I realize this is going to be against what the media is saying when I admit that Black Panther was just not that good. I know they are saying how amazing it is, how eagerly anticipated it is and how it is one of the best ever from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU.) To that I say, “not even close.”

Yes, it includes some of the most beautiful people in the world (both male and female – Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba and many more.) Yes, the sets too, were gorgeous. Yes, it has stunning visuals. Yes, the CGI is good (mostly.) Yes,the acting too was top notch. This film had the potential to be one of the all-time greats. It just missed the mark however.

Seriously good looking people (and Forest Whitaker)

The story was full of pandering and often made little or no sense. They even made sure not to harm the CGI rhinoceros in battle armor just to appease that segment of the focus group. If they had just told a story and not worked so hard to avoid upsetting each of the disparate “causes,” they would have succeeded. It seems the only group that were okay to show in a negative light were Americans. They made several implications and outright digs at Americans being bad.

As a “black film” it is a great step forward. A nearly 100% black cast without a Madea, a drum-line or a yard stomping anywhere to be found. This is a story that could have been told in space and told with any color cast. If they would have just focused on telling a good story and just a little less on preaching, it could have gotten 10 stars.

The other area it fell short in was superhero action stuff. You remember that? Superheroes kicking butt against bad guys? Our hero in this one spent more time out of costume than in it kicking butt. I like my super heroes to do more super hero stuff.

by Chris Doelle

RATING 7 out of 10