Black Panther is setting the world on fire with many claiming it as a monumental moment in the cultural zeitgeist. Rotten Tomatoes even claimed it as the best reviewed live-action superhero movie ever made this past week, adding fuel to the love affair with the film. But what exactly did the MovieBabble staff think about it? Take a look for yourself in MovieBabble’s Black Panther exit survey:
A spoiler alert is in effect. You’ve been warned!
What gif represents your state of mind after you left your screening of Black Panther?
What do you like most about Wakanda as a country?
Ned: The culture was fascinating. Sort of like a mix of Sparta and Atlantis.
Steven: I liked how it was a futuristic city with historic African customs meshed into one.
Cameron: Personally, I love the fact that they are more advanced (by a long shot) than all other nations on Earth and yet all they really want to do is keep to themselves. They could easily conquer pretty much anywhere they chose but they focus their efforts on keeping their technology away from those who would misuse it such as Ulysses Klaue…that of course changes slightly by the end of the film when they feel a sense of responsibility to share their technology with the world.
Ashley: So many things, but mainly the sense of honor. And order.
Maggie: The combination of old world traditions and technological advancements. It is really great to see a portrayal of a very advanced society that is still steeped in tradition.
Collin: Wakanda seems at least 100x cooler and more advanced than any other country we’ve seen in the MCU, but still feels authentically African in culture and style.
Trey: The technology is awesome, but the African culture is really what brought me into the movie.
Nick: Out of all the CGI worlds that we’ve been transported to in 18 MCU films, this one felt the most realized and lived-in. Building a sense of history and tradition out of this world gave it greater depth and feel. Not to mention that they can heal spinal issues with a little splatter of Vibranium. Can I go there and get some work done on my knee?
Finish this sentence: “The Kendrick Lamar soundtrack was…”
Steven: …great despite only two songs making in the film. Perfect choice to use “All the Stars” for the mid-credits, though.
Cameron: …pretty damn awesome! I’m not a huge Kendrick fan but it totally fit for this film.
Ashley: …good and better placed than I thought it would be! Based on the trailers, I was afraid they would make Lamar’s work front and center in Wakanda, but it was used to augment the differences between T’Challa and Killmonger. Boy, did it. A+ move.
Maggie: …not what I was expecting! I thought it was a nice touch and helped the audience forge a connection between our current society and the advanced society of Wakanda.
Collin: …great, but Ludwig Goransson’s score for the film deserves even more hype.
Nick: …blended in nicely with the feel of the movie. Those involved kept it from becoming a music video like the Academy award-winning masterpiece that is Suicide Squad…
What’s the best moment in the film?
Ned: My favorite part was when T’Challa and Killmonger fought in the water. Ryan Coogler shot it with a similar intensity to his boxing matches in Creed.
Steven: Both of Killmonger and T’Challa’s fights. The first one was very intense and grounded and the second one was very Marvel-esque fun.
Cameron: It’s probably a bit of a clichéd answer but I’d have to pick the final fight. When T’Challa faces Killmonger and his army…it just gave me shivers. My less obvious answer would be the moment when T’Challa enters into the spirit realm. It had Lion King vibes which I thought was pretty cool but just the colors and the tone were very unique.
Ashley: I teared up several times, simply because I couldn’t believe how awesome the whole movie was. But I loved the part where Killmonger is with his dad on the ancestral plain: He is finally there, but he’s still trapped by the dark worldview the apartment represents to him. He cannot see beyond. And he sheds no tears for his father. It’s like he’s forgotten why he is so angry and fighting in the first place; his mission is now devoid of true justice or empathy. The child in him is gone. Killmonger was a timely, moving commentary on how victims can become the perpetrators, and how older generations need to inject reason and truth when they can. It gave me chills. Also, the part where Okoye flings her wig into an assailant’s face pretty much sums up how I feel about my afro-hair drama. It was perfect.
Maggie: The fight scene between T’Challa and Killmonger on the train tracks. The special effects were so cool!
Collin: Best moment in the film is the first waterfall fight scene. It has plenty of tension, a great flow to the action, and it feels truly authentic. It highlights the difference between T’Challa and Black Panther while also displaying what makes them similar. Also, Ramonda’s “Tell him who you are” line and T’Challa’s reaction to it are played out perfectly.
Trey: My two favorites were when everybody bowed down to Okoye after the giant battle, and the final speech by Killmonger when he gives the speech and asks to be buried in the ocean with his ancestors.
Nick: Literally everything with Killmonger. Michael B. Jordan is chewing the scenery in the best way possible.
Is Killmonger the best MCU villain?
Ned: Absolutely. I’d say he rivals Heath Ledger’s Joker for the best villain of all-time.
Steven: Absolutely! Last year we saw that Marvel ended the villain curse and now this year they give us the best one since Loki! I loved his motivations and Michael B. Jordan was brilliant in the role!
Cameron: I think he is certainly up there. I don’t think anyone will ever top Loki in my eyes (although we’ll see how Thanos turns out) but Killmonger is certainly in my top 5, if not my top 3…or even 2.
Ashley: I would say yes, if he hadn’t died; he’s no longer a danger, unless that purple flower juice brings people back from the dead. Loki will always be #1 in my book, because I’m always hoping he’ll come to the light and am severely disappointed every time he doesn’t. As soon as Killmonger shot his main squeeze to kill Klaue, I was done-done.
Maggie: It would be hard to name a better MCU villain…
Collin: He’s no god of Mischief, but Killmonger rounds out the top three MCU villains. Top three being Loki, Zemo, and Killmonger if you were wondering.
Trey: Second best, behind Loki.
Nick: YES. Loki’s gotten more chances to shine over the years, but Killmonger had such a serious impact in this film without a ton of screen time. Literally every word he said had weight to it. Being able to say “Hiya Auntie” and still be taken seriously is one of the coolest things ever!
Where does Black Panther fall in your personal ranking of the MCU films?
Ned: It’s first for me.
Steven: #2 right behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Cameron: Hmm, I think that it’s maybe 5th or 6th out of all the MCU films. It would rank number 1 in many categories such as special effects. Some of the stuff in Black Panther was just above and beyond what I’d come to expect from Marvel, which is saying something.
Ashley: It’s #2. The Winter Soldier then Black Panther.
Maggie: Top of the list! This film blew me away.
Collin: It’s the best solo/origin film of the MCU, hands down. I’d put Black Panther in the top three, right behind Captain America: Civil War and The Avengers.
Trey: I still need to see it a couple more times. After seeing it twice, its at number 4 below Avengers and above Guardians of the Galaxy.
Nick: More viewings are necessary, but it’s probably #2 behind Winter Soldier.
Who was your favorite side character?
Ned: M’Baku. He was perfectly intimidating, but hilarious when the time came.
Steven: Either Shuri, Nakia, or Okoye.
Cameron: It has to be Shuri, right? I can’t think of anyone else who remotely competes with her for best side character.
Ashley: Dude, Shuri was my favorite character period–feminine, effervescently intelligent, direct, and 100% herself. Protect her at all costs, because I need a scene where she and Tony Stark geek out. If not for her, it would be Agent Ross: He’s a simple guy, with a lot of grit and an appreciation for good design. He asks questions; he adapts to changing situations; he is self-sacrificial; he does his best. I love where they’re taking his character.
Maggie: Okoye! Danai Gurira’s powerful portrayal as a the commander of the Dora Milaje is really impressive; her fighting skills are on fire! Plus, she makes bald look badass!
Collin: This one’s tough to choose, but I’m going to have to go with Okoye. She’s menacing, she’s dangerous, and she has a nice side character arc.
Trey: Shuri was hilarious; Nakia played a great role; Okoye was badass; M’Baku was freaking awesome; W’Kabi had a great arc; Martin Freeman gave a fantastic performance as Everett Ross…oh, I can only pick one? Well, if I had to choose one, I would pick M’Baku. He was funny, intimidating, and even a little shady.
Nick: Shuri! Anyone that pulls off saying “WHAT ARE THOOOOOOOSE?!?!” in a film deserves the highest marks possible.
Is there something about the film that really bothers you?
Ned: Still the lack of Kung Fu Kenny. Maybe if I couldn’t pick out specific moments in the film that correspond with certain songs it wouldn’t bother me so much. Apparently when they said songs from and inspired by the movie, they meant three songs that are in the movie, and 11 songs where Kendrick says “I am T’Challa” at the beginning of the song.
Steven: The pacing in the second act. After Killmonger defeats T’Challa for the throne, he is absent for the rest of the second act. It reminded me a lot of The Dark Knight Rises when Bane breaks Bruce and the whole second act is him recovering. The difference is Black Panther handled it quicker than The Dark Knight Rises. Still, the second act goes by a little slower since T’Challa isn’t on screen.
Cameron: I wouldn’t say I really have an answer to this one but to be nit-picky, I’d say that considering the next MCU film is Infinity War, there could have been a slightly more enticing post-credits scene. I mean Bucky waking up is cool and all…but there should have been something that really got fans even more hyped for Infinity War (if that’s even possible!).
Ashley: The first time we see T’Challa and Shuri interact, their father was killed literally 1 week ago. It was a little jarring to have that first meeting be so flippant, but I loved the positive, mutually supportive quality of their relationship after that. I dislike buzzwords and buzzphrases in general (i.e. colonialist, colonialism, and the opening sequence’s comment about over-policing felt a little too simplistic), but I still loved the movie. I ugly-cry loved it.
Maggie: I think Michael B. Jordan could have approached his character differently. I love Killmonger as a villain, but Jordan tries too hard to look and sound enraged. It’s a little over the top at certain points in the film.
Collin: They killed Ulysses Klaue. It’s the second time in a year that I’ve had to watch Andy Serkis die on-screen and I’m not okay with that.
Trey: Really bothers me? No. Slightly annoys me? Some of the CGI looked a bit cartoonish, and the final fight between T’Challa and Killmonger was just a little disappointing. Just a little.
Nick: It’s still burdened by that patented Marvel formula. The most fascinating part of the film is the rivalry between T’Challa and Killmonger and their discussion of protectionism, but the film gets away from that for a somewhat bloated battle with CGI rhinos.
What grade would you give Black Panther on an F to A+ scale?
Ned: A+ hands down. It gave us explosive battles alongside intimately deadly hand to hand combat, humor alongside captivating storylines. Everything we expect from an MCU film, and everything you’d want from a Ryan Coogler joint as well.
Steven: A-. If it wasn’t for the second act having the pacing issue, it would’ve been an A+ without a doubt.
Cameron: I’d say an A. While still ultimately falling into the superhero genre, I felt that Black Panther took a refreshing look and managed to explore characters similar to those in the MCU but also still completely different. It managed to feel like part of the MCU while also holding its own as a completely independent film.
Ashley: A. It addressed tough questions (like where the heck Wakanda was during slavery), didn’t make any character a caricature of their own beliefs, made afro-hair refreshingly less exotic, depicted a realistic bro-sis friendship and gave me women with warrior souls. I’m very honor, duty and order oriented, so I really connected with that aspect of Wakanda. I’ll be seeing it again, without question (as Okoye says)!
Maggie: A. This film felt so original and unlike anything I’ve seen before. It’s hard to compare it to anything else, and that is tough to accomplish in today’s world of perpetual reboots!
Collin: A+. Black Panther hits on every standard MCU note, but also takes T’Challa to his roots and gives the character a certain realism that most MCU origin movies failed to hit on. Ryan Coogler’s style gives audiences plenty to gape at, questions to think about, and plenty to remember.
Trey: I’d give it an A. My issues in the last question were my only ones. Ryan Coogler made a third amazing movie that was extremely progressive in the film industry.
Nick: A. My issue above still stands, but Black Panther is a clear change from previous MCU films. It shows that Marvel can make movies that are about more than throwing punches, and that gets me incredibly excited for the landscape of superhero films moving forward.
Thanks for reading! What are your thoughts on the Black Panther exit survey? Comment down below!
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