Sunday, March 11, 2018

This never gets old.

People who like to argue about trivial matters (myself included), will often argue that a hero or heroine is only as good as his (or her, for f--k's sake) villain. Makes sense, I suppose, as you can't really save the day if the threat is as intimidating as a basket full of black kittens. So, it begs the question, what makes a good villain? 

You'd think that'd be easy, right? Motivation! Backstory! And what they're planning on doing because of it! Then why do so many movies botch the bad guy?

Typically, it's an all-too familiar, potentially too personal of a reason. Rough childhood. Tough break. Maybe a dash of long-festering criminal insanity, perhaps? All fine reasons, sure, but at this point, I'm not exactly leaning forward in my theater seat.

But what if we took all of those reasons, and added something like, say...oh, I don't know...abject f--king racism, perhaps?

Black Panther does something pretty f--king remarkable for a movie that is, all things considered, the eighteenth entry into the MCU: it's a comic book movie that has legitimate weight to it. It matters.

Oh, it has rad costumes, cool gadgets, kick-ass fights and cool one-liners - all the prerequisites of the genre are here and accounted for. And it's no slouch on universal accessibility, either.

But under all of that, Hell, triumphantly standing next to all of that? An ugly reality of racism, exploitation and greed fueling just about everything. Director Ryan Coogler deftly toes the line between an action movie and a call to action. And like any skilled move, I never saw it coming.

Many years ago, a mysterious object crashed into the African nation of Wakanda and bestowed upon its people an ultra powerful element known as vibranium. Yep. Whatever the Hell it is, it's the Swiss Amry Knife of shit from space, and allowed the Wakandans to transform their entire society into a utopia of technological badassery. Sweet, right? Well, it would have been, but eventually word, er, vibranium, got out, and the fate of the Wakandans was altered forever.

Is there any way these ladies can team up with the Amazons from Wonder Woman...and just
Being that the vast majority of the movie-going population has already seen this flick (seventeen times each...per day), detailing the plot any further would be beyond unnecessary. For me, even though I desperately want each member of the Dora Milaje to take turns kicking me in the junk (God, I love them so much), the unquestionably best part of Black Panther is Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger. His ascension to the throne is perfectly nefarious, sure, but it's what he wants to do with the vast power of Wakanda that absolutely stunned me. Like, uh this dude want to start a major f--king world war and...I don't blame him for a second. I'm pretty f--king cool with, to be honest with you.

What I'm not cool with, however, are the Yays and Boos. Honestly, I'm going to just power through these sumbitches, as this review has been, for whatever reason, impossible for me to write. When I saw Black Panther, it hadn't made a hundred million dollars, yet. And now it's made a thousand million...

Unbelievably, these aren't the coolest hand cannons in the film.

  • That opening trip through the history of Wakanda was instantly captivating. 
  • The only thing cooler than ripping off a door, is to then take that door and immediately throw it at someone.
  • Even if he's playing Rafiki from The Lion King, I'm always up for spending a minute or two (or ten) with Forest Whitaker. 
  • Speaking of dudes I can't enough of, I was so f--king stoked to see Daniel Kaluuya in what was basically the direct opposite of Get Out [review]. Like, I didn't have to worry about this guy, well, initially.
  • Holy shit, is there anything more badass than all the different tribes of Wakanda? I want a movie about each one, dammit. Well, outside of whatever group the lip-dude is a part of. That shit is way too hardcore for a huge bitch like me.
  • Whatever scene that takes place at the top of the waterfall, is more or less the best scene ever. 
  • Okay, clearly I've gone on too long without drooling all over myself regarding the utter f--king brilliance of the Wakanda Royal Guard, specifically General Okoye. I didn't know who Danai Gurira was before Black Panther, but I'm damn sure I'll never forget her. Even when she's not kicking so much f--king ass, Okoye is nothing short of heroic. She's so awesomely principled, I almost couldn't handle it.
  • Annoying Kid Sister, in every movie ever, is supposed to be a character that unequivocally sucks. Wrong again. Letitia's Wright's Shuri, T'Challa's younger sister, is incredible.  
  • Just like a Stan Lee cameo is (at this point) guaranteed, so is the Yay for said cameo. Sorry. It's in the contract.
  • Those panthers! That vision! THOSE PANTHERS!
  • Apparently, no matter how you travel to Busan, whether by train [review] or by exploding luxury car, it's going to be one hell of a ride.
  • The Jabari, while initially presenting themselves as the worst, might actually turn out to be They're barking me into silence. Again.
  • Shh, don't tell anyone, but I know the real reason this movie is killing it at the box office: iron-plated rhinos.
  • Hold on. Two stingers? And they're both badass? Uh...yes, please. 
  • And finally, Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan. These fine gentlemen annihilate every frame they're in, both individually and collectively. Early on, you're looking at Boseman and thinking, this guy is so badass - nothing is better than this. But then Jordan shows up...and you''re covered in sweat and trying to figure out how to tell your mom you need a new retainer.
Divide this frame into eighths, and I'm still pretty sure the
quota for badass motherf--kers has been exceeded regardless.
  • Apparently, in Wakanda, arguably the most advanced society on the planet, flipping the bird is still a viable way to signal displeasure.
  • Even as far as douchey-villainy goes, letting a guy go and then shooting him in the back seems like a major dick move, you know? What's next, whipping out a sharpie and drawing a dick on his dead face?
  • Who was that awful lady in the interrogation room? Did she win a contest or something?
  • I know I'm a bad parent, obviously, but uh...there were like, a shit ton of people getting shot in this one. 
  • Kill T'Challa. Send vibranium all over the world. Be a huge dick. All fine. But burning those plants? What the f--k, man? Really?
  • Why does Wakanda need such a relentless public transportation system? There are f--king trains heading in all directions at all times. 
  • And finally, yes, I laughed, but for f--k's sake guys, you realize, you like, permanently cemented what are those? into the lexicon for the rest of time. Yep. I hope you can sleep at night, knowing what you've done. Damn, Daniel.

It's unfathomable that we're only six weeks out from the next Marvel movie, with Infinity War hitting theaters during the last week of April. I can't even wrap my fragile little mind around the fact that so many heroes are going to be kicking ass together in one single film.

Imagine that. Dozens of heroes.
Together. In one movie.

No pressure, Thanos. Not at all.
Assuming, of course, one of his shiny stones fixes bisected hearts. 


  1. Danai Gurira was in The Walking Dead before this. She kills zombies with a katana and when she doesn't, she still is one of the coolest on the show. T'Challa's sister is so sweet and witty and Letitia Wright is delightful.

    Infinity War is going to be f**king awesome!

    1. I'm not sure why I've never watched the Walking Dead, because what you said right there? The fact that you used the word 'katana'? That's all I need in a TV show.

      Infinity War is going to be pure madness.

  2. *You know.. I did not really like the villain's arc. Michael b. Jordan is a dream on screen and I liked his reasoning and everything but it was still weak. I'm not sure, I think Marvel has a huge problem with villains and I don't know if they can fix it.

    1. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! His arc is the best! And he's soooo dreamy!

      Nah, I'm not mad at ya, but I still think it's the best evil plan ever. Like, imagine if he succeeds? The whole world erupts into chaos. Justifiable chaos!!!

  3. A+ retainer reference :) I still haven't seen it because I always say if you saw one MCU film you saw them all. I'm sure this one has the same story as the other, what 17 movies? I'll catch it on DVD

    1. Thank you, professor. That might be my first A+ in about two decades.

      I don't think Black Panther drastically deviates from the formula, but I had a really good time with it. Are you in for Infinity War??