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What To Watch? Black Panther

What to Watch?

For Mothers’ Day, I wanted to see Black Panther. There was such a hype about it and it was a Marvel movie, so I had to see it on the big screen.

Black Panther


To be honest, the first time I heard about Black Panther was in the Forrest Gump movie and since then thought it was a movement, not a superhero (yes, I dropped history from my high school package as soon as it hit the twentieth century. My bad, but I had a reason). As I’m a fan of any superhero, I was eager to see this Black Panther movie.

Plot and Characters

The movie starts with a flashback, when Wakanda king T’Chaka (played by John Kani) visits his brother N’Jobu (played by Sterling K. Brown) in the US, finds out he is planning to help the African-American people by using Wakanda’s secret resource of vibranium, a meteorite metal that affects a plant which gives superpowers to those that ingest it, and kills him, leaving his son behind.

Fast forward to the here and now. King T’Chaka is killed (which is seen in Captain America: Civil War) and his son T’Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman) takes the throne. The arms dealer N’Jobu was dealing with, the South-African Ulysses Klaue (played by Andy Serkis), finally steals a piece of vibranium from a museum, and shit hits the fan. (I’m not going into further detail as I don’t want to spoil the plot). What I must say is that the plot was very predictable.

Michael K. Jordan as N'Jadaka in Black Panther
Michael K. Jordan as N’Jadaka

All characters, except for CIA agent Everett K. Ross (played by Martin Freeman) and arms dealer (played by Andy Serkis), are African-Americans. Well, I don’t actually know if they are all American, but they’re of African descent for sure. I loved watching Michael B. Jordan, who played N’Jadaka, T’Challa’s cousin, even with all the scars from his killings. That man is beautiful. I liked his acting as well, very convincing. To be honest, more so than Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa. I liked Letitia Wright as Shuri, T’Challa’s sister. Boseman and Wright played their roles well, although I found it hard to believe they were related, but this always happens in movies.

What I liked

I liked the colorfulness of the movie, the well-choreographed action, the use of cg-rhinoceroses, and the technology suggested. If only it could be true (the technology, of course).

Some parts of the dialogue were funny, but, to be honest, I had hoped for more one-liners.

The music was notable. When the first African sounds blasted through the speakers, I experienced a ‘Circle of Life’ moment, but it was short-lived. I liked how they adjusted the music to the change of location.

I was very impressed with the graphics. Especially the technology looked believable.

I liked there was a female ‘Q,’ and liked the session where the new Panther suit was shown, albeit a bit cliché.

I liked the way they added political hints that living in America is not good for all Americans and that things still need to change in a big way. Not sure it had a place in a Marvel movie, but it was a great way to convey the message to a large audience.

What I didn’t like

Now, I’m having some issues with this movie.

Yes, it is good to see more African(-American)s on the big screen. In the current US political climate, we can’t see enough of them to show the world is a multiracial place. But is it necessary to put them all in one movie? I mean, I’m opposed to segregation, and yet, this is how I see this movie. No integration whatsoever. Oh wait, there is a white fellow featuring the full length of the movie and, lo and behold, he saves the day. Honestly, wasn’t there one Wakandan pilot available who could have piloted the aircraft? I’m having a ‘The Great Wall‘ moment here. Last week, I watched ‘Last Knights‘ and that movie was so much more multi-racially appeasing. If they wanted the movie to be a complete African-American feature, they should’ve left Martin Freeman out. Sorry, Martin.

Another issue, something that I can’t leave out, is that I don’t understand that a country like Wakanda, surrounded by multiple third-world countries, focusses on helping African-Americans. Why don’t they help their African neighbors around them first? Those that don’t have running water in their homes, those that don’t have an infrastructure to rely on as a basis for thriving enterprise, and those that are suffering genocide. Basically, their fellow Africans need more help than African-Americans. Why don’t they show Wakanda helping those people? Why does it always revolve around America? Maybe it was implied, but I must have missed it.

Yet another issue is the fact that the ‘rebels,’ those that want to use the vibranium to help African-Americans, immediately revert to violence. They want to make weapons and ‘overthrow’ the white Americans. Why conquer? Isn’t that an eye for an eye, i.e. rather barbaric? Why lower yourself to the level you abhor? The ending of the movie suggests T’Challa is finally willing to share Wakandan technology, but the majority of the movie shows that change is only achieved after resorting to violence first.

Maybe I’m taking this too far. Maybe I shouldn’t think this movie exists to help multiracialism forward and just watch it as a Marvel superhero movie.


An excellent addition to the Marvel movies, with colorful images, spectacular action, great acting, and a moral-of-the-story that is debatable.


Just in case people get me wrong 🙂 :


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Movie Review: The Great Wall

– Spoiler Alert! –

Score: 8/10


Last night I watched The Great Wall, with Matt Damon. I had avoided seeing any of the trailers, so all I knew was that it was about the great wall of China and that Matt Damon was in it. Of course I had read about the controversy about white-washing an Asian story and about Matt Damon having 700 hair extensions to be able to sport a man bun, but that was it.

We were going to watch Hidden Figures as well, so I had to find out how long the movie was going to take. I was surprised when I found out it was only one hour and forty-three minutes. Most movies nowadays are two hours or over, especially epic ones like I thought this one to be. Strange.

The first few minutes of the movie was a great scene setter. It was suspenseful, it had action, and it had humour. That was exactly what the whole movie was. I was surprised about the humour in it. I had expected it to be all drama, but it wasn’t. It didn’t run over of one liners, one funny was actually used twice, but it was sprinkled enough to give the whole story an airy atmosphere.

If you don’t want to read about any spoilers, you can still click away now.

I was totally taken aback by the monsters in the movie. I didn’t expect these at all and they upped my liking of the movie. Awesome CG of course, but I couldn’t help comparing the monsters to the ones from Avatar, with gill like organs and eyes in weird places. The feminist in me found it great to see a Queen in charge of them all, but, again, reminded my of the Alien enterprise. Nothing new. As was the art (ink in water flow) used in the end credits, very reminiscent of the series Marco Polo, as was the outfits for the female warriors. For a moment I thought we had crossed movies and were watching elves from Lord of the Rings.


What annoyed me during the movie was the flow. In my opinion, scenes were cut short and I wasn’t given enough time to root for any of the characters. The (surprisingly non-existent romantic) relationship between William Garin (Matt Damon) and Commander Lin Mae (Jing Tian) could have been so much more. The fact that Commander Lin Mae was chosen to become General was a nice feministic touch, but highly unlikely in ancient China. Made it seem fantastical instead of worthy of belief. The to and fro alliance of Pero Tovar (Pedro Pascal) to William also seemed whimsical. I think the movie would have been so much better if these relationships had more to it.

Story wise there is a lot more to question of course. I’ll not go into that as ever action story on the big screen nowadays seems to hang together by coincidental occasions and faulty time lines.

As for the white-washing of the movie, I concur with Director Zhang Yimou that the character of William is a let down compared to the honour code the Chinese warriors live by. However, I find it a bit over the top that it is William, together with Commander Lin Mae, who defeats the Queen. Was there really not a Chinese warrior by the Commander’s side who could have done the same? But than again, we wouldn’t have been able to se Matt Damon in close up as much as we can now 🙂 .