Black Panther

Black Panther ★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Sometimes representation matters more than content, I guess. But dammit I wish this movie were better. More to the point, I wish it were less offensive and more likable. I find it hard to stomach the leaden dialog and the unremarkable plot. I also hate the presumption that an advanced nation would still litigate royal succession via ritual combat—because they’re in Africa, I guess? That burns me. And I hate the utter uselessness of Martin Freeman’s character, as well as the conspicuously anodyne regard that the movie has for the CIA, an organization that, to put it mildly, has never been a friend to Black people. And I really found myself sickened by how easily the Wakandan nation turned against one another and, presumably, killed scores of one another in the climactic battle, with little repercussion. Is it just me, or does this film seem to actually have a pretty low regard for African people? Plus, it’s got a stacked cast—Chadwick Boseman, Daniel Kaluuya, Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o together, in one movie—and it utterly wastes this bounty of generational talent. The thing that confounds me most of all is how the guy who made “Fruitvale Station” and “Creed,” two monumentally brilliant movies, could make this haphazard, plasticky, run-of-the-mill Marvel debacle.