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Movie Review: Black Panther

Marvel blockbuster might not change the world, but it could definitely change the movie business.

Marvel StudiosMarvel StudiosIt's too bad, in a way, that we have to focus on the racial breakthrough that this movie represents—although of course we do. Here, for the first time ever, is a $200-million Marvel blockbuster that's been entrusted to a black director (Ryan Coogler), two black writers (Coogler and Joe Robert Cole), and a pair of top-shelf black production and costume designers (Hannah Beachler and Ruth E. Carter). And of course the cast—at least two of whom will emerge from this picture as bigger stars than when they went into it—is almost entirely black.

Of more immediate interest, though, I'd say, is the fact that Black Panther is a ripping action flick on which a great deal of care has been expended. Kugler, best known till now for Fruitvale Station and Creed, has a gift for clarifying narrative complexities, for moving things along in a snappy manner without spinning our heads, and for balancing the story's elements of physical exhilaration and deep-seated emotion. In these regards alone, the picture is a notable achievement.

The movie has pretty much everything you could want from a pulp adventure. It's largely set in a mysterious African nation called Wakanda, a place that pretends to be an impoverished Third World basket case, but is in fact a highly advanced jungle society with a very big secret. There's a commanding hero – the newly crowned King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), who shifts into combat mode as the super-suited Black Panther. There's also a stalwart lieutenant, the bald-headed warrior woman Okoye (Danai Gurira); a more comical associate named Shuri (T'Challa's genius sister, actually, played with maximum appeal by Letitia Wright); and a fetching but not-to-be-messed-with love interest named Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o).

There's also a bumbling interloper from the outside world named Ross (Martin Freeman); an interestingly conflicted antagonist called Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan, a master of smoldering charisma); and a homicidal lunatic named Klaue (a non-mocapped Andy Serkis), who seeks to destroy the world, or at least degrade it in a major way. Unless, of course, somebody can stop him.

Coogler sets up the story with admirable economy. We see a meteor made of vibranium crashing into Africa long ago. We eventually learn that vibranium's wondrous properties enabled the rise of Wakanda and powered its highly advanced technology. Then we flash forward to 1992, to a gun deal in Oakland that goes violently wrong, and will eventually trigger even more violent repercussions in the here-and-now.

The movie's production never touched down in Africa itself (it was largely shot in Atlanta and in South Korea), but the simulation presented here has an exotic fantasy glow, with the skyscrapers and elevated trains of the cleverly obscured Wakanda recalling the studio-born wonders of the 1936 futurist classic Things to Come. Director Coogler is especially adept at sidestepping the clichés of the superhero-action genre: he mounts a grippingly inventive fight at a waterfall between T'Challa and Killmonger, and an auto chase featuring the demented Klaue for which the term "hair-raising" might be honorably resurrected. And goosing all of this action along throughout is the film's terrific soundtrack, which blends a composed score by Ludwig Göransson with a raft of tailor-made tracks, overseen by Kendrick Lamar, that feature American stars like SZA and Vince Staples and stirred-in South African performers Babes Wodumo and Zacari.

The movie is not without flaws, one of them unsurprising: Boseman's lordly T'Challa is so burdened with virtue (he literally wants to save the world) that he's sometimes outshone by the characters around him, especially Killmonger and Klaue, who have the dark glamour of evil intentions. You might also wonder about the wisdom of having two waterfall fights. And it's a shame that Shuri, the film's designated comic relief, is given a couple of its deadest lines. (Startled by Freeman's Agent Ross, she says, "Don't scare me like that, colonizer.")

But it would be difficult to work up many complaints about this movie. It's fun pretty much from start to finish. It constitutes a corrective to one of Hollywood's most myopic miscalculations. (Who knew there were so many talented black movie pros, eh?) And it's about to demonstrate something equally heartening. Last year, Vice predicted that Black Panther was going to be an important movie "because black people have never seen anything like it before."

Which is also to say, neither have white people.

Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

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  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I generally avoid Marvel / DC comic book movies, but I might make a Netflix exception for this. Pardon the indirect pun, but one of the worst features of too many of them is the dark motif and dark lighting; it gets gloomy after a while, and I get tired of wondering what exactly is happening in dark fight scenes.

  • John C. Randolph||

    I get bored by the fight scenes. I want plot, character development, surprises, etc.

    -jcr

  • Cynical Asshole||

    one of the worst features of too many of them is the dark motif and dark lighting

    Actually, most of the Marvel movies do a much better job of avoiding this problem than the DC movies. Most of the action in the Avengers movies take place during day time, and actually use a color palette consisting of more than just black, grey, and slightly darker black.

    The DC clusterfucks, OTOH, are some of the worst offenders of what you describe. Probably because too much Zach Snyder moody emo horseshit. It's pretty much his one and only trick.

  • EscherEnigma||

    The Marvel movies are colorful and vibrant. The Marvel Netflix shows, however, like to hide their choreography sins in the dark.

  • BYODB||

    Indeed. Marvel television offerings seem to be on shoestring budgets OR if they do have a budget they spent them on...something other than what we see on screen. It works for some of them, less so for others.

  • Devastator||

    We don't care that you are "special" and don't like going to movies. They don't give a fuck that you aren't forking over cash. For everyone one of you there are a thousand movie goers. The movie isn't dark either, like most marvel movies it has a bright hue and color depth. Where the fuck are you getting this shit from?

  • Cranedoc||

    I saw the move last night. It was entertaining, but the hidden surprise was that it was a YUUUGE Trojan horse against leftist ideas! Basically it asked the question: "what should a technologically and culturally superior nation do with respect to the backwards poorer people in other nations?"
    Refugeeism was roundly rejected: "refugees bring their problems with them."
    Redistribution of resources was also rejected.
    And race-War equipping of black people worldwide to fight "colonialists" with advanced weapons was violently rejected!(the main villain wanted this)

    Basically the movie posed a scenario where black people were in America's position, and showed them making the same, if even more conservative, decisions.

    At the end, the Wakanda empire establishes a mission outreach in .... Oakland!
    Hehehe.

  • JoeBlow123||

    I do not understand how or why, but the Disney Marvel movies have all uniformaly been pretty entertaining. They are some of the only movies I consistently see in theatres.

    Can't say the same about the Disney Star Wars movies, absolute trash. I blame JJ Abrams.

  • LynchPin1477||

    It's because they all follow the same formula. But it's a successful formula, and they manage to get good writers, actors, and directors, so it hasn't gotten *too* stale (yet).

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Star Wars burned out with "Episode 1" and not a single one of the latest spate of "breakthrough" Star Wars movies has done anything to change that. That there are plenty of writers, actors and directors willing to suck up their share of the loot means nothing except that "follow the money" remains pertinent advice.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    The answer: Kevin Feige

    What's really revolutionary about the MCU (and what the various attempts by other studios copying it have failed to grasp) is that it's been run more like the world's most expensive TV show than as a series of movie.

    Kevin Feige is in essence the MCU showrunner.

  • BYODB||

    It's probably because most Disney films have the exact same plot.

    I stopped watching their movies because I already know what's going to happen step-by-step. They are so predictable I no longer need to watch them.

    The same goes for Star Wars. I have zero interest in watching them unless they're on Netflix.

  • Devastator||

    It's funny how the best movie out of the Star Wars Franchise, Rogue One, wasn't really like any of the other newer star wars movies. They could learn something from that. And Fuck Disney for fucking over Luke's character.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    How about they just make Sci Fi movies without trying to tack them onto a franchise? IMHO if a movie won't stand on its own, putting it in a franchise hookup doesn't save it. I mean, seriously: doesn't anyone in Hollywood have an original thought, or are they just welded into doing what worked before? I know, to ask the question is to answer it.

  • colorblindkid||

    (Who knew there were so many talented black movie pros, eh?)

    But who even says that?

    I'm seeing it this weekend, though, and am pretty pumped.

  • KL||

    *sarc.

  • Rohdewarrior||

    I'm going to ask a serious question for which I hope to get at least a few serious replies (maybe even from Kurt Loder):
    Ann Hornaday from the Washington Post in her review today stressed the importance of having a film with positive Africian American role models, quoting Michelle Obama portrait artist Amy Sherald who told the a group of young African American girls, "I painted this for you so that when you go to a museum you will see someone who looks like you on a wall." [Ms. Hornaday's review and opinions were much more nuanced than this -- check out her review if you're interested]
    To me, this comes across as racist (against African Americans) and condescending. Is Ms. Sherald saying that these young women don't have the imagination and empathy to see through color and be able to identify with people who don't look like them? As a young boy, my first hero was Willie Mays, who I idolized for many years. I don't recall race being an issue at all.
    But I realize I'm coming at this from the perspective of a 60-year-old white male, so I'm interested in hearing what other people's perspective on all this is.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I was once informed that ignoring race and treating people as individuals is a sign of my "white privilege."

    The person who said this was paler than i am, and i scare ghosts on the regular.

  • John C. Randolph||

    I take the phrase "white privilege" as a short way to say "I have nothing at all to offer you, so I'm going to try guilt-peddling as a way to obtain your attention without deserving it."

    Ideally, the SJW will open with that phrase so that I don't have to waste any time wondering if they're worth my attention or not.

    -jcr

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I take the phrase "white privilege" as a short way to say "I have nothing at all to offer you, so I'm going to try guilt-peddling as a way to obtain your attention without deserving it."

    It's also a really handy tool for dismissing your argument out of hand and not even having to bother with engaging it and trying to defeat the argument with better arguments. Which they usually don't have any, hence the invocation of "privilege."

    Because God forbid they actually have to critically think about their positions and have to defeat counter arguments with logic and sound reasoning. If they did that they might come to the realization that perhaps they don't know everything after all and maybe those "knuckle-dragging right wing neanderthals" actually aren't awful people and maybe, dare I say it, have good reasons for believing what they believe. Can't have that!

  • EscherEnigma||

    It's also a really handy tool for dismissing your argument out of hand and not even having to bother with engaging it and trying to defeat the argument with better arguments.
    I hope you realize the irony here.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    My favorite little catch phrase in this regard is "check your privilege". Meaning what? Not too long ago I heard that coming at a $10K buy-in poker tournament, one person able to pay that talking to another.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    If you're not going to fold you privilege, you should raise your privilege. Checking your privilege just makes it easy for other players to fish for lucky race cards on the river.

  • Rhywun||

    I find it all rather tedious and off-putting but I'm not the target audience so what do I care. But I can't help noticing that we seem to be farther away from this stuff not being the central issue of our times than we were 10 or 20 years ago. Sad!

  • Presskh||

    Rhywun, we were on our way to less racial tension in the country before the great rabble-rouser-in-chief was elected in 2008.

  • Devastator||

    Ludicrous statement.

  • Griffin3||

    And if:

    Amy Sherald who told the a group of young African American girls, "I painted this for you so that when you go to a museum you will see someone who looks like you on a wall."

    ... then why did she paint her as gray? It seems to me like Ms. Sherald doesn't logic very much, or more likely, most of what comes out of her mouth is back-rationalization for whatever decisions she made earlier.

    [I stand by my belief that the painting does not look much like Michelle Obama's face at any stage in her life, and, in some sort of time crunch, the artist probably pulled a piece out of her inventory of unsold work.]

  • BYODB||


    It seems to me like Ms. Sherald doesn't logic very much, or more likely, most of what comes out of her mouth is back-rationalization for whatever decisions she made earlier.

    I was enrolled in an art school for a short period of time when I thought that was a real career just out of high school, and I'll tell you a secret about artists.

    This is exactly what all of them do. It's all back-rationalization for what random end product they ended up with.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Sounds to me like she's saying all black women look like Michelle Obama.

    Well, you know, they all look alike. /sarc

  • Devastator||

    Meh.

  • jcw||

    I don't recall race being an issue at all.

    Thanks for your anecdote. I prefer evidence (I thought that was a libertarian thing, but maybe not).

  • Rohdewarrior||

    Apparently you missed the whole point of my post. I thought it was obvious that it was completely anecdotal. I was just wondering about other people's experiences, not trying to make any kind of "statement".
    Something more empirical would probably be interesting, but as far as I'm aware there haven't been any studies done on this subject.

  • jcw||

    Here's my experience: 90% of reason comments on this movie is about the color of the actors skins. Seems like race is an issue, anecdotally.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I'm going to ask a serious question for which I hope to get at least a few serious replies

    You're in the wrong place for that.

    To me, this comes across as racist (against African Americans) and condescending. Is Ms. Sherald saying that these young women don't have the imagination and empathy to see through color and be able to identify with people who don't look like them?

    A lot of left-wingers are very much obsessed with race and splitting people up into groups based on their position in the "victimhood stack." Because of this tendency to split people into groups based on some identifiable characteristic, many of them are highly racist (and sexist) without even realizing it. Whether it's the "soft bigotry of low expectations" or the unintentional (giving them the benefit of the doubt here that it truly is unintentional) denial of agency. I think it's mostly an artifact of their obsession with race, gender, and a warped view of history as some kind of never ending struggle between oppressors and victims.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Is Ms. Sherald saying that these young women don't have the imagination and empathy to see through color and be able to identify with people who don't look like them?

    I'll speculate and say no, she is not saying that. She is saying that black kids don't see a proportional number of successful black adults in positions of power and authority, so they start to think that they themselves aren't going to be able to achieve success or rise to positions of power authority, which is demoralizing and perpetuates a viscous cycle.

    People can argue endlessly about *why* black people and many other minorities are under-represented in positions of power and authority and not, on average, as successful as white people. But it is an empirical reality and I don't think it's at all unreasonable to think that it might demoralize younger generations. I also don't think there is anything wrong with people trying to take proactive steps counter it, if they are doing so voluntarily.

    I suspect the execs at Marvel legitimately feel good about themselves for having a lot of black actors and production crew. I also suspect they expect this to get them some positive PR and money. More power to them.

  • Cloudbuster||

    But somehow Asian kids are not disadvantaged by the same syndrome. It's B.S. on stilts.

  • Cloudbuster||

    But somehow Asian kids are not disadvantaged by the same syndrome. It's B.S. on stilts.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Is Ms. Sherald saying that these young women don't have the imagination and empathy to see through color and be able to identify with people who don't look like them?
    Sure, why not?

    It's pretty well-established that people are shitty at doing that, so I don't see that it's particularly ground-breaking to suggest that black girls are just like everyone else in this regard.

    That said, yeah, role model selection is weird. Consider if you're going into, say, computer science and looking for a role model. You find a dozen guys, ten of 'em white, two of 'em asian, and one woman. If you're a white guy, you probably aren't going to think anything of "choosing" any of those role models, including the ones that don't "look like" you. You already saw yourself well represented, so you're "free" to make a choice without considering race or gender.

    But if you're not a white guy? Right out of the gate, you're hit with "why aren't there more people like me?"

    Now to be fair, this shouldn't matter. It really shouldn't. But it does. 'cause humans are shitty.

  • BYODB||

    I work with all black women, should I demand more white men in my department?

  • EscherEnigma||

    That's (A) entirely up to you, and (B) entirely irrelevant to anything I just said.

  • DarrenM||

    Of course not. That would just mean you'd have more competition as the token white guy. :)

  • Agammamon||

    I play videogames and am told that its it both important to have player avatars that represent a variety of races and genders and that its completely unnecessary for game 'xyz' to have a male avatar available - because its just a 'toon and you should get over it.

  • GamerFromJump||

    It depends.

    If you're playing Super Mario, Mario should look like Mario. For a game with customization, having a wide variety to work with is fine.

  • BYODB||

    My perspective is simple:

    Color of one's skin has absolutely no bearing upon your humanity whatsoever.

    However, people are coded deep down not to trust people that don't look like us. We can overcome that innate human prejudice through a merit based system that gives no weight to race, creed, or gender.

  • Cloudbuster||

    ...people are coded deep down....

    They're coded, huh? How would that be?

    Could it be that your dismissal of "skin color" is simply a straw man for something far more meaningful?

  • Paloma||

    How does having a certain creed make you look like other people who have the same creed?

  • GamerFromJump||

    One commenter mentioned that the "artist" actually made Michelle Obama look *worse*, by graying her skin.

  • Paloma||

    And made her left arm bizarrely long.

  • martinc||

    "But I realize I'm coming at this from the perspective of a 60-year-old white male".

    -- What is "the perspective of a 60-year-old white male"? I am a few years younger, white, and male--would my perspective therefore be different?

    Seriously though, what she is saying is what you are saying: people's views depend on their skin color. And people identify with people of the same color.

    Of course, this is supposed to indicate racism--but only if you are white, and in particular, if you are white male. Whites, and particularly white males, wanting to see people like them succeed is racist; others are encouraged to hope and work toward ensuring people who look like them succeed.

    The truth is that we all want to see people like us succeed. Who 'people like us' is, of course, dependent on context: witness the American pride in Jesse Owens outpacing rivals at the '36 Olympics, or white fans rooting for their (black, Asian, brown, white) athlete in many settings over white players from another team. It is a deeply rooted value.

    It is only when whites exhibit the same value that it is called racist. In such instances we are supposed to either be colorblind, or bend over backwards to alleviate alleged past discrimination against a race or group (not against any particular individual).

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    When Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run I was exhilarated and saddened -- because he hit it off Al Downing who was one of the classiest pitchers ever to play the game. And I don't recall ever thinking of either of them in racial terms.

  • El Oso||

    I look forward to the remake of this movie with an all-white cast.....

  • Cloudbuster||

    Will it still be called "Black Panther" or "White Knight?"

  • Azathoth!!||

    So, first and last bit are race baiting. With race baiting sprinkled liberally throughout.

    That's a bad sign.

    A lot of us have been waiting for this movie--us, the people that bought the comics, the people that have been there for decades--the fans. We come in all races, genders and every other SJW mandated diversityism the current year demands of us--but we are, admittedly, mostly white, mostly male, and mostly straight (of course, that's not really as much of a dig as it could be, the entire First World is mostly white and straight--and most of the males are glad its not mostly male....because they're straight).

    Right now, all the signs are saying that the bits we saw in the teaser and first trailer might still be there--it might still have a good solid Marvel Black Panther story at it's core--but we're going to have to deal with a bunch of SJW shit to get to it--and there might be enough of that SJW shit to sink this movie.

    It's already been made clear that total absolute love for this film is required to avoid being labeled 'racist'

    And just look at that list of 'firsts'--a set of accomplishments that is so specific that there's probably someone out there talking about how this is the first Disney Marvel Blockbuster to be 'entrusted' to an African American with a 'C' followed by two 'O' s in his name.. What an accomplishment! Two 'O's!

    As with so many things, I sit and hope that they didn't fuck it up too much.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    A bumbling Martin Freeman... Not racist at all...

  • jcw||

    Martin Freeman never plays a bumbling character. Never ever. Except in movies with black people.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    His Watson in the "Sherlock" series with Ben Cumberbatch is one of the best takes on that character yet (and I loved the BBC version with Jeremy Brett).

  • martinc||

    good point! Although I didn't think Freeman's bumbling character played as well with (a) mostly American accent as it has in other movies.....nonetheless, the movie is racist against white people: Freeman's character is in the role so many blacks have played: he is allowed to stick around for having sacrificed himself to save one of the main (black) characters (female---of course, the ever-present sexism of saving a woman is involved here as well), is not allowed to speak in at least one scene, and is mostly confused and helpless. The only other white character is a (racist) criminal lowlife. Clearly, part of this movie's message is to show whites treated as blacks have been treated in movies.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Sounds a little like Bilbo in the Hobbit trilogy

  • BYODB||

    I'll be totally honest, I don't give a fuck about the Black Panther whatsoever but now that I know Martin Freeman is in it, I'm tempted to watch it on Netflix.

  • Brandybuck||

    He wasn't bumbling in the movie at all. Just surprised that Wakanda had a technological and cultural elite hidden away and forcing their peasants to live in mud huts to throw off the scent of vibranium prospectors.

    Also, how the flip did Howard Stark ever make Cappie's shield when the first vibranium was stolen only thirty years before present day?

  • Devastator||

    Just because Klaue was the first person to successfully sneak in and steal vibranium doesn't mean that other sources weren't out there. Look no further than the tool they stole out of the museum. You need to do your research.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Wakanda is not as isolationist as one might think. The white South African accents and lighter skins on numerous Wakandans should clue you in that things get boering in Wakanda sometimes.

    Plus, there are a few other sources of vibranium--you can tell because it's called 'vibranium'

  • DarrenM||

    Time travel, of course.

  • Devastator||

    Wrong. No one is going to get labelled anything for not liking this movie. You might get called a racist by declaring the movie racist because white people aren't as prominent as the black actors in it. I'd say if you have a problem with an all black cast you probably are a racist asshole.

  • Azathoth!!||

    White actors are MORE prominent than most of the black cast.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    So we're just going to pretend Blade wasn't already a pair of movies 20 years ago? (We will not speak of Blade 3).

  • Dadlobby||

    I'm talkin' 'bout Shaft, shut your mouth. I believe the term was "black sploitation"?

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Actually one word: "Blaxploitation" and it focused on the wave of black crime movies (Superfly, Shaft, etc) being put out there for basically the sole purpose of roping in a black audience.

    Is "Black Panther" in this vein? I have no idea. The character came along long after I left Marvel Comics behind so I never followed the comics, and generally except for the X-Men series (love the Wolverine) I don't pay much attention to the movies made from them except recently for Dr. Strange which I don't watch on TV because it's a movie that can only be appreciated on the big screen (IMAX if at all possible).

    I have nothing against this effort except that I long for the days when the focus is on the real quality of the movie and not so much on how well it conveys this or that message.

  • wnoise||

    > The character came along long after I left Marvel Comics behind

    You stopped reading Marvel Comics before the mid 1960s?

  • Devastator||

    It wouldn't be a term with two words, but luckily "blacksploitation" was the term.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Or Spawn.

    And Luke Cage was the first black Marvel hero...............................despite War Machine and Falcon being prominently featured.............or Storm....or Deathlok or any of the heroes the 'woke' people ignore.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Thanks a lot, asshole. I had finally repressed all memories of the Spawn movie and you had to bring it up.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Shhh, shhh, it'll be OK. Here, just read this and forget about the movie that shall not be named. *Hands Citizen X a copy of Spawn Issue #1*

  • TGoodchild||

    The CGI hellscape wasn't that bad.

  • Agammamon||

    The difference, of course, is that Blade is a good movie.

  • Devastator||

    Wrong, there were much earlier ones. Black Panther was the first Black -Super- Hero with his own title. So you are way way off. A simple google search will confirm that I am correct.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    But it wasn't a $200 million blockbuster with a black director.

    Maybe it's a lot of qualifiers, but they were included.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    But prime Jessica Biel...

  • Cloudbuster||

    Does the whole oeuvre of Tyler Perry movies count?

  • Ken Shultz||

    The two open questions are

    1) Whether Chinese and European audiences are too racist to go see it.

    2) Whether SJWs will accuse 9 year-old white kids of appropriation and/or wearing blackface for sporting a Black Panther costume come Halloween.

  • Rhywun||

    *grabs popcorn*

  • Griffin3||

    The rage over white kids wearing Black Panther costumes is gonna be EPIC! In the fake news anyway: I bet you no one actually doing trick-or-treating actually makes a peep over it.

  • Azathoth!!||

    1) Whether Chinese and European audiences are too racist to go see it.

    Yes, they are too racist. Which is a shame because they're also the ones who will actually pay to go see it.

    2) Whether SJWs will accuse 9 year-old white kids of appropriation and/or wearing blackface for sporting a Black Panther costume come Halloween.

    You're a year late on this one. The mass market Black Panther masks that are all over toy departments everywhere have already seen the start of this particular idiocy.

  • Dadlobby||

    OK, if I ("white" dude) go do I culturally appropriate a seat or if I don't go am I part of the racist privileged patriarchal power group? Being PC and a SJW is so difficult. So let us have pretend black male role models, while we routinely portray men of color as deadbeats and drive them from families with Title IVd SSA and subsidized "single mother" homes. And dare I mention the "war on drugs" which has populated our prisons with a bunch of non violent men? And am I the only one who thinks maybe the movie about Africa could have been shot on location there, and brought some of the financial benefits to them? I'll wait until it's on cable, then like the PC wonder woman movie turn it off half way through because it does nothing but preach PC, I'm sure.

  • Griffin3||

    OK, if I ("white" dude) go do I culturally appropriate a seat or if I don't go am I part of the racist privileged patriarchal power group? Being PC and a SJW is so difficult


    So, let's see. Either way, you are wrong, and part of the hated out-group. Sounds like you understand PC+SJW perfectly!

  • Cynical Asshole||

    OK, if I ("white" dude) go do I culturally appropriate a seat or if I don't go am I part of the racist privileged patriarchal power group?

    Both. You literally can't win. Because "white dude." If you do go and anyone hassles you, you can always claim that you're gay and your boyfriend is a black guy. That should shut them up.

    I'll wait until it's on cable, then like the PC wonder woman movie turn it off half way through because it does nothing but preach PC, I'm sure.

    I'll reserve judgement. Marvel, so far, hasn't been too over the top with the "wokeness." Or maybe their movies are actually entertaining enough that I don't notice the "wokeness" as much.

    As for Wonder Woman, most of the Grrrl Power crap was in how the SJWs reacted to it (womyn only showings at some theaters, going ape shit over it despite the fact that it really wasn't that great a movie - I thought it was OK at best, at least compared to the very low bar of the other DC universe movies).

    The movie itself was a little preachy, but at least it was set in a time period when women really were treated like second class citizens - not allowed to vote, expected to be "seen, not heard," stand in the corner looking pretty and bring the Top Men some coffee when asked, etc. So a little preachiness in that setting can be somewhat forgiven (although, again, the fact that so many SJWs seem to think things are still like that and reacted accordingly was maddening.)

  • Generalissimo||

    you can always claim that you're gay and your boyfriend is a black guy

    Why are you sexualizing the black body?

    If you want a hoot go over to nbcnews.com and read about how exploring Mars is colonizing by the white patriarchy. How do they even make this stuff up?

  • DarrenM||

    you can always claim that you're gay and your boyfriend is a black guy

    He could just say he identifies as "black". No boyfriend required.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Here, for the first time ever, is a $200-million Marvel blockbuster that's been entrusted to a black director (Ryan Coogler), two black writers (Coogler and Joe Robert Cole), and a pair of top-shelf black production and costume designers (Hannah Beachler and Ruth E. Carter). And of course the cast—at least two of whom will emerge from this picture as bigger stars than when they went into it—is almost entirely black.

    Pretty smart on their part, honestly. Imagine if they'd had some white costume and production designers coming up with (obviously) African themed costumes and set pieces. I can just here the screaming and bleating about "KULTCHURAL APPROPRIAYSHUN" from the SJW harpies. By using all black talent for the writers, director, production, costume designers, etc. they leave the harpies nothing to bitch about.

    Although I'm sure someone somewhere will find something to complain about. Can't make everyone happy.

  • The Last American Hero||

    I haven't seen the movie, but unless the main hero identifies as a lesbian woman trapped in a male body, we've got a long way to go to shut them up.

  • GILMORE™||

    True social equality will never be achieved until we have a Marvel superhero movie which is cast and directed and produced entirely by Disabled Genderqueer Eskimos

    this marginalization and silencing of the crippled nonbinary native population cannot continue

  • Cynical Asshole||

    ...crippled...

    Crippled? CRIPPLED?! I LITERALLY CAN'T EVEN WITH YOU RIGHT NOW! /SJW

  • GILMORE™||

    ahem, "differently-abled"

  • Rhywun||

    "Handicapable fight in aisle 4!"

  • Tony||

    I see the theme of these comments is people being triggered by imaginary future scenarios of SJWs doing things. Buck up snowflakes. It gets better.

  • Sam Haysom||

    May this movie grant you infinite consolation as you watch the GOPs poll numbers sky rocket.

    Chomp chomp.

  • DarrenM||

    The only way the GOP's poll numbers would skyrocket is if they did nothing to screw it up. That is way too much to expect.

  • lafe.long||

    In this film, Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis = Tolkein white dudes.

  • jcw||

    I laughed at this. Nice one.

  • Curt2004||

  • Agammamon||

    It's too bad, in a way, that we have to focus on the racial breakthrough that this movie represents

    'Blade'? Anyone remember 'Blade'?

    Far more of a 'racial breakthrough' - and done during a time when superhero movies weren't popular (or good). Hell, it even avoids the 'the male and female leads fall in love' cliche and turns it into 'mutual respect and cooperation'.

    And its not the the world suddenly became more racist in the last 20 years - no wait, it actually is, just in this weird 'mirror-racism' where you can be utterly completely openly racist but still claim to not to be with a straight face.

  • jcw||

    You answer your own question, or comment on your own comment. Super hero movies are much more popular with way more money spent. You are comparing a cult classic to a movie that will make its studio hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billion.

    How can you not see the difference in "racial breakthrough" are you intentionally missing the point, or what?

  • Agammamon||

    That movie was a blockbuster when it was released. It was massively popular *for a regular movie* - it was not a 'cult classic'.

  • jcw||

    Blade made 131 million worldwide in 1998. Respectable, but in my eyes not at all comparable to what's about to happen with Black Panther. Feel free to think that they are comparable in this context though. The comparison makes no sense to me at all.

  • BYODB||

    Inflation and foreign markets are a bitch.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    The problem is that whatever Black Panther brings in, box office glory will be more or less the historical justification for the movie. I seriously cannot see anyone, black or white, restructuring their life to bring them more in line with the wonders depicted in the film.

  • EscherEnigma||

    I seriously cannot see anyone, black or white, restructuring their life to bring them more in line with the wonders depicted in the film.


    Wait, are you dinging a movie for not being a propaganda film?

  • Sedona Vortex Hunter||

    yes, earning Disney and their share holders endless loot is the civil rights struggle of our time

  • Sedona Vortex Hunter||

    yes, earning Disney and their share holders endless loot is the civil rights struggle of our time

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    *Imagining that epigone of black wokeness Stan Lee counting his royalty bucks*

  • Azathoth!!||

    I hadn't though of that.

    The Song of the South Re-make and re-issue must be on it's way!

    Brer Rabbit is gonna rise again!

  • Agammamon||

    Here, for the first time ever, is a $200-million Marvel blockbuster that's been entrusted to a black director (Ryan Coogler), two black writers (Coogler and Joe Robert Cole), and a pair of top-shelf black production and costume designers (Hannah Beachler and Ruth E. Carter).

    That is . . . curiosly specific praise. I can think of several movies with a black director, black writers, and black production and costume designers that were very successful - yes, even mainstream successful.

    They just weren't 'Marvel blockusters'.

  • jcw||

    Do you prefer generic praise, I guess?

  • jcw||

    It's okay to admit that you don't think the curiously specific praise as particularly praiseworthy. I personally think the fact is cool but not particularly amazing. But to criticize it for being "curiously specific" is so stupidly pedantic.

  • Cloudbuster||

    I was thinking the same thing.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    The funniest part of this movie coming out has been the not-at-all subtle campaign to give a 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating for a movie that is essentially just another CGI/green-screened paint-by-numbers capeshit effort.

  • Kivlor||

    I figured Reason would have a pretty scathing review for a movie that does the following:

    A) Promotes Xenophobia and Ethno-Nationalism.
    B) Displays a nation that refuses any immigrants as futuristic and propserous.
    C) Advocates a Tribal Monarchy with an open right of challenge completely based on "Might Makes Right"

    We could probably go on. I mean, as a far-right reactionary, I'm not at all troubled by these themes. But I figured you guys would be all over that. Principles vs Principals and all that. Oh wait, an almost all minority cast and production team. So it's principals then...

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Not to mention that Wakanda cultivated this advanced civilization behind a big, beautiful wall.

  • lostmycookies||

    Creed was a great movie. This one will be good too.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Here, for the first time ever, is a $200-million Marvel blockbuster that's been entrusted to a black director (Ryan Coogler)
    Kugler, best known till now for Fruitvale Station and Creed,

    Koogler

  • Brandybuck||

    To me it felt like it was make by white Europeans who only knew of Africa from a children's book. Wakanda is ostensibly sandwiched between Kenya and Uganda, yet draws from cultures, landscapes, and fauna, from all across the continent. As if Africa was one giant homegeneous melting pot.

    And then there's the whole problem of history's most technologically advanced nation ever, hiding itself behind villagers living in mud huts with straw roofs. Do Wakandans have to draw straws when they come of age to see who gets stuck being the impoverished villager for their career?

  • TGoodchild||

    Afro-multiculturalism for thee, but not for me.

  • TGoodchild||

    "who have the dark glamour of evil intentions."

    Nice, Kurt.

  • macsnafu||

    Is Klaue supposed to be Klaw, the villain with sonic powers? Because that would make the Black Panther movie just perfect, or at least, more comic-booky.

  • Azathoth!!||

    yes.

  • Silence Dogoode||

    So, having blacks doing so much in a movie is a big deal, why?

    According to libertarians we are all equal.

  • Silence Dogoode||

    So, having blacks doing so much in a movie is a big deal, why?

    According to libertarians we are all equal.

  • Silence Dogoode||

    So, having blacks doing so much in a movie is a big deal, why?

    According to libertarians we are all equal.

  • Silence Dogoode||

    So, having blacks doing so much in a movie is a big deal, why?

    According to libertarians we are all equal.

  • Palatki||

    Would that you lived up to your name.

  • chan chan studios||

    they wuz kangs?

  • AlgerHiss||

    This movie has already been done: It's called Coming to America.

    Wakanda...Zamunda....what's the difference?

  • XM||

    Yeah.... it's a Marvel film. Both DC and Marvel would easily hire female or minority directors (or writers, custom designers, etc) to make minority superhero films based on their established brand, make tons of money, and pat themselves on the back for having made a difference in society. Meanwhile they would never invest 200 mil on a real thought provoking film that's centered around truly under represented individuals with no voice.

    What you're seeing with Black Panther is a dominant player in the entertainment industry controlling the narrative and socially engineering expectations. Most people instinctively know that black ensemble movies like the Nutty Professor existed fairly recently. Will Smith practically owned the July box office for a while and any number of black athlete / movie stars like Jordan and Shaq could draw interest in a movie project.

    But Disney and the media hypes Black Panther as some sort of breakthrough owing to the ethnic make up and the super woke messaging and everyone just sort of goes along with it... because of Trump and stuff. They'll do this song and dance again with the live action adaptation of Mulan. None of the kids who watch that movie would have watched anything by Kurosawa, just like the Black Panther crowd avoided movies like Akeelah and the Bee.

  • Brandybuck||

    It's crazy how on-board the progressives are for this movie. Coworker came in wearing an African themed shirt this morning to show his support for Wakanda. And expressed his sadness that he couldn't live there in real life. Never mind that Wakanda is the most isolationist and closed-border nation evah, who force their poor to live in mud huts just to hide the elite away from less privileged African nations.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Hi AmSoc.

  • Ramona Bailey||

    the trailers have been amazing, the cast is fucking great, then i watched the movie its been an amazing graphics thriller scenes created brilliants

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