Following the death of his father, T’Challa takes the throne of Wakanda. The high-tech nature of this African country is based on Vibranium deposits from meteorites. But it is hidden from the western world. T’Challa wants to share Wakandan technology with the rest of the world. There are those who disagree, and those disagreements have history.
The 18th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is unlike anything preceding it. It has enjoyed a huge opening and much positive press. The black community in particular has embraced it as being the first superhero move with a black lead (did everyone forget Steel?). There are only 2 white characters of consequence in it, but I feel this is irrelevant. It should be judged on its merits as a movie, not on the colour of its cast.
Previous Marvel movies have visited different genres: comedy, crime caper, magic/supernatural, cosmic etc. This one is a combination of espionage and political maneuvering. Which is not to say that it forgets to be a Marvel film: it is full of colourful visuals and dazzling action. The action is not always well-presented: it is sometimes too fast and jittery to follow easily.
The film has two great villains. Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Klaue and Michael B Jordan’s Killmonger are both very human, and therefore easy to relate to. In fact, I found them rather more sympathetic than T’Challa, who came across as rather cold and difficult to engage with. Perhaps this was because he needed to be statesmanlike.
The strength of the Marvel movies has been how easy it is to engage with the world/s they present. Despite how well Wakanda is realised, I found the world of Black Panther the most difficult to relate to so far. This was, for me, the most disappointing Marvel movie to date. However, there are plenty who don’t share my point of view. As always, make your own mind up!