Black Panther has received a ton of praise for close to an entire year. When this movie released in theaters everyone — and I mean EVERYONE — rushed to his or her nearest theater to see it. Everyone told me they loved it and some people go out on a limb and claim Black Panther is “one of the best comic book movies of all time.”
People are watching this movie with pride. So are the production types with more than $1.35 billion dollars in worldwide box office. Today, it’s also rated a 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s certified fresh and higher than films like The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 2, Avengers, and Logan … but we aren’t going to talk about that right now. Everyone I know has seen this movie and adores it. People laud it for days.
And, well, I’m here to say I totally disagree.
I’m probably one of the few people anywhere who doesn’t like this movie, and I really don’t know why. To be honest, I don’t know what people see in this film at all. Black Panther is a very flawed film.
Now that I have your attention…
Now before I get into all my negatives about the film, I’m going to start by laying out my positives and things I enjoyed in the film. I really loved Killmonger and he’s without a doubt one of the best MCU villains ever.
His character is well-fleshed out and his motivation makes sense. All of his scenes have emotion and they go for some of the best scenes in the movie. Also, Killmonger has one of the best villain introductions in the entire MCU.
Another thing I love about Killmonger’s character is also the dynamic between Eric Killmonger and T’Challa. It is well written and feels serious with emotional weight. You understand both of these characters and their backgrounds. I love when films have the antagonist and the protagonist share a link between them because it feels more serious and the stakes are higher.
Every encounter between these two characters feels real, which holds a ton of weight to the story. You care and feel for both of these characters. When a movie gets you to agree with the villain, you know you have a very empowering antagonist on your hands.
And that’s what Black Panther does well, it gives one of the best villain performances in comic book movie history. Throughout the whole film, I found myself agreeing with Killmonger’s ideas and his plans. Killmonger is an incredible villain, undeniably a top 5 MCU villain.
Also, I would like to point out that the scene (SPOILER ALERT) when Killmonger dies in the end is so iconic and groundbreaking.
Just view this scene from the music, the acting, dialogue, Michael B. Jordan’s lines, and the scenery. Also, the score throughout this film is strangely very good. The soundtrack throughout this whole film is outstanding.
Another thing I liked in this movie, was the depiction of Wakanda. They portrayed Wakanda perfectly to truly reflect the Wakanda in the comics. It’s beautiful and the shots of Wakanda in the movie are visually astounding. The flashback moments look great and create some well-written dialogue between the characters. Other than those, that’s all the things I liked in the film.
I’m sorry, but I really didn’t enjoy this film, here’s why I really don’t like Black Panther at all:
T’Challa was less interesting by a mile
Remember in Civil War when Black Panther showed up and arguably had one of the best character intros in the MCU? After Civil War, I was so invested in the character and looked forward to his future as a very compelling and interesting character. But in this film, Marvel threw that all down the drain.
In Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa had revenge on his mind and was much more of an entertaining character. But in Black Panther, they didn’t really give him any direction at all, T’Challa is very dull and boring in this film. Throughout the whole movie, he’s learning to be king and it leads to his character being less interesting and sometimes boring to me.
In Civil War, his character revolves around the idea of revenge. But in Black Panther, it’s just him figuring out to be king and it’s so less interesting. Also, T’Challa and Nakia feel so disconnected. They don’t mesh well. This film should have just pictured T’Challa’s motivations about his mom and his sister. It would have been an outstanding narrative about how important family is.
In Civil War, T’Challa was an intelligent character. In Black Panther, he just seems to make mistake-after-mistake and it comes off as him being unorganized and a bad king. I understand what the film is trying to do. It’s trying to make him make a lot of mistakes and learn from them. Kind of like what Marvel did with Peter Parker and Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
But in this film, it just doesn’t work. It takes all the way up until the end of the film for T’Challa to learn how to be a good king. And that’s the end of the film. The character of T’Challa was written tremendously less interesting in Black Panther, and it’s a shame because it happens to be his solo film.
Pacing… my god, where do I start? The pacing in this film is terrible. This movie is filled with so many long, dragged-out, boring scenes with two or more characters having a conversation. And nine times out of 10, what they are talking about has nothing to do with the plot or the film. The long and sluggishly paced scenes of people just standing around Wakanda talking. It’s a nice day outside, so let’s talk about life in Wakanda.
The dialogue just comes off flat and so uninteresting to watch. The chemistry between these characters are so off and they don’t interact well on screen. This movie is incredibly boring, whenever a film tends to get slow or boring — that’s when you know the pacing is bad. Pacing is very important in filmmaking. If your film tends to have bad pacing, it’s not a good thing and it takes the audience out the movie.
Pacing differentiates great films from bad films, the pacing in this film is just so frustratingly bad. The movie is very strangely paced and most of the film doesn’t drive or push the plot. Marvel used to have this problem a lot in the past and I thought they were outgrowing and overcoming it.
Killing Killmonger off
Killmonger was too good to kill off. To be honest. Killmomger should not have been killed. He was the best part of the film and should have been what Loki is to Thor, but for T’Challa. The rivalry should have been prolonged. And hey, you never know he could have appeared in future Black Panther films and other MCU properties. They could have used him for so many future storylines.
Normally, I would be on board with this choice but Killmonger was too good of a villain to die. I get why they would kill Killmonger, but in this film, it doesn’t work. I think it isn’t fair that other terrible MCU villains stay alive and are given so much screen time. While Killmonger on the other (One of the best MCU villains) dies after his movie premiere.
Killmonger was an astonishing villain and blew me away. It hurts me to know what we will never see him in the future. What a waste of potential.
They did Klaw dirty
Remember in Avengers: Age Of Ultron when Klaw was first introduced? Many people were very excited about what’s to come and his link with Wakanda. Many comic books fans like me remember Klaw from the comics. Ulysses Klaw is actually a pretty cool character and if you read some of the Black Panther comics with him in it you would know that. Klaw has been a character around for a long time, making his debut in 1966 in Fantastic Four #56.
The MCU first teased him in Age of Ultron, in a very cool scene where he interacts with Ultron himself. To build him up and to give him this ending? Come on now. Are you serious?! He was honestly one of my favorites parts of Black Panther and I loved him in Age of Ultron. I don’t understand why they would just introduce his character and build him up, to just kill him off in the next film. It just doesn’t make sense to me and I hope he gets resurrected in a future film.
Now I’m not one to judge or pick on CGI a lot. I care about CGI but I won’t complain about it unless it’s bad. I understand CGI will look bad at times and that it can be a hard process to do for most studios. In this movie, the CGI is just painfully awful. I don’t understand how a movie with so much money to produce has such bad CGI. There’s just no reason for this film to have such dreadful CGI. It was so bad that it takes the movie watcher out of the scenes completely.
The last battle between Killmonger and Black Panther had some of the worst CGI I have ever seen in a comic book movie. It looks like a PlayStation 2 video game. Bad CGI is a visual issue in a film. If your film doesn’t visually look good, then it’s not enjoyable to watch. When your movie isn’t enjoyable to watch that’s a bad thing. The CGI for most scenes in this film genuinely take me out of the scene. Just about every scene.
Inconsistency with Wakadan traditions
So, this is a small thing but are the Wakandans going to stick to their traditions or not? W’Kabi decided to attack even though T’Challa was still alive. The king of Wakanda’s family opting to go to M’Baku to overthrow Killmonger, even though he won the throne fairly. Throughout the whole film, the ideals of Wakanda change and they never stay consistent with the film. This is a small thing but the small things add up in this film, which all lead to this (unpopular) opinion.
And finally, how did Killmonger get to Wakanda?
This is very nitpicky but I don’t care. In the film, Klaw was the only one was who has been to Wakanda and escaped. Makes sense so far. So, Killmonger murders him in a shootout without finding out how to get to Wakanda. Ten seconds later in the film, he shows up to Wakanda…how?!
Look, I can sit here and nitpick all day about Black Panther. But they are so much stuff and little pieces that bog down this film and make it unenjoyable for me. The little things add up.
I just don’t seem to understand why this movie got the attention it received. Is it just me or do I see a flawed film filled with many wasted potentials? I don’t get how people love this film so much and make it out to be something more than what it is. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way about Black Panther. In my opinion, Black Panther is a very flawed film with a talented director and some good supporting actors.
This film could have been something so much better, but instead, it plays it safe. Black Panther is a very overrated film with some great scenes but it’s bogged down by terrible pacing, bad CGI, plot holes, flat/dry dialogue, and a dull Black Panther interpretation.
My Rating: 50%, waste of potential