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BLACK PANTHER

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BLACK PANTHER

* * ½ (Joyce)

* * * (Don)

(Marvel Comic superhero movie)

Let's be honest. Joyce just doesn't like Marvel comic book superhero movies. She should have stayed home.

I'm not crazy about the long, drawn-out battles between armies that are always at the end, between the superhero and his nemesis. What I do like are the analogies between the fantasy and what is happening in the world today. On that score, "Black Panther" hits a bull’s-eye.

My problem with the movie are the incongruities and confusions, as the plot goes back and forth from ancient times to the present.

Chadwick Boseman as the new king, T'Challa, makes for a super super-hero in the lead role, showing his strength, persistence, goodness and weakness as he fights for his native Wakanda. He is challenged by Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o), an on-again/off-again love interest who wants the king to use his powers to share Wakanda's wealth and knowledge with the underdeveloped countries.

After T'Challa wins his challenge for the throne, he must confront an arms dealer (Andy Serkis) who steals Wakanda's vibranium, an alloy that has set the African nation apart from the rest of the world, bringing them into the space age. The contrast between the primitive land and people and the scientific advances of the kingdom make for an interesting story.

The photography and special effects are fabulous, and Boseman's presence is worth the cost of the movie, along with some great supporting actors.

I suppose the endless battles are necessary to draw the comic book fans, but the older folks like us soon lose interest. (Some guy on Sunday afternoon brought a dozen pre-teens to the movie. They soon got bored and didn't have a clue what was going on. After disrupting the movie, he finally took the kids out.)

There is an exciting car chase, a clash between high-tech ships and spear-carrying warriors, and a fight-to-the-death scene along with some fascinating futuristic scenes

Hopefully, we'll give you another review from a Marvel fan so you can get another perspective on this long-anticipated film that looks like it will break a few box office records.

Rated PG-13 with violence.

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