And… action! Here, I must offer a minor criticism. The action sequences set in dark environments during Black Panther (2018 Disney Marvel, directed by Ryan Coogler) were hard for my older eyes to follow. Some of the still shots from these sequences were iconic, but the flow of the action was choppy in places, probably due to the quick changes of camera angle. This was my major visual frustration.
Those scenes shot in full light were a different matter. They were easy to follow, impressive, and visually satisfying. This was especially true of the climactic battle scene.
As for the setting, I liked the blend of rural, mountainous, and urban areas in the kingdom of Wakanda. As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, idealism is a major goal in what I consider the best fantasies, and portraying an African nation as technologically advanced was something I don’t believe I’ve seen done in any other movie. I’m a biology professor at a women’s college, so I applaud the positive portrayal of science and technology with role models for women and minorities. Our fantasies encourage us to imagine possibilities, and this should not be exclusively reserved for white males. This also made for a very touching ending which I will mention again next week in my wrap-up.
So I must say something here. Why would a compassionate, technologically, advanced, and ethical society use potentially mortal combat as a means of choosing its ruler? This struck me as an inconsistency, but it was good for the storyline.
One last quibble: What happened to resolve the conflict between the warring factions? Obviously the rightful king was back on his throne, but the interim between the battle and that outcome was not shown. I hope that this gets visited in the sequel, which I hope will be given to the same director.
Well, I’m going to get lazy and let the visuals do more of the talking for now, so check in next week.