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Black Panther with spoilers


Bazza
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14 hours ago, Old Man said:

 

Oddly enough I found Killmonger to be the best MCU villain so far (behind Magneto), because he is almost the protagonist.  He is certainly wrong in his methods, but he is not wrong to believe what he believes given his circumstances.

 

 

Definitely.  But at the same time, the MLKJr type of person came around to the Black Panther Party person's viewpoint, differing only in execution.

I think the key to that, ironically, may have been Agent Ross. T'Challa's first renewed impression of Ross is that he's a cynic, a liar, and a bit of a toady. Whether Ross had been setting a trap for Klaue that was about to backfire horrifically or was genuinely following orders to obtain the Vibranium even if it meant enriching a murderous mercenary, he does not make a good first impression. The T'Challa does something surprising in refusing to let Ross die or become a quadriplegic, even after Klaue had given him his story of Wakanda. He did this even though he didn't know he wouldn;t be betrayed by "the white boy" again.

 

Then Ross shows something remarkable -- gratitude. He sets aside his cynicism and fights for T'Challa's vision of Wakanda even though he is convinced T'Challa is dead. Even though his government would adore the chance to grab Wakandan technology for themselves. He overcomes cynicism and finds nobility, and to T'Challa this is something completely new -- an outsider in Wakanda who isn't out to gain power or make himself rich (as Klaue did).

 

And in his way Killmonger was just as much an outsider as Ross. Before this, he had never even set foot in Wakanda. Everything he knew about it was dim memories passed on from his father -- who was an exile with a grudge -- and further shaped by what T'Challa's father had done to his.

 

Presented with these conflicting examples, T'Challa was both smart and empathic enough (allowing KIllmonger to see the Wakanada sunrise before he died was a brave act of mercy) to realize that Wakanda would inevitably be exposed, and if so he might as well do it on his terms. Continuing the extreme isolation of tradition would be suicidal.

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For what it is worth, I saw Black Panther again, last night. It holds up remarkably well upon second viewing, with more time to really listen to every line, and what the characters are saying and how they are reacting. W'kabi, given just enough screen time to make the case for a certain faction in Wakanda that is already willing to project power outside their borders, overtly and with a mind to conquer, is very important. Killmonger simply taps into that particular drive, not being the lone aggressor by any means. 

 

In the end, with T'Challa realizing that each position has "some" truth and validity to its argument, he does, as Michael says above, "do it on his own terms"... avoiding continued isolationism, but not through aggression, through optimistic outreach. It is actually pretty clear that it is Nakia's position that he takes to heart and finds a way to implement.

 

Other than noting one small plot hole (Did Killmonger really fly from South Korea to Central Africa in that crappy Cesna?) I found the movie even more enjoyable and moving than the first time I saw it. If Marvel movies tend to be "Genre x plus supers" then this was Shakesperean royal tragedy plus supers, done very well. I actually teared up a bit at the very end, on the basketball court, with the young boy asking T'Challa, "Who ARE you?"

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I liked it quite a bit. I thought the action was great and that Wakanda was wonderfully realized. The characters were solid and well developed, though I didn't really see much of a point to Ross' character other than to insert an otherwise cynical outsider into Wakanda and have him come around to who they are and why they are so hidden. Maybe to shine a light from the outside looking in on the isolated city and people. I dunno, it seemed a little off. The Wakandan tech was my favorite part. So cool and so fitting

 

I can't say there was anything I did not like and would personally rank it in my top 3 of Marvel movies (with CA: Winter Soldier and Avengers). It added to the MCU significantly and made every further instance where Black Panther shows up that much more meaningful.

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21 hours ago, Bazza said:

For what it is worth, I found Killmonger one-dimensional and unsympathic as a character. He has a chip on his shoulder, feels entitled, and wants to fund terrorist insurgents on a worldwide basis (a "black jihad").

Yeah, Killmonger's conduct once he had won the crown was anything but impressive to me. He's needlessly hostile to the people he now leads, shows blatant disregard for them, is openly trampling on the ancient traditions he manipulated to seize power, and given the internecene tensions we saw within various subgroups was just begging to be deposed by someone with the actual good of the nation in mind. He was probably a couple weeks out from having that heart-shaped herb-negating potion served to him in his Hennessy before being skewered by one of his own bodyguards. Michael B. Jordan did great in his introductory scene, his vision quest scene with Sterling K. Brown, and his death scene, but the writing failed him throughout most of the movie.

 

Likewise I felt that most of W'kabi's storyline was left on the cutting room floor. He reacted as if T'Challah had betrayed him and spat in his face rather than merely failing to deliver his promised justice within 5 minutes. And with his (barely-touched-upon) relationship with Okoye, you'd think he might have asked her about the mission to capture Klaue rather than just assuming the worst. Daniel Kaluuya could have made that character much more sympathetic and three-dimensional if given more screen time and better script support.

 

Those were my only major complaints about the movie, though. I loved the performances and writing for all the other characters and was really engaged by the overall story. Danai Gurira's Okoye was my particular favorite‚ÄĒhope to see much more with her moving forward. Chadwick Boseman made good on the promise of the wise and noble superhero that he'd given us a glimpse of in Civil War. Lupita Nyong'o's Nakia was a fully 3D character with her own motivations and agency rather than being a simple love interest or damsel. And full credit to the filmmakers and Winston Duke, they took a character who was basically a landmine of worrisome stereotypes and visuals and made him one of the best parts of the film.

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32 minutes ago, Matt the Bruins said:

Yeah, Killmonger's conduct once he had won the crown was anything but impressive to me. He's needlessly hostile to the people he now leads, shows blatant disregard for them, is openly trampling on the ancient traditions he manipulated to seize power, and given the internecene tensions we saw within various subgroups was just begging to be deposed by someone with the actual good of the nation in mind. He was probably a couple weeks out from having that heart-shaped herb-negating potion served to him in his Hennessy before being skewered by one of his own bodyguards. Michael B. Jordan did great in his introductory scene, his vision quest scene with Sterling K. Brown, and his death scene, but the writing failed him throughout most of the movie.

 

I don't know, I saw parallels with certain recent events in real life that made it seem less implausible.

 

32 minutes ago, Matt the Bruins said:

 

Likewise I felt that most of W'kabi's storyline was left on the cutting room floor. He reacted as if T'Challah had betrayed him and spat in his face rather than merely failing to deliver his promised justice within 5 minutes. And with his (barely-touched-upon) relationship with Okoye, you'd think he might have asked her about the mission to capture Klaue rather than just assuming the worst. Daniel Kaluuya could have made that character much more sympathetic and three-dimensional if given more screen time and better script support.

 

Supposedly the original cut of this film was 4 hours long.  I agree that parts of the film seemed a little rushed.

 

32 minutes ago, Matt the Bruins said:

 

Those were my only major complaints about the movie, though. I loved the performances and writing for all the other characters and was really engaged by the overall story. Danai Gurira's Okoye was my particular favorite‚ÄĒhope to see much more with her moving forward. Chadwick Boseman made good on the promise of the wise and noble superhero that he'd given us a glimpse of in Civil War. Lupita Nyong'o's Nakia was a fully 3D character with her own motivations and agency rather than being a simple love interest or damsel. And full credit to the filmmakers and Winston Duke, they took a character who was basically a landmine of worrisome stereotypes and visuals and made him one of the best parts of the film.

 

Honestly one of the biggest triumphs of Black Panther is that they didn't eff it up.  Because it would have been really, really easy to eff it up.

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I saw it twice over the weekend. Really enjoyed it. I'm with the people who think Killmonger was a bit thin as a character and also would have liked to have seen more of W'Kabi's story line fleshed out. That being said Killmonger is certainly one of the MCU's top 3 villains. (Loki and Vulture being the other two.)

 

But those are my only real criticisms. And they were necessitated by limited run time and a hell of a lot of back story being needed. If Disney releases a 4 hour version I'll cheerfully sit down and watch it.

 

Loved the look of it. Loved Panther (obviously.) Loved Shuri and Okuye. And yep, M'Baku was pretty damn fine in his scenes. Michael B. Jordan was awesome, and I hope to see the rest of his scenes some day...

 

And yes, loved the way Coogler and co. handled complex issues.

 

I'll put in my top 3 MCU movies.

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Took our six year old to see it with us.  He honestly cried when Panther went over the falls.

 

But at the end of the movie, with Panther holding Killmonger, he asked, "Do you think he'll be sad that his friend is going away?"

 

They NAILED this movie.

 

Chris.

 

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33 minutes ago, Christougher said:

Took our six year old to see it with us.  He honestly cried when Panther went over the falls.

 

But at the end of the movie, with Panther holding Killmonger, he asked, "Do you think he'll be sad that his friend is going away?"

 

They NAILED this movie.

 

Chris.

 

 

Just showed this to my wife, who "awwed" verbally at it. (She loves this movie as much as I do, and we joke about seeing it every week it is in the theaters.)

 

Also, the first night we went to see it (Thursday, opening weekend) there was a young boy behind us, and he'd be calling out "Wakanda Forever!" whenever they said it. Or "I am your king now!" and other big lines. He was SOOOOO into the movie, and the entire theater was digging it when his little voice would pipe up in a big dramatic moment. He couldn't have been more than five or six (but I'm bad at kids' ages) but it was so much fun we commented the second time we saw it that we missed him.

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8 hours ago, Matt the Bruins said:

Yeah, Killmonger's conduct once he had won the crown was anything but impressive to me. He's needlessly hostile to the people he now leads, shows blatant disregard for them, is openly trampling on the ancient traditions he manipulated to seize power, and given the internecene tensions we saw within various subgroups was just begging to be deposed by someone with the actual good of the nation in mind. He was probably a couple weeks out from having that heart-shaped herb-negating potion served to him in his Hennessy before being skewered by one of his own bodyguards. Michael B. Jordan did great in his introductory scene, his vision quest scene with Sterling K. Brown, and his death scene, but the writing failed him throughout most of the movie.
 

 

Thanks for sharing. Agree with your observation that Killmonger's reign as king would have likely been short. 

 

8 hours ago, Matt the Bruins said:

Likewise I felt that most of W'kabi's storyline was left on the cutting room floor. He reacted as if T'Challah had betrayed him and spat in his face rather than merely failing to deliver his promised justice within 5 minutes. And with his (barely-touched-upon) relationship with Okoye, you'd think he might have asked her about the mission to capture Klaue rather than just assuming the worst. Daniel Kaluuya could have made that character much more sympathetic and three-dimensional if given more screen time and better script support.

 

Those were my only major complaints about the movie, though. I loved the performances and writing for all the other characters and was really engaged by the overall story. Danai Gurira's Okoye was my particular favorite‚ÄĒhope to see much more with her moving forward. Chadwick Boseman made good on the promise of the wise and noble superhero that he'd given us a glimpse of in Civil War. Lupita Nyong'o's Nakia was a fully 3D character with her own motivations and agency rather than being a simple love interest or damsel. And full credit to the filmmakers and Winston Duke, they took a character who was basically a landmine of worrisome stereotypes and visuals and made him one of the best parts of the film.


I thought W'kabi's story arc was quite believable. He trusted his King to deliver him justice and when T'challa came back without Klaue he naturally felt disappointed and to a certain extent betrayed. So when Killmonger comes in and shows Klaue's body to W'kabi, I feel it is understandable that W'kabi backed him as leader as he delivered justice for him. 

And that M'Buku challenged for the Wakanda kingdom, lost, and latter came to T'Challa's rescue was a nice twist. 

That Black Panther could incorporate to twists -- two characters switch sides -- allowed the film to breathe. In other words, it allowed characters to have a depth and sense of life.  

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To me, KIllmonger's actions were entirely in character with what we had of his past. His history is one of breaking the narrative - both in himself and of others. He moves from ghetto kid to military discipline, then breaks that again by going to the less-rigid special forces, then to CIA black ops, where he is taught the skills and abilities to break not just the course of individuals, but the narrative of nations. Then he breaks his own story twice more - moving from CIA to renegade mercenary, before violating his position there by killing his employer and heading to Wakanda.

What does he do there? Break the narrative! He kills the legitimate king by goading him into a duel he did NOT have to fight (the time of challenge being long over), then sidelines the council of the tribes, accepts the grudging loyalty of the royal guard, and gets the army pretty much completely on his side, upsetting the entire interlocking power structure. As Agent Ross says, just as he was trained to do.

Killmonger was a prisoner of his past, as was, in large part, T'Challa. This was a sub-plot I loved - two men, both haunted and empowered by the choices of the past made by others. Ultimately, Killmonger, despite his willingness to embrace change, cannot change from his predestined course. T'Challa, as expressly shown in his second spirit quest, can.

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On 2/21/2018 at 12:26 PM, Matt the Bruins said:

Likewise I felt that most of W'kabi's storyline was left on the cutting room floor. He reacted as if T'Challah had betrayed him and spat in his face rather than merely failing to deliver his promised justice within 5 minutes. And with his (barely-touched-upon) relationship with Okoye, you'd think he might have asked her about the mission to capture Klaue rather than just assuming the worst. Daniel Kaluuya could have made that character much more sympathetic and three-dimensional if given more screen time and better script support.

I agreed with this. It's not just that T'Challah is his king, but that they presented them as best friends at one point, perhaps having grown up together. So Killmonger shows up with Klaue and he not only switches sides, but is willing to put an obvious sociopath (although with a legitimate cause) on the throne instead of T'Challah seemed a quick jump to me.

 

Otherwise, I loved the movie. Laughed at the jokes and found the acting and presentation excellent. I got into a conversation with a lady after who hasn't seen many marvel movies but went because she is a studier of mythologies and that drove her to the movie. She enjoyed it also. I thought Martin Freeman's character reminded me a lot of Coulson from the first couple IM movies. Government, so we shouldn't trust him, but then shows grit and loyalty to the right thing.

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It was okay, felt it suffered from a little bit of over hype. Better than a lot of Marvel movies (Thor 1 and 2, Avengers 2, Iron Man 2 and 3, couple others). Not as good as GOTG 1 or 2, any of the Captain America movies, Avengers 1, Thor: Ragnarok, couple others. 

 

I do think they did an astonishingly good job of taking very dated material that could've felt really, really racist and make it feel fresh and contemporary. No small feat. 

 

I enjoyed the movie, and will probably see it again when it comes out after the theatre release. Solid movie. 

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4 hours ago, Matt the Bruins said:

I feel like sitting C. Robert Cargill down at a showing of this movie, pointing to M'Baku, and yelling "Now THIS is how you deal with problematic racial stereotypes in a character from decades-old source material!"

 

Now you've got me thinking about the Ancient One, and the issues there. First I have to distance myself from the fact that I just really didn't like Doctor Strange as a movie much at all. (Hey, it is the same story as Iron Man, but with magic, and not nearly as funny.) So I look at Tilda Swinton's character and think "If there was no source material, and she was purely created for this film, what would I think?"  Hard to do, but the movie allows for Kamar-Taj to be a multi-cultural receptical for mystics from around the world. (Arabic name, Nepalese setting, diverse students, etc.) It might have worked. Swinton does well as the asexual great master, if you view her in a vacuum.

 

The problem comes from clearly holding on to the trappings of the dated and racist "mysteries of the East" concept... but more importantly, that Strange himself is just another "white savior" type of character. I hate the trope of "guy shows up and becomes best-of-the-best in five minutes, surrounded by people who have studied for decades" in the first place. Havingjthat trope also be a condescending asshat of a white guy only makes it worse. The "rules don't apply to me" attitude, and basically every other character is incompetent compared to him... why did they assign the New York stronghold to that guy, who clearly didn't know how to fight in the first place? Did Kaecilius really leave with the only three students who paid attention in Harry's combat class?

 

Urrggh... getting so upset by all the small failures of that movie all over again.

 

It is in this setting that not only KEEPING the white savior aspect, but then further undermining it all by white washing the Ancient One from the source material, just added insult to injury. It didn't help that Swinton seemed to be tone deaf to the whole concept as well.

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