The MCU Ranked: ‘Black Panther’
This isn’t a review per se. It’s part of a series looking at the details of the MCU movies and TV shows including SPOILERS, Easter Eggs, post-credit scenes and whatnot. We have a spoiler free review if you’d like.
But from this point on there are Black Panther spoilers.
Movie: Black Panther (2018)
Director: Ryan Coogler
Heroes: King T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)
Villains: N’Jadaka/Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis)
Support Cast: Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), Okoye (Danai Gurira), Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman), W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winstom Duke), Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Zuri (Forest Whitaker)
Cameos: Stan Lee, naturally, as a gambler who nicks some of T’Challa’s winnings in a casino. In an early flashback scene we see T’Challa’s father, T’Chaka, and Zuri in their younger years. Young T’Chaka, usually played by John Kani, is played in this scene by the actors son Atandwa Kani. The final line of the movie goes to a young lad played by Alex Hibbert, best known as ‘Little’ from Moonlight. The directors of these two films are close friends. See also: End Credits.
Plot: T’Challa is about to be crowned king of Wakanda, the secret African nation which houses incredible resources and technologies. He’ll also be donning the role of Black Panther, the superhero defender of the realm. He must protect his people from external and internal threats.
Review: First: full spoiler free review here.
As to the more spoilery aspects, one of the strongest parts of this film is Killmonger. Klaue is the villain we were expecting as he appeared in Age of Ultron, but he gets bumped off halfway through so the focus winds up on Killmonger. Jordan is bloody brilliant in this role, and it’s a great role. Killmonger has a valid reason to be angry with Wakanda, he does have a valid claim to the throne and he has a really solid point to make. He claims that Wakanda should be using its technology and resources to help African people world wide. Given the state of Africa and the struggles of its people, Wakanda excuse that they don’t want their tech weaponised feels quite weak. It’s telling that T’Challa changes his policy in defiance of tradition at the end.
Sure Killmonger was a psychotic murderer and dickhead, but he had a point.
Credits Scene: First we see T’Challa addressing the UN and beginning the process of revealing the true Wakanda. The second scene is an expected sequence showing Bucky making a recovery and getting set-up for Infinity War.
Most Notable Easter Egg: This is pretty minor, but the tribal mask Killmonger steals from the British Museum bears a striking resemblance to the character’s costume design in the comics. Dressing him as a super villain would’ve been out of place in this film, so this was a clever nod.
Coolest Moment: Shuri. Shuri is fucking boss.
THE MCU MASTER LIST
Given how many reviewers and audience members have declared this to be their favourite MCU film, I’m possibly going to upset some people. I found that it’s a bit weighed down by the origin story for T’Challa, his family, his country and it’s traditions. Still – it’s awesome. It’s edges out Iron Man being it has armoured battle-rhinos.
Click those numbers if you want to see what we said about the others entries.
1. THE AVENGERS
2. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
3. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
4. THOR: RAGNAROK
5. BLACK PANTHER
6. IRON MAN
7. AGENT CARTER
9. THE PUNISHER (SEASON 1)
10. IRON MAN 3
11. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
12. IRON MAN 2
13. AGENTS OF SHIELD (SEASON 2)
14. AGENTS OF SHIELD (SEASON 1)
15. THOR: THE DARK WORLD
16. THE INCREDIBLE HULK
Right, back to Hell’s Kitchen…