Alright y’all, we’re going to skip to good parts, and then circle back to the rest of it. Deal? Deal.
Ok, so Shuri is the Black Panther. It was like that in the comics, and after the first film, we often wondered when it would be her turn. It’s now. The time is now. I don’t think we’ve developed her enough as a leader and warrior, but now we get to see her develop like Spider-Man and now Riri. I, too, voted for someone else, but here’s what we got so support her, please. I’m still trying to figure out how this remaking of the heart-shaped herb works, but I’ll just go along with you, Feige.
I sat next to my best friend, as I often do in these movies, and said aloud, “It would be messed up if Michael B. Jordan was here” AS SHE ENTERED THE ANCESTRAL PLAIN. As Sheldon Cooper would say, “My brain is better than everyone else’s!” I want to go on record saying that that was my favorite part of the film as well as the most clever way I’ve seen a cameo done in a long time! Score a million for Marvel and I’ll tell you why. (And this will be a perfect segway into my next point about the film.) Black Panther successfully did a lot of things. It successfully introduced this new magical piece of the world. It introduced a bunch of different and important characters who were bound by tradition. It showcased the brilliance of Chadwick Bozeman, but it also introduced the brother/sister relationship between Shuri and T’Challa. It also gave us a lot of Shuri’s personality without trying. Example, in this film, she made a joke to Riri about her falls attire. A callback to the first film when she interrupted the challenge to say that she hated her outfit and wanted the challenge to be wrapped up so she could go home to take the outfit off. Later, in the first film, M’Baku chastises her for balking at tradition. This ends up as another callback when M’Baku comes to talk to her after the Queen dies. (We will get to that!!!) She’s also a scientist who wants to bring her nation into the newest century and beyond, something her and her brother often argued about in the sweetest way.
I say all that to say that it was not as odd as it may seem that Killmonger would be there for her at that time and not her family. He is her and she is him, in that moment. As he continued to speak to her, I heard exactly what he meant and what he meant for her. She’s always been a rebellious child and Killmonger was about shaking the table, if you will. If you paid attention, her suit (another thing we’ll talk about) was gold and silver. In the first film, Killmonger went for the new, flashy, gold suit, while T’Challa went for the traditional and more incognito suit. She took the spirit of both in her new suit. Also, I love Letitia Wright and I, too, am a small framed woman, but I want her to be a little bigger for this new role she’s stepping in. She doesn’t need to change her body for anyone but she looked really small as she was being smacked around.
Moving on to me cussing Marvel out. HOW DARE YOU GIVE ME TWO FUNERALS IN TWO HOURS. I don’t read the comics, and I’m sure somewhere in the comics she dies but TODAY? IN THIS MOVIE? Geez! And Angela Bassett was ACTING ACTING in this movie, as she does in all her movies but she was in a bad outfit and she was yelling at people. When she stripped Okoye of her general rank, I felt like I had lost Shuri. She was yelling at me. I was in the theater helping Okoye plead her case. I saw that the girl wanted to be taken with the people but I was beside my best friend like, “She tried. It won’t her fault. She tried to swim over there.” And, no, giving her a nephew everyone knew about but her does not make it better. Give me my Angela Bassett!
The introduction of Riri Williams was great. I think we all though she would already be in Wakanda under Shuri but it was nice to see her hustling on campus. I almost thought that Shuri was jealous of Riri, but I think she was surprised that someone else that looked like her was probably just as smart as she was when she was her age. I liked her personality. I didn’t find her annoying or stupid, which was refreshing.
Now, Namor is a very interesting villain. I love that the villains in Black Panther are like Thanos. Their mission is greater than taking over the world. It stems from something they lost protecting their people. It makes the stakes feel that much more real. I think I care more in these movies when I get to feel like so much more could be damaged.
I want to send a special shoutout to Winston Duke as M’Baku. He was the muscle and the comic relief in this movie. When he came into the throne room and called Okoye a “bald headed demon” both Britt and I cackled because sir why? And you late, you snacking on a carrot, and you blaming people for stuff randomly. Sit down! LOL.
VAL IS EVERETT EX WIFE! Mind blown. But also, she’s a director now? Was she a director in Falcon and the Winter Soldier? I remember he popping up to scoop up Fake Cap and then later to talk to Natasha’s sister. Who are you, really, Val? What is your motivation? Also, don’t think I ain’t got my eye on Namor. I don’t think Wakanda will need him but King might….We never know. They seem like just the people who can be brought into whatever crazy plan King had to gain control of reality as we know it.
To round out this review, I would like to thank Marvel and Ryan Coogler for honoring our King like they did. My best friend is terrible and just wanted a recast. We don’t do that over here in Marvel land. DC, do what you want to over there, but y’all DC people keep that over there. That was our King and I would never have watched a new Black Panther movie that recasted him. Never. I don’t think it was heavy handed and I liked that we got to have him in the film without having him in the film. I could feel his presence and not just when I saw him. It was beautiful and I’m sure he and his family loved it.
Lastly, I apologize for fussing about She-Hulk. The animators had other projects to work on and this and the upcoming Ant-Man are just two of em. You right. She didn’t need to be finished. It was a comedy. We be alright. Just don’t do it again. The graphics here were FLAWLESS and amazing. I almost held my breathe when we were underwater. I would have liked to see the intricacies of the city. I feel like we got a brief overview, not enough to really make me feel like, “Wooooowww.”
This is now in my top five of Marvel films. Where do you rank it?