Marvel's Black Panther: Critics claim Chadwick Boseman starrer is 'a correction for years of diversity neglect'

FP Staff

Feb,07 2018 13:23:32 IST

Black Panther, the standalone Marvel movie featuring the world's first mainstream black superhero, won rave reviews on Tuesday with critics praising both its adventure and its portrayal of a majestic Africa.

Directed by Ryan Coogler and featuring a predominantly black cast including Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong‘o and Angela Bassett, Black Panther was hailed by the Daily Beast as “a love letter to every black person” and “a correction for years of diversity neglect” by Rolling Stone.

A still from Black Panther. Marvel

A still from Black Panther. Marvel

The Disney movie, opening worldwide next week, tells the story of T‘Challa, the newly crowned king of the fictional, technologically advanced African nation Wakanda, who is challenged from factions within his own country.

The movie arrives after years of criticism about the under representation of actors and filmmakers of colour in Hollywood, including the #OscarsSoWhite campaign that prompted the Academy of Motion Pictures to increase diversity in its predominantly white, male membership.

It got a rare 100 percent rating from review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and analysts expect it to bring in some $150 million at the North American box office on its opening weekend.

The New York Times said the film “creates wonder with great flair and feeling” while having a story that “has far more going for it than branding.”

The Guardian remarked that "the intriguing thing about Black Panther is that it doesn’t look like a superhero film – more a wide-eyed fantasy romance: exciting, subversive and funny."

Vanity Fair hailed the cast, saying "A crackerjack ensemble, led by Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan, breathe welcome life into the increasingly predictable comic-based franchise."

Entertainment Weekly said the movie’s “nuanced celebration of pride and identity and personal responsibility” was the movie’s “own true superpower.”

Variety called Black Panther "a radically different kind of comic-book movie, one with a proud Afrocentric twist." It found the movie particularly relevant in the Trump era, saying, "Opening in the mythical kingdom of Wakanda, Black Panther effectively anticipates President Trump’s alleged comments about “shithole countries” whose refugees prefer the American way of life “to their huts.”

IndieWire called it “the best Marvel movie so far, by far.”

USA Today said that along with the fantastical elements of the film and its James Bond-style spycraft, Black Panther was extremely grounded “dealing with the consequences of age-old colonialism and exploring isolation at a time when actual countries are building borders rather than breaking them down.”

Business Insider said that Black Panther arrived at a perfect time. “Like Wonder Woman last year, Black Panther is a project that fans have been waiting decades to see. And just like Wonder Woman, it was worth the wait.”

Updated Date: Feb 07, 2018 13:23 PM