Spoiler-Free Black Panther Review

After a nearly year-long wait, Black Panther has finally been released! The film critics have given their opinions - including a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes - but what about the "regular folk" who don't review movies for a living? From a self-identified "regular folk," I was a very big fan. It's almost important to note while I am not a movie critic, I am a huge nerd for Marvel (and DC, but we're not talking about them here). That being said, while I am a big fan of the franchise, very few of the Marvel movies have me thinking about them twenty-four hours after I've seen the movie, let alone inspire me to write about it. So, really, that should tell all you need to know - but without further ado, here's what I thought about the movie, with no spoilers.  

Firstly, the cinematography. Wow. The shots of both Wakanda and South Korea don't do the film justice. I love the pretty scenery, and I was living for it. Wakanda looks gorgeous, and I have a sudden, strong desire to both visit Wakanda and Atlanta (where Black Panther filmed most of the movie). The Lion King-like scene is enough for the movie to be nominated for best cinematography, honestly. 

Both the acting and writing were phenomenal in Black Panther as well. While there were quip-like one-liners, they were not overdone as many fans of the franchise have complained about. No line of dialogue seems wasted or without purpose - which is a common critique of superhero films. Additionally, the comedic relief made sense for what was going on in the film. As an example, during a tense moment, there was tense dialogue and no comedic relief - unlike other Marvel movies. 

The action scenes were also well executed and the audience could very much understand where the character was in relation to other characters - which has been not true in other Marvel films (most notably, Dr. Strange). The direction of the scene allowed you to see what the hero was doing as well as everyone's reaction to what the hero was accomplishing. It was very satisfying to watch.

Now, some of you might have real concerns about how the female characters are portrayed. Well, good news if you were hoping for good representation! The female characters are multi-dimensional and badass - ranging from Okoye, the leader of King's personal bodyguards to Shuri, King T'Challa's incredibly intelligent sister - every female character shines in their own unique way. (Shuri, by the way, is my new favorite secondary Marvel character).

The villain, by the way, in case you're wondering about Michael B. Jordan's performance, is amazing. Marvel consistently has issues revolving around the believability of their villains (Iron Man 3's villain, most notably) but Black Panther blows it out of the park. For once, not only is the villain a good antagonist, but he actually has some valid points. Due to this review being spoiler-free, I will not go over his motives, but none of them are clichés.

Lastly, the soundtrack was gorgeous. If you haven't already checked out the Black Panther soundtrack I would highly suggest doing so. It has great black artists, including Kendrick Lamar and the Weeknd. While the actual film uses some of the music featured on the album, the soundtrack of the movie is flawless regardless. 

If I haven't convinced you to see the movie at this point, then you probably had no prior interest in seeing it. I hope you do see it, as it is hugely important to the Black community -- the movie features an essentially only black cast. If you have seen the movie, leave a comment expressing your thoughts! 

I'll leave you with one gif, and I'll be repeating this phrase for the rest of the week: