Writer/Director Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther is an interesting action picture on several levels.
There’s plenty of action, but, in some regards it seems somewhat muted compared to the other Marvel superhero films. That's because of both the character and the actor who plays T’Challa, the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman).
In fact, I, initially, thought the subdued Boseman was the wrong choice for this part, but, then, realized his ethic was the most interesting aspect of this film.
In the days of chivalry across many cultures, one honored one’s enemies.
During the period of the Olympics, fighting ceased and there was a truce while everyone participated to see who was the most skilled in the games. During World War I, the fighting stopped at Christmas and the opposing forces sang songs across the No Man's Land.
Coogler and Co-Writer Joe Robert Cole remind us of honor among rivals and that is so refreshing at this time, when, in our current Olympics, an aging Ken Doll won’t turn around and acknowledge the sister of his enemy, sitting directly behind him.
The Black Panther is the king of a hidden African country called Wakanda, where civilization is more highly advanced than the rest of the world because of a rare mineral known as vibranium.
The question is whether Wakanda should come into the light and help a world not ready for its sense of principles or stay hidden.
To balance Black Panther’s restrained persona, Letitia Wright, as his sister Shuri, provides the upbeat spark that makes the film sing. And, her performance is backed up by two other women, Danai Gurira, who plays the best fighter in the Dora Milaje security force of shaven-headed women, and Lupita Nyong’o, who plays a rebel and the Panther’s love interest.
Of the males, Andy Serkis, Winston Duke and Michael B. Jordan are each perfect in their roles as the heavies.
I highly recommend Black Panther for its unique take on an action film. You might even learn something about honor and have further discussions about the Wakanda dilemma as to whether or not to come into the light. I give it a 4.4 out of 5.