Chadwick Boseman is the Black Panther. (Marvel Studios image)

Reel Reviews: The Wakanda Way

We say, “Black Panther is too shallow to be deep, too disposable to be important.”

Millions of years ago a meteorite crashed to Earth, infusing a magical mineral called vibranium into the plants and soil of what would become the African nation of Wakanda. Eventually, humans came along and were able to make use of this mineral, which when consumed, gives the bearer super human powers. For generations the tribes of Wakanda fought amongst themselves until finally it was decided that only one person should have these super powers and that person should be the Black Panther, the King of Wakanda.

In modern times, vibranium is used in Wakanda’s advanced technology and also to hide Wakandan society from the rest of the world. The current King T’Chala (Chadwick Boseman) believes as his predecessors did, that the world is not ready for the responsibility of using vibranium.

But there are forces in the world that think it’s time for vibranium to be released to the world, even if only to weaponize the oppressed.

We say, “Black Panther is too shallow to be deep, too disposable to be important.”

TAYLOR: There are interesting aspects to this film which make it stand out from all the other comic book movies and these aspects do stem from the real oppression of Africans, but the story does not properly examine these facets. What we have here is a story of a choice: On one side you’ve got the King and the Wakandans, basically hiding and hoarding all their power for themselves and on the other you have a growing rebel force who, having grown tired of being oppressed, wish to make use of this technology to fight back. If the story had been about using Wakandan technology to help, not harm, then the film could have lead to a global black solidarity, an emancipation. As it is, we simply have a tale of guys that are neither good nor bad, fighting for their right to continue fighting.

HOWE: I am a little torn about this movie, on one hand I am looking at it thinking it is a beautiful looking film with its colours, its dialogue and execution of some of its fight scenes. Yet on the other hand I got a little lost in the timeframe between this and the first time we saw Black Panther in The Avengers movie, or was it Civil War (see what I mean?) because this flick tells us how he became the superhero where as I thought he was him already. So instead of trying to figure that out, I disengaged my brain and enjoyed it for what it is, a comic book film.

TAYLOR: If the filmmakers truly wanted to examine racial tension and oppression, they would have left the white man as the bad guy. For a while in the film, they do, Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) is a terrorist and all-around bad guy with racist overtones who possesses some stolen Wakandan tech. But Klaue is never seen as effective and his time in this film is short lived. Instead we see only Wakandans fighting other Wakandans. For a film that promised to deliver “a grown up movie about an African superhero,” all we have is a very silly film with a lot of window dressing. This film is not at all about oppression or racism, it just points to these things and says, “This is why we should be fighting, but instead let us fight because I want to be King.”

HOWE: Even though I love Serkis as an actor, my biggest gripe is once again, why not get an actor from that country to play the part? Why not get a South African to play a South African? Putting on an accent just doesn’t do the role justice, and please don’t get me started on fellow Brit Martin Freeman, his American twang is just plain awful and to me he will always be that Office bloke, Tim.

Taylor gives the Black Panther 3 pointless rhinos out of 5.

Howe gives it 3.5 sneaky sneakers out of 5.

Just Posted

Kelowna Art Gallery hosts new exhibition, Poetics of Space

The exhibition can be viewed from Feb. 2 until May 5

Kelowna RCMP use spike belt to apprehend alleged car thieves

Both suspects were expected in court Thursday morning

Kelowna RCMP ask for assistance to identify suspects

The break and enter resulted in a firearm being stolen

TELUS works with YMCA for Okanagan youth

A four week employment program will assist at-risk youth

First recreational cannabis store in Okanagan has quiet opening near Lake Country

Indigenous Bloom has opened on Okanagan Indian Band land

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Hergott: Memories of crashes fade

Lawyer Paul Hergott writes about the importance of journaling after a crash

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Remorse high for Vernon man sentenced for car surfing death

Driver of car that killed friend who was car surfing gets nine months in jail

Most Read