Gonna put a SPOILER Warning here since I'm not a reviewer. What I write here will touch on the story and it will reveal stuff from later on in the movie. I'm just trying to start discussions among those of us who've seen it and why I enjoyed it.
Saw it on Valentine's Day (Swedish premiere) and it's in the top half of Marvel movies for me. Feels different, mostly because of its African setting but probably also because it barely reference anything from the MCU outside from Civil War. The humor was scarce but the jokes it had landed very well for me so I don't mind, I'd rather have a few really good jokes than being peppered with mediocre jokes. The banter was great, the supporting cast was great, the villain played off of T'Challa's ideology and he had reasons for doing what he did, definitely one of the better villains in Marvel. Andy Serkis was a blast every time he was on screen. Bilbo (not great with actors, heh) was also great, he was a buzzkill in Civil War but here he was still pretty cold and serious but with humor to him. I loved him in this movie. I loved T'Challa's relationship to his sister, she was fun.
My "problems" with the movie were:
- The CGI, it felt very amateurish at times which is weird since Marvel usually has pretty good CG stuff. When characters would be hit into stuff the bodies would bounce like early CGI ragdoll physics. Kinda like Phantom Menace quality (if anyone gets it, I don't know how else to describe it :P). I think the majority of the budget for CGI went to making Wakanda look futuristic and fantastical though so I guess that explains why the fights looks a little underwhelming at times (when it's not Black Panther fighting). The Panther suit is awful though in my opinion but I guess it's a more advanced Iron Man suit but I hate how it just creeps over the body and engulf the wearer.
- The "outsider tribe" felt weird to me. They had like 4 scenes dedicated to them. In the intro "There were these tribes and one of them are still Wakandans but they don't live with us" setting up that they will have a part in the movie because otherwise they probably wouldn't be this important to the intro. The ritual fight, like 20 minutes in where everybody's like "nobody will challenge T'Challa? Sweet, done dealOh shiet, it that one tribe who has come to challenge". They lose, disappear from the movie. Their next scene "yeah, we found the king and no we wont fight with you, it's not our fight". Then at the final battle, they teleport into the middle of the fight (or nobody saw them running across the open fields) and they'r all like "psyche, now it's our fight". I actually enjoyed all those scenes but they felt forced in one way at the same time. Their appearance in the final fight could've been epic but they're just there, we don't see them run in or anything, they're just there and fighting.
NOW, here comes my real problems, they're long, sorry about the essay.
- Wakanda seems somewhat underdeveloped (not techwise, characterwise). Before this movie, Wakanda is basically Trump's africa (that is a joke with an oversimplified view of American politics from a Swedish young adult, please don't kill me), where they refuse to help any other country or take in any immigrants because they are die hard purists. If they're not Wakandan, they're not allowed. I mean, they have spies that travel the world and help out in some ways so they're not heartless I guess but they don't share any resources nor would they ever consider immigrants (that's what I got from the movie).
The villain fight's for all African/African-Americans and he wants Wakanda to send Vibranium weapons to all people of African descent so they can fight their oppressors. He's not pure Wakandan though so I get why he'd fight for all because Wakanda didn't protect him even if his father was the king's brother and he lived in a poor black neighborhood so he'd feel sympathy for them.
Okay, with that out of the way, I'll get to why Wakanda seems underdeveloped. When the villain comes to Wakanda and challenges T'Challa, some of them call him an outsider and because he's not pure, he can't "legally" sit on the throne but T'Challa accepts the challenge and loses. Does the people of Wakanda care that there's an outsider on the throne? I feel like, after centuries of isolation they wouldn't just let one whose not pure Wakandan sit on the throne but we don't see Wakanda's reaction to this, he just is king and everyone follows him now (I assume). And then he burns the garden of the greatest cultural significance containing the only remaining "heart shaped flowers" that grants anyone who eats its fruits basically a fully functional Captain America Super Serum (something everyone in the tv-shows seem to want to recreate btw :P) and also grants the eater the ability to.. speak to the dead, I think? Why would Wakandans not rise up against this? Maybe I'm thinking to much about this but it bugs me a lot. It didn't pull me out of the experience or anything, I still enjoyed the movie but this is one of the things that I kept thinking about after leaving the theatre. Oh, and when the villain just decides to send out vibranium to all black people in the world, would the rest of Wakanda just accept this new policy? The same thing with T'Challa deciding to send resources everywhere and sharing all of Wakanda's secrets with the world, what would Wakandans think of that? Maybe they are open to this idea or maybe they just believes that the king knows what's best but still irks me that we don't get to see Wakandas character, the people and their reactions to the events unfolding in the movie. I think it just boils down to me wanting to know more about Wakanda :P
- T'Challa's best friend and Michonne's boyfriend turns on T'Challa too quickly and barely ever speaks to Michonne (from the Walking Dead, told you I'm no good with actors). T'Challa and Bro (don't remember name, he's Bro now) share a scene in the beginning where they talk about how good things will be when he takes over as king. Their next scene together is when they decide to go after Andy Serkis (who killed Bro's family if I'm not mistaken) and T'Challa's like "I'll go after him and bring him here" while Bro is looking forward to killing Andy himself. Andy Serkis escapes capture thanks to the villain and when T'Challa is confronted by Bro he says to his face "Your father did nothing, I thought it would be different when you became king, but you're the same." Well I'm f***ing sorry, there's a difference between not doing anything and failing to do something, T'Challa tried to get Andy Serkis to Wakanda but he couldn't account for the villain f***ing it up. And then when the villain shows up in Wakanda with Andy Serkis' body, Bro just start to follow him almost mindlessly. Sure Andy caused the death of Bro's family and I get that is emotional but he just abandons his best friend without knowing the details of Andy's escape and starts to follow the one guy who prevented T'Challa from bringing him home in the first place. And T'Challa knows that Killmonger was the one who freed Andy because he has the royal ring or whatever, he could just then and there say that Killmonger was the reason Andy escaped. Then Bro basically kills all of T'Challa's and Michonne's soldiers and then he gives up. I'm glad he didn't get redemption because he has a lot to redeem now so maybe that's something for a future movie. But I hated Bro's character.
- In the end when T'Challa decides to open Wakanda up to the world, he and his sister goes to Killmonger's (just realized that I've just called him "the villain" this entire thing, damn) home and he reveals that he bought all the buildings and plans to open up help center of sorts to help the neighborhood and I know that this is supposed to show that he helps them where his father left and this neighborhood is where Killmonger grew up so let's make it better since it was tough for him. but earlier in the movie, we saw them fight human traffickers in the African jungles, traffickers that used a kid from the traffickees village and forced him to fight for them. Wouldn't that be where you start? Sure, he's a nice guy and saves these poor kids in poor neighborhoods but shouldn't the resources go to Wakanda's neighboring countries who's obviously worse off? In the after credit scene T'Challa basically tells the UN that Wakanda shall share their resources with the world so that tells me that they are going to help their neighbors too but it felt like weird priorities to me, it does work for the story though so it is nitpicky even though it rubbed me the wrong way.
I focused a LOT on the negatives in the movie but really, they don't necessarily destroy my enjoyment of it. I find it easier to define the things I didn't like in this movie and outside from the points I brought up I was very engaged throughout the film so the good things would just add 200% to the essay I already wrote. I still thing that it was genuinely good, borderline great actually. What did you think? What did you love/ hate with the movie? Let's talk about it.. and be civil.