After having done his part to babysit the heroes of America, the Black Panther has returned to fix things in his own country.
First a little bit of context. I and really looking forward to Black Panther. I think it’s a chance for Marvel to really branch off into doing some interesting new things. The movie already has the advantage of introducing some really unique cultural elements to the MCU, and do so with style. This official trailer has only solidified that.
Alas, I do have my gripes with the trailer, and my concerns regarding the film itself. So let’s talk about that.
First and foremost, I’m not at all a fan of the movie’s choice of music. Obviously, it’s a marketing movie. Black Panther is about a black superhero, so it’s being marketed towards a black audience. Which is heavily associated with hip-hop, down to an almost stereotypical level of it being our “music of preference.” Mind you, my own music of preference is, ironically, OSTs. Scores from movies, anime, and video games. So obviously if I wasn’t already invested in the character, that little nod wouldn’t have immediately brought me onboard. Does it bother me? Not especially. I just think it was a missed opportunity to play up the fact that Black Panther is a king, thus utilizing music more associated with his title than stereotypically associated with his skin color.
The other hope is that this won’t end up being a case of All Style, No Substance. The Marvel movies aren’t known for being particularly deep character studies. But I’m only hoping the movie actually does more with its setting than just offer a lot of flare. I want it to actually delve into their culture a little, rather than just using it as a backdrop. The very idea of Wakanda is fascinating, and I’d love to see it really brought to life.
I’m also missing much characterization from the titular hero in the trailer, which one could argue is either good or bad. He was a very clearly defined character in Captain America: Civil War. Not only did we get to see his vengeful quest come full circle, but in the end, he was able to grow past it and showcase a great degree of wisdom. The trailer does very little aside from having him deliver a few lines that are mostly expository. Here’s hoping the movie will deliver something of an arc as to where he goes from the place things left off in Civil War.
That aside, the trailer does depict what seems to be a rather entertaining movie. And I’m also happy to see that the trailer doesn’t appear to show off any especially incredible scenes or anything of the sort. I think it’s very much saving the best bits for the actual movie. And that’s all too rare, these days.
Black Panther claws into theaters, February 2018.