It’s almost time for Ryan Coogler’s swaggering solo debut for Black Panther to pounce into cinemas in the middle of February. It’s been a long time coming – which has helped cook up the hype to roasting levels – and it has an assured audience, not only of MCU fans and Black Panther fans, but of new fans seeking the kind of representation that is still missing from most mainstream cinema.
And now that the film has had its world premiere, we have the first hints of reviews (though the fill embargo won’t drop for a little while). Thankfully, it looks like the film is another win for Marvel and another win for Ryan Coogler, who is fast emerging as one of Hollywood’s top talents.
The trailers so far have suggested huge confidence, incredible style and lots of action, but the broad picture here is of something more complex, more political and with more emotional depth.
Inevitably, there will be some cynicism from those who like to knock institutions like the MCU off their pedestals, but the success of Black Panther – not just financially but in terms of its substance – is hugely important. There’s more riding on this than simple entertainment…
So how did the early reviewers react to their first real trip to Wakanda?