Saturday, 3 March 2018

Black Panther | Anticipation = Boredom

So my dad and I watched Black Panther like maybe a week ago, and it kinda sucked.

For some perspective:

I was looking forward to this movie ever since 'Age of Avengers Assemble: Captain America's War for Civil Rights 3' (or was it called something else??), because him and Spider-Man were easily some of my favourite parts of it.
While 'Civil War and Peace' wasn't particularly amazing, or even that great really, it certainly made me excited for a new Spider-Man movie (especially after whatever happened with 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2') and very interested in a movie centred around this fairly interesting new character (to me).

The further away we got from 'Iron Man and the Civil War-Vengers' and the closer to 'Black Panther', the more interesting developments began to spring up; namely the idea that a black director was making an almost entirely black cast film about black struggles in a white man's world, the soundtrack being curated and half made by Kendrick Lamar and the fact that the director is the bloke who made Creed, a person with a strong vision (something, at the time, was pretty much unheard of in the MCU).
So basically a lot was going for it and it was hyping me up more than I probably should have been, and a certainly larger amount than I was, and still am, about 'Infinity Gauntlet Wars: Captain America and Iron-Man Make Up or Break Up with Several 'Vengers in the Background Fighting or Something'.

-The first red flag that alerted me to 'Black Panther' not going the way I wanted it to was the Kendrick album (and OST) being pretty boring and just too superficial and less personal or soulful when compared to 'Damn', Kendrick's album from 2017 that everyone ever agrees on as being pretty damn great.

So ok, one down, but since this is just "Inspired by" and not the OST, I guess it's gonna be fine.

-The second red flag was all the bad and mixed reviews I saw for it.
Now I didn't read or watch any reviews other than probably Empire or something I dunno; who cares; but basically the main consensus was the critics weren't too happy with it, but the fans were (besides a few outliers, like said Empire).
Now I've never let a bad review of a movie put me off watching it, but man was seeing all those reviews suddenly appear out of the blue damning the poor movie.

Well, that's not very great, but a lot of people said Thor: Ragnarok was terrible and I loved it to death, so...

-The third red flag was about half way through the movie when I realised I wasn't enjoying what I was seeing, let alone invested in it.

I found most of the world building, characters and even the fight scenes largely boring. Usually Marvel has pretty good fight scenes, even in the lesser movies like The Iron Giant Man 2 or Thor: The Dark Eccleston, but this time the action was very poorly shot and lit to the point where I wasn't too sure who was who even in otherwise well lit places.
This being said, the action isn't at the forefront of this movie, oh no, it's instead dialogue.. and the dialogue is fairly underwritten and generic and the flat direction doesn't really contribute much to help with this problem.

I sought of figured that the director of Creed would make an action movie at least fun to watch, but I was proven wrong when faced with the bland acting and overabundance of CGI.. everything. And by everything, I mean it. Most things that didn't even need to be CGI is for some reason in this movie, and it makes everything feel fake and hard to take seriously, especially the Lord of the Rings battle at the end (complete with plastic Rhinos, buy now!), which just felt silly and only a device to distract the supporting characters while Black Panther and The Human Torch fought each other.

For the most part the costume design was very inventive and reflected the (CGI) world it was based in well. Seeing the different tribes all having their own unique style was fun and felt very much like something that would happen if Wakanda existed. And although I loved The Gods of Ragnarok and Guardians of Groot 1 and 2, I don't think the brightly lit and overly indulgent colours worked in BP's favour as it only adds to the plastic-y feel to it all.

Talking about plastic-y feelings, Killmonger was pretty dull wasn't he?
Everyone went on about how great Michael B. Jordan is as "Marvel's best villain to date", yet all I saw was another boring, explaining their plans, no- depth, over the top villain. If anyone should get praise for their performance it's Chadwick Boseman for making a boring script feel much more authentic and natural than it really is.

They even had snippets of Kendrick in the movie and even that felt lazily thrown in...

So in the end, this isn't Marvel's best movie, nor their worst, but man does it not impress.
I initially gave it a 6/10 on my Twitter, but now I think I'm gonna have to give it a boring 5/10 because of how generic and not special it was.

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