Since being hit by a mystic meteorite in ancient times, the African kingdom of Wakanda has developed a high-tech civilisation while maintaining traditional ways (spears, dancing, colourful clothing, some sexism) and posing to the rest of the world as an impoverished Third World country.
T’Challa is Wakanda’s new king following his father’s untimely death in a previous Marvel film (I forget which). The king is also the Black Panther, imbued with superhuman strength by a mystic purple blossom (yes, there’s lots of prologue to this).
T’Challa’s first task as king is to bring his father’s killer, Ulysses Klaue, to justice. Unfortunately Klaue has also nicked some of Wakanda’s mystic meteorite metal and has used it to develop fiendish weapons. Not only that, he threatens to reveal Wakanda’s secret to the world. So T’Challa has his claws full.
There are things to like about this film. Its refreshing non-whiteness, the main female characters, the moral message. So it’s unfortunate that T’Challa simply isn’t very interesting and the story, technology and fights just make it feel like a composite of everything from Iron Man to Batman to Bond, but with less wit. It’s also far too long. 6/10