In my Black Panther review I made a pretty green mistake. I had forgotten how undiscerning audiences can be. After seeing it opening night I penned these words:
“Unfortunately, the film is extremely uneven. I predict it will underperform by a shocking margin. Racism and alt-right activism will be blamed for this, but Disney does not have to look any further than the ecstatic champions in the media who attempted to prop it up, refusing to let this panther stand on its own legs.”
Clearly it hasn’t underperformed. It has over performed if anything. I stand by everything else I wrote in the review. You can read it here.
It’s not a great film by any stretch. It’s not even one of the best films in the MCU. In fact its not even the best Marvel film with a black lead actor. That honor still belongs to Blade and Blade II. But fortunately the white lash was minimal. Unfortunately leftist media proved that they wanted one more chance to grovel before Obama’s identity politics throne, rather than be honest film CRITICS! We’re not cheerleaders.
Sometimes I think championing something is a good thing. I consider myself a champion for Get Out because I think it was the best film of 2017. And I hate identity politics. I hate wokeness. I mostly disagree with Peele’s politics but I still think he was the best director of 17 and made the best film. Hitchcock would be jealous of this man. On his first attempt at making a feature he made one of the greatest genre films ever. Bravo dude.
Back to Black Panther. The Rotten Tomatoes consensus reads:
“Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the MCU’s most absorbing stories — and introducing some of its most fully realized characters.”
To quote Luke Skywalker:
“Every word of what you just said was wrong.”
It did not elevate anything, let alone Super Hero cinema. If anything this is a portend that we are on the downhill side of this amazing amount of super hero cinema/TV.
The heights were not thrilling till the final act and neither was the non-story absorbing until Killmonger finally shows up in Wakanda.
And the only well realized character was Killmonger. T’Challa was fine but mostly because of Chadwick Boseman. These two actors are going places.
But worse than that this film has a higher rating on MetaCritic and RT than Superman, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Captain America: WS & CW, Logan, and Wonder Woman. I believe it’s tied with The Incredibles. This is pretty ridiculous. Those films are not only the pinnacle of the genre they are absolutely amazing films. On the scale BP is closer to Blade Trinity.
This film was very indicative of our times. Lacking in substance and loaded with Identity Politics, at least the hype machine was. It’s basically the President Obama and Trump of super hero films.
I think the best and most interesting coverage came from conservatives like me.
The Federalist published this clever piece before the film premiered which points out the painfully obvious parallels between Trump’s platform, “policies” and Wakanda.
The Daily Wire tried to show that the film was shockingly conservative in almost every way here. In fact the Daily Wire coverage of this film has been a bit over the top.
The infamous Armond White, who now writes for National Review, had his typically delicious contrarian take.
Sonny Bunch made a decent case that Killmonger was actually the hero.
In conclusion: yes I was wrong. The film did not under perform. That actually proves my broader point that the film was propped up by the media. If it were judged on its own merit the profits would be halved at least. You are supposed to like this movie. You were told to see this movie. I’m glad Disney and Marvel made lots of money. I wish it wasn’t on an inferior politically correct project.
At least it’s better than Avatar. At least Killmonger was a really great villain. At least I have freedom of thought and speech.