If you’re even somewhat interested in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, chances are you’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Black Panther.
Well, the wait is now over and the verdict is in – Black Panther is one of Marvel’s best.
It feels markedly different to all the other Marvel offerings.
The film almost entirely takes place in the fictional African nation of Wakanda, a technologically-advanced country masked as a third-world state.
New king T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman, Get On Up) also serves as the Black Panther, the supernaturally skilled protector of the country – as first seen in Captain America: Civil War.
His claim to the throne, however, is challenged by Erik Killmonger (Michael B Jordan, Creed).
Where most Marvel films feature supervillains or alien threats to entire cities and civilisations, Black Panther’s threat is much more philosophical and political.
This is a film with a strong social and political commentary, touching on everything from foreign aid to idea-sharing.
It is also, unusually for a Hollywood movie, chock-full of African pride and actors of African descent.
The film release coincides with the British and American Black History Month celebrations, and so couldn’t come at a better time.
Everything about this film is prideful, from the tribal music to the traditional costuming and general design.
It also features some of the best actors around.
In addition to Boseman and Jordan, there’s Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland), Oscar-nominee Angela Bassett (What’s Love Got to do With It), Oscar-nominee Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead), Andy Serkis (King Kong), Martin Freeman (Sherlock), Sterling K Brown (This Is Us) and Letitia Wright (Humans).
Director Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) has proven with his third venture that he is an absolute force to be reckoned with.
Whether it’s a small, personal story, an epic boxing drama or a big-budget superhero fare, Coogler has got the chops to carry it off.
Stick around after the credits for two extra scenes.