An African warrior king fights for unity.
Boseman, flanked by Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira
“I’m going to see this movie at least three more times,” said Danielle Young in TheRoot.com. A multiplex entertainment “powerful enough to shift the planet,” the first megabudget feature about a black superhero is everything audiences could have hoped it would be—and more. Chadwick Boseman stars as T’Challa, the newly installed king of an African nation where the presence of a rare precious metal has fueled the rise of a secret utopian society. But Wakanda’s wealth attracts threats too, including a warrior, played by Michael B. Jordan, who hopes to tap the country’s technological prowess to punish Africa’s colonizers, and who “just might be” the best supervillain since Heath Ledger’s Joker. The entire movie is “really, really fun,” said Leah Greenblatt in Entertainment Weekly. T’Challa is a superhero who relies on several women “so gorgeously, vividly drawn” that at least two—Letitia Wright’s brainy tech whiz and Danai Gurira’s fierce leader of the royal guard—“could easily hold their own films.” The only real flaw is that “the whole thing moves a little too fast,” said Stephanie Zacharek in Time. The settings and Afrofuturist costumes are so splendid to look at that you feel cheated when a busy action scene seizes the screen. Still, the most-hyped movie of 2018 easily exceeds its sky-high expectations, said Ann Hornaday in The Washington Post. Even when Black Panther is fulfilling “the most rote demands of superhero spectacle,” it does so “with style and subtexts that feel bracingly, joyfully groundbreaking.” ■