Black Panther was overhyped

Last week I came down with a bad cold and had to cancel my Rheumatologist appointment. And several hours after I called to cancel, the nurse called me back and instructed me to stop talking my immunosuppressant IMMEDIATELY.  I was not to restart until I was better.

Well, I started to feel better after a few days, so I decided I could go back on my meds.

And this is why I should never follow my own medical advice.  Taking my medical advice is as stupid as taking medical advice from someone on Facebook (unless that someone is a doctor).

By Wednesday, I was sick as a dog and getting sicker.

Wait. Is saying “I was sick as a dog” something the vegans would disapprove of?

Any old how.

Since I feel like death warmed over, I’ve been renting some movies from iTunes and vegging out instead of sitting here scouring the news.

(I bet “vegging out” is a vegan-approved expression. Okay now I’m beating a dead horse.)

So the other day, I rented Solo: A Star Wars Story (which I dutifully reviewed HERE).

And last night I rented Black Panther.

Now, the hype on Black Panther was huge when it came out. It was supposedly the best comic book movie ever since the dawn of time.

Critics were hyperventilating over it as if it totally reset the bar on what is the perfect film.

And now having seen it myself, I think the critics were overhyping it just a skosh.

I just went over to Rotten Tomatoes to check.  And Black Panther received a 97% from critics. Meanwhile it only got a 79% from audiences.

I’m inclined to agree more with the audience score than the critics.

Sure, it was okay, but honestly?  As far as comic book hero movies go, Wonder Woman (which I reviewed last year) is much better than Black Panther.

Though, to be fair, Black Panther is better than the Superman movie Man of Steel from five years ago (which I also rented this week).

The best thing about Man of Steel is a shirtless Henry Cavill rescuing the guys on the burning oil rig.

Then again, I’d rent a movie of a shirtless Henry Cavill reading the phone book.

I mean, come on. Can you blame me?

Once Superman was clothed, my interest in Man of Steel dropped precipitously.  There isn’t much about the story that holds my attention. It’s herky-jerky. And even though I watched it from the beginning, I kept thinking I must have fallen asleep and missed some stuff because I didn’t know what the heck was going on half the time.

At least Black Panther has a coherent story.

The biggest problem with Black Panther is it was overhyped.

Well, that and the guy who plays Black Panther is about as captivating as an infomercial.

With Wonder Woman, you cannot look away when Gal Gadot is on screen.  It’s impossible.

But this guy?  Sometimes I forgot that he’s the central character.

A couple times when he wasn’t dressed in his Black Panther suit, I actually thought, “Wait. Who’s this new guy?”

You never forget who Wonder Woman is — whether she’s in her Wonder Woman costume or not.

I also wasn’t particularly impressed with the world of Wakanda.

Frankly, Wakanda looks like what it is – a CGI rendering.

Whereas the island world of Themyscira from Wonder Woman looks like it might actually exist somewhere in real life.

Though, to be fair, Wakanda isn’t as fakey as, say, the world of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. But that’s a pretty low bar.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Black Panther.  I just don’t think it lives up to the hype.

There were definitely some good performances – specifically Michael B. Jordan and supporting actors Letitia Wright and Winston Duke.

But often, I think some of the actors took themselves far too seriously for a comic book movie – especially Chadwick Boseman who played Black Panther himself.

Part of that might be in the writing.

The way Black Panther is written, he comes off more like James Bond on Ambien than the hero of a comic book movie.

Which was too bad.  Because Black Panther’s sister Shuri (played by Letitia Wright) made the perfect Wakandan version of Bond’s Q.  And Wright did it with humor and sass. She was fun on screen.

Likewise, Winston Duke’s character M’Baku is written very well. He’s both frighteningly imposing and flat-out funny – which is a tough combination to get away with.

One of the funniest lines he had was “If you say one more word, I’ll feed you to my children! I’m kidding. We’re vegetarians.”

That made me laugh out loud.

If you like comic book movies, you’ll probably enjoy Black Panther.

But if you’re expecting it to be the best movie ever made because all the reviewers had a collective orgasm over it, reset your expectations.

In fact, I think I might watch it again today now that my expectations have been realigned.

Maybe on second viewing I’ll enjoy it more than I did yesterday.


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2 thoughts on “Black Panther was overhyped

  • December 7, 2018 at 3:59 pm
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    I always thought the Black Panther of the comics was a rather forgettable fellow. You’re right about the hype. This was sold as the “first” black super hero movie (it wasn’t). The mythical Wakanda is harder to swallow than radioactive spider bites and strange visitors for another planet.
    They posit an African kingdom that had been untouched by colonialists, that developed advanced electronics and flying machines apart from any outside influence. Horse hockey!
    There exists a primitive society today, untouched by colonialism and outside influences, and when missionaries come to them from the outside, they are shot with arrows!
    Technology feeds on itself and the progress made by others. The idea that the Wakandans invented electricity, the light bulb, internal combustion engines and aircraft technology independently of everyone else on the planet beggars the imagination.
    My company sold a line of electric typewriters in the ’80s, prior to the advent of word processors and PCs. It was manufactured by an Italian company, but if you pulled a circuit board, the labels on the chips read like a roster at the UN.
    The idea that an advanced society on this planet could evolve totally isolated from the West is a credibility I am not ready to suspend. Hobbits in Mordor were more credible.

  • December 11, 2018 at 1:19 pm
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    Prepare to be disappointed if you watch this movie. It has been way over hyped and is incredibly far-fetched.

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