Friday 22 June 2018

A (very) brief review of the Marvel Black Panther movie (2018)

Very dull and completely unengaging, such that I couldn't care less about what happened and was glad when it finished.

However, I didn't watch the whole thing. This was a family rental from Amazon. I saw the first hour - in a kind of blank inertia of waiting - then (when the hero had to undergo a repetation of trial by combat) lumbered off into the kitchen, and did chores for about half an hour, then returned to watch up to the end.

I could point at problems with the script, acting, direction, editing, CGI, pacing, preachiness... but when a movie doesn't work, it just doesn't work. Black Panther was the only Marvel superhero movie that I found boring, throughout.

Black Panther was a dud, hence not really fixable.


Michael Dyer said...

While I didn't have the same reaction you did, I think it works better on the big screen, I did notice something in the moral framework of the movie that was new and bothered me which I couldn't name until later when the wakandans showed up in Infinity War: contempt.

The Wakandans had open and naked contempt as a dominant emotion. Contempt for all non-Wakandans, just contempt in general, even among themselves. And this doesn't really get addressed, it's not an emotion that really leads anywhere. Just a giant ugly moral defect in the heroes that's allowed to just hang out. Even though the main villain, the most interesting character, seems to have been created at least partially as a victim of this contempt.

Although in fairness T'Challa himself doesn't demonstrate this. He seems like a decent man, everyone around him just seems like they can't get over how much better they are than everything else.

Even the resolution of the story seems to be as much about demonstrating superiority as actually helping anyone.

Dexter said...

Preachy SJW message movie is boring. What a surprise. And of course the media had to praise it to the skies as the Greatest Movie Ever precisely because it was a boring preachy message movie.

That "contempt" MD detected reflected the contempt of the PC elite for ordinary people of the West and for Western culture and nations.

Chiu ChunLing said...

It was far worse than a dud.

Basically, it was a profound and apparently deliberate (and very repetitive) insult to the intelligence and morality of African descended peoples.

The worst (and most plot essential) aspect is how the Wakandans are portrayed when dealing with a legitimacy crisis. The "they are just typically moronic black Africans who happen to have gotten lucky" message really didn't need to be further sledgehammered home...except that without that portrayal, there would have been no crisis at all.

Essentially, Vibranium has such magical properties that it can make a kingdom based on the most short-sighted and flagrant nepotism work for centuries, leaving aside the fact that having enough of it on hand can allow you to simply put a half-wit royal princess in charge of technology development and actually get results.

Really, everything can be summarized by one question. Why is there only one Black Panther, when it is clearly possible for any number of people to drink the magic potion?

The villain has an answer to that question. But nobody else has a better, or even different one.