Opening night at Black Panther felt like a celebration. All six showings at my cinema were totally sold out, and continued to sell out through the weekend. But, yes, the audience was ecstatic, completely into the event, dressed in traditional African attire, laughing, cheering, applauding, hooting, and generally having a great time. It makes me want to give Black Panther the highest grade. There’s nothing like a good party.
My A- is still a very good grade. But I honestly preferred the recent Thor – Ragnarok and Spiderman – Homecoming…those were better plotted stories, more tightly woven into the later Marvel Cinematic Universe, with sprightlier humor, and people I cared about. [UPDATE: Black Panther got better with every viewing. It really is one of the best of the MCU. But after I saw Avengers – Infinity War, I now have to place IW a bit higher. Let’s just say Marvel knows how to craft a film, period, and gets better ever year.]
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Black Panther (an origin story that suffers by introducing an entire NATION of new characters) moved along so quickly that I was often lost, and didn’t get to know much about anyone. The title character himself, with so much else this movie had to accomplish, had surprisingly little to say or do. The actual titular hero had more action in Captain America -Civil War.
However, Black Panther is a spectacularly gorgeous film. The cinematography, location shots, the CGI, the total aesthetic appeal — all was topnotch. There was an epic feel to the proceedings, decent humor (mostly from the scene-stealing Princess Shuri), and standout female performances by the aforementioned Princess, the Queen, the Girlfriend, and the General. The women were the best part of the narrative.
Wait, of course, through the entire credits. This is a Marvel movie, after all. The final movie stinger provides a long-awaited payoff.
Updated Note: With Avengers: Infinity War coming out this week, and Black Panther STILL in theaters, this is the first time we’ve had two MCU movies playing at once! I might make my movie day a double feature…
Movie Grade: A-
Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)