*I have no knowledge of either the narrative and characters in the Black Panther comic book, so this review is strictly based on the movie.
Comic books, especially the ones based around superheroes have become our modern-day fairy tales. There are heroes, villains, difficult journeys and life lessons that leave a lasting imprint long after we have read the final page.
The film starts off where Captain America: Civil War has ended. T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), is stepping into the role of King of Wakanda, a fictional country in Africa, after loosing his father. He is supported by his ex/best friend, Nakia, (Lupita Nyong’o), his younger sister Shuri (Letitia Wright), the Q to his James Bond, his widowed mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and his general, Okoye (Danai Gurira), who is the head of Wakanda’s Amazon-esque army.
When Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) threaten T’Challa/Black Panther and his kingdom, our hero must fight for his thrown and his country.
I loved this movie. I loved this movie. It has heart, it has humor, it has action, it has bad ass female characters and most importantly, character and actors of color who are proudly representing their heritage.
This movie is worth every word of praise and every dollar that has been spent to see it.
Warning: This movie review contain spoilers for The Last Jedi. I will not be offended if you choose to read this review until after you have seen the movie.
The Star Wars trilogy created the movie sequels as we know them to be today.
In The Last Jedi, the resistance, led by General Leia Organa (the late and very missed Carrie Fisher) is on the run from The First Order. Leia’s son, Kylo Ren/Ben Solo (Adam Driver) is hell-bent on destroying the resistance, as per the command of Snoke (Andy Serkis). Kylo’s second in command, General Hux (Domnhall Gleason) is as eager as his bosses to see the resistance blown to smithereens.
Meanwhile, Rey (Daisy Ridley) has found Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), but Luke is not happy to found. However, at the same time, he sees the power in Rey and knows that she must receive some sort of training. At the same time, Finn (John Boyega) has woken from his coma and is teaming up with previously unknown Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) to find a way to defeat The First Order. Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is all for the plan, but he has been rebuked for his wild ways by Leia and Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) for his wild ways.
Director Rian Johnson has hit it out of the park with this film. A throwback to The Empire Strikes Back, Johnson is a fanboy who has used his love of the franchise to create a remarkable film.
While all of the cast were at peak performance mode, my favorite performances belonged to Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Adam Driver. Luke, who was only seen briefly and without any dialogue at the end of The Force Awakens, is a man who is torn apart by his past and the decisions he made. His twin, Leia is watching the resistance fall apart and is trying to lead the remnants as best she can. Kylo is unsure as to the path he has taken. While he has sworn loyalty to Snoke, there is still a part of him that clings to the light side of the force and the family he left behind when he flipped to the dark side.