing potential for what they can do in what's essentially a brand new location for Marvel to integrate into future films. I thought the cast was great, very diverse and nailed their roles no matter how impactful they were to the story. Andy Serkis' Ulysses Klaue was once again splendid being a fun, yet serious character. Everyone else was also great though if you liked him in Age of Ultron, he's even better here. Black Panther is an excellent hero and the film helps build him into a strong figure going forward. The picture was bright with color which was awesome and I loved the whole society that was created with Wakanda. It's all solid aside from some minor pacing issues later on and a small dip in CGI towards the ending.
Black Panther Review at Theater with 3D Viewing
Screening Provided by Walt Disney Studios