The Controversy Surrounding Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther (2018) was initially met with widespread acclaim, earning high praise for its performances, portrayal of African American narratives, and its entertainment value as a superhero film. However, as time went on, critics started to emerge, questioning the film’s status as overrated. In this article, we will explore some of the main criticisms against the film and evaluate their validity. Let’s explore whether Black Panther truly deserves the pedestal it has been placed upon.
Does T’Challa’s Character Feel Regressive?
One common argument against Black Panther is that it regresses the character of T’Challa, the titular Black Panther, compared to his previous appearance in Captain America: Civil War. The contention is that T’Challa’s character growth was already complete in the earlier film, making his emotional struggles in Black Panther seem redundant.
However, this perspective fails to consider the multifaceted nature of character development. While T’Challa’s journey in Civil War focused on personal growth and letting go of revenge, Black Panther explores his growth as a king and the challenges he faces in leading his nation. The film raises new issues that arise due to his ascent to the throne, rather than revisiting already resolved conflicts.
Moreover, T’Challa demonstrates the lessons he learned in Civil War throughout Black Panther. Despite the threat posed by his adversary, Killmonger, T’Challa approaches him with mercy, aiming to resolve the conflict without unnecessary casualties. His character growth in Black Panther should be seen as progression rather than regression.
Is Wakanda’s Portrayal Insensitive?
The portrayal of Wakanda, the fictional nation in Black Panther, has faced criticism for its mixed representation of a technologically advanced society with tribal customs. Some argue that this juxtaposition creates an insensitive depiction of African American culture.
However, it is important to understand that Wakanda’s isolationist policies contribute to its unique culture. The nation has purposefully kept its advancements hidden from the world, preserving its traditional values and resisting foreign influences. Therefore, the presence of tribal elements within the nation’s political structure can be attributed to its isolationist heritage.
While it is true that the tribal aspects of Wakanda’s culture may seem incongruous with its technological advancements, this discrepancy does not necessarily convey insensitivity. Rather, it reflects the complex blend of traditions and progress that characterize Wakanda. While some viewers may find it perplexing, it is essential to consider the context in which these choices were made.
Does Wakanda’s Concept Make Sense?
Another point of contention surrounding Black Panther is the logical feasibility of Wakanda as a nation. Critics question how Wakanda could amass wealth and technological marvels while remaining isolated, refraining from trade and keeping its vibranium resource solely for its own use.
From a logical standpoint, these criticisms hold some validity. Wakanda’s operations may not withstand close scrutiny. However, it is important to consider the larger context of the film medium. While logical coherence is crucial, the engagement and storytelling that a film provides can often outweigh minor logistical flaws.
Black Panther manages to captivate its audience through its compelling premise and exploration of T’Challa’s character and African American heritage. While minor inconsistencies are present, they do not fundamentally hinder the immersive experience. Ultimately, it is up to viewers to determine what aspects of the film are worth their focus and enjoyment.
Has the Action Devolved?
One criticism directed towards Black Panther concerns its action sequences, with claims that they lack tension and fail to deliver the exhilaration expected from superhero films. Some argue that the film’s action scenes feel lifeless, and the recognition of it as the first superhero film nominated for Best Picture further fuels accusations of overrating.
These criticisms hold merit. Certain fight sequences in Black Panther suffer from dim lighting, making them difficult to follow, compounded by the protagonist’s predominantly black costume. Additionally, some viewers find T’Challa’s moves to be slower and less impactful compared to his appearance in Captain America: Civil War.
A contributing factor to this perceived decline in action quality is the reliance on a specific gimmick in Black Pantherâ€”the suit’s ability to absorb and release kinetic energy. While initially intriguing, the film heavily relies on this feature, often overlooking intricate choreography. Consequently, it diminishes the sense of danger, as the suit renders T’Challa impervious to conventional harm.
While certain action sequences, such as the car chase in Busan, showcase creativity, others fail to create a grand, spectacle-like impact seen in other superhero films. The limited number of participants and occasional flaws in stuntwork contribute to this underwhelming sensation. Ultimately, the absence of captivating action sequences diminishes the film’s overall appeal.
Is the CGI Unappealing?
Another aspect that has garnered criticism is the visual effects and CGI utilization in Black Panther. Despite being a big-budget blockbuster, the film has been characterized by some as visually unappealing, with action scenes being compared to cutscenes from video games.
Regrettably, the criticism concerning the film’s CGI quality is valid. Factors such as time constraints and the need to align with the production schedule of the Marvel Cinematic Universe can potentially explain the lackluster effects. The limited time allocated for filming the final duel between T’Challa and Killmonger may account for the unnatural fluidity observed in their movements.
Furthermore, the film’s excessive use of CGI becomes a hindrance, as real-life sets could have been utilized for scenes featuring natural environments. Although time constraints may have played a role in this decision, the resulting unsightly graphics remain a valid point of contention.
While Black Panther has undeniably garnered excessive praise, particularly due to its cultural significance, it remains an important film that offers more than just a milestone for representation. With its exploration of T’Challa’s internal struggles and the clash of ideologies with Killmonger, the movie delves into thought-provoking themes. Thus, while its reception and ranking within the Marvel Cinematic Universe may be inflated, Black Panther is a solid and engaging film.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Black Panther overrated?
Yes, Black Panther has been subject to a degree of overrating due to its cultural significance and groundbreaking nature in the superhero genre.
2. Does Black Panther have any shortcomings?
While it has its strengths, Black Panther does have shortcomings, including inconsistencies in action choreography, CGI limitations, and occasional incongruities in the portrayal of Wakanda’s culture.
3. What elements make Black Panther noteworthy?
Black Panther stands out for its compelling exploration of T’Challa’s character as a king, its portrayal of African American heritage, and its successful fusion of traditional tribal themes with futuristic technology.
4. Is the action in Black Panther disappointing?
Some viewers found the action in Black Panther lackluster, with dimly lit sequences and an overreliance on kinetic energy gimmicks. It potentially failed to meet the exhilaration typically associated with superhero films.
5. Are the visual effects in Black Panther subpar?
Yes, the visual effects and CGI in Black Panther have been criticized for their unappealing appearance, particularly in action scenes. Time constraints may have played a role in the rushed production resulting in inadequate CGI quality.