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16th February
2018
written by Adam

Centuries ago the middle of the African continent was struck by a meteor containing a rare material known as vibranium; since then the tribes living the region/nation known as Wakanda have learned to harness its powers, advancing their technological and educational prowess to levels not seen anywhere else in the world, all the while keeping vibranium and its powers a closely guarded secret. Coupling vibranium with royalty the story picks up with the death of the Wakandan King and the re-crowning of its Prince T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman). As the new king of Wakanda T’Challa will also serve as the Black Panther, the guardian/protector of the nation as well as its diplomat. Challenged by the growing threat of stollen vibranium the Black Panther will have to put an end to the arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis), but an even bigger threat to Wakanda and its secrecy is knocking just outside the door as a potential heir to the throne returns home. Directed by Ryan Coogler this ambitious film sets out to accomplish many tasks within the Marvel Cinematic Universe without touching anything fans are already familiar with, from establishing an origin story, revealing the world of Wakanda its technology and it’s tribal makeup, the establishment of several villains, further inner strife within the Wakandan tribes and their political leanings and beliefs, a growing romance, and, the peacemaking required all round, it’s a hefty ask to say the least. Yet, dotted with a ridiculously talented ensemble including Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Danai Gurira, and Letitia Wright, the cast seems up for the challenge. Perhaps the bigger challenge is maintaining forward momentum in what threatens to become a formulaic Marvel hero’s quest storyline lulling at several yawn inducing points. Albeit, the empowered treatment of educated women warriors in this film makes a powerful statement in the face of our present day politics and the overall message of the film is positivity in the face of adversity, also re-freshing. Bottom line, despite its flaws, there’s still plenty to embrace and the fortified strength in the diversity column is a much welcomed addition to the MCU. Black Panther is rated PG-13.

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