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Superhero with a cultural difference

Ghazi Alshehabi

BLACK Panther sets itself apart from the rest of the cinematic universe and builds on it at the same time.

I’ll get back to that point later on, but first let’s talk about the plot.

After the events of Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa AKA the Black Panther (played by Chadwick Boseman) returns to the technologically advanced Kingdom of Wakanda to become its rightful king.

However, threats arise when Erik Killmonger (played by Michael B Jordan) and Ulysses Klaue (played by Andy Serkis) start causing trouble that makes T’Challa don the Black Panther suit and go out into the world to stop them.

On the surface it’s pretty straightforward, it builds on the character’s excellent introduction in Civil War and shows all the different aspects of the character which is key in a superhero movie.

However, where it shines is the attention to detail in brining Wakanda and its culture to life.

The movie blends high-tech concepts with African designs, or at least African inspired designs, so beautifully that I wouldn’t have minded if the movie was just about the different aspects of life in Wakanda.

But this is superhero movie which means big flashy action scenes which director Ryan Coogler does magnificently. It has excellent camera work and tight editing that makes the up close hand to hand combat more visceral and intense.

Black Panther’s speed and strength are shown in some of the best action scenes not just in superhero movies but movies in general.

All of the actors do a great job as portraying their characters, Boseman balances out T’Challa’s regal seriousness with the right amount of levity and humour.

Serkis’ Klaue is a joy to watch every second he’s on screen as he’s so energetic and entertaining that I wished there was a movie all about him.

Jordan’s Killmonger comes really close to being a very sympathetic villain but falls short due to how bloodthirsty he is, but still serves as an excellent foil for T’Challa.

The major downside of the movie is that it’s pretty predictable simply because it is a superhero movie and goes through all the steps with very little deviation.

That doesn’t take away from how excellent the execution of the film’s themes, ideas and action scenes are.

This movie solidifies Black Panther’s place in the Marvel cinematic universe and shapes him to be a major player in it.

* Black Panther is being screened in Seef, City Centre Bahrain, Mukta A2 Cinemas, Wadi Al Sail, Saar Cinema and Dana Mall Cinema.

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