Film review: Black Panther is the best in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date
- Credit: Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel Studios/Matt Kennedy
Whether dealing with real-life tragedy in biographical drama Fruitvale Station (2013) or reinvigorating the Rocky franchise with Creed (2015), writer-director Ryan Coogler has made a name for himself as bold and inventive film-maker.
With his latest feature and the 18th instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther, he has delivered one of the most exciting and visually arresting films of the year.
Taking place soon after the events of Captain: America Civil War (2016) the film sees prince T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) return to his home in Wakanda to take his place as king of the African nation, only to be challenged by the mysterious Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan).
Together with co-writer Joe Robert Cole and cinematographer Rachel Morrison, Coogler beautifully introduces us to the vibrant fantasia of the technologically advanced Wakanda, taking his time to explore the relationships between T’Challa and his kingdom’s inhabitants.
The film’s action sequences are another of its many pleasures.
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One particularly breathtaking sequence sees a casino-based brawl descend into an exhilarating high-speed car chase through the neon-lit cityscapes of South Korea.
The performances are also superb. Boseman is enthralling as the noble, virtuous hero and Jordan lends a chilling, feral intensity to his vengeful antagonist.
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The pair are well matched by Daniel Kaluuya’s conflicted W’Kabi and Letitia Wright’s ebullient Shuri.
Visually stunning, sharply written and powerfully directed, Black Panther is an engrossing and inspired film and the best in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date.