Boy is it not hard to understand how Black Panther became a phenomenon and worked its way into the social consciousness of the United States. The movie touches on subjects that the US has struggled with maybe since the inception of the country, but not in a way that feels heavy-handed or divisive. Black Panther comes at you like a… well like a panther. It may not always be fast paced or aggressive, but when it is the movie strikes hard in a beautiful glory. The work behind the scenes to build this universe with traditional African designs, language, and heart is felt throughout as we’re treated to an amazing display of Afrofuturism.
Ryan Coogler’s latest cinematic success (after Fruitvale Station and Creed) is another in a long line of well made Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Where the superhero genre can be justifiably called generic, this movie still represents plenty of what makes Coogler a gifted director. The emotional beats of this movie can at times hit highs that few MCU movies have been able to accomplish (that start of Guardians though, sheeeeesh!). There are some pacing issues and especially towards the end the CGI becomes distracting, but the amount of attention, love, and effort put into this movie is palpable. Not only is it a welcome (and might I say profitable -insert money emoji here-) addition to the MCU, but Black Panther helps to push the MCU to continue making fresh, new movies that also fit within the context of their ever-expanding universe.
Production Design: 10/10
Overall Score: 8.0/10