Ryan Coogler debuted with the sophisticated
Fruitvale Station (2013) before selling out with
the seventh "Rocky" movies Creed (2015) and the blockbuster
Black Panther (2018), based on the Marvel Comics superhero.
Black Panther (2017) is a
a tedious collage of old Hollywood stereotypes recast in futuristic
high-tech scenario with mildly artistic visual effects,
about the handsome young king of an hidden kingdom
who turns into a James Bond of the jungle to carry out the stereotypical
deadly mission against the stereotypical evil man. Add the stereotypical
side story to avenge the killing of his father and the stereotypical
love story with a stubborn sexy woman.
The cartoonish implausible plot, replete with ridiculous shootouts and car chases, leads to the most amateurish of happy endings and philosophical conclusions.
Children are playing basketball in Oakland in 1992. In a nearby apartment
the superhero "Black Panther" appears amid two female warriors to denounce and
kill his own brother as a traitor, guilty of selling their secret weapon to
a (white) arms dealer, Ulysses.
The Black Panther is the king of an obscure African kingdom,
Wakanda, which is considered a very poor country but actually hides in the
forest the most technologically advanced city. The power of the Black Panther
and of the nation derives from a cosmic material called
vibranium that dropped over Wakanda in ancient times.
Wakanda has sent the king's brother N'Jobu to work undercover in Oakland.
The Black Panther is king T'Chaka, who has been informed of
his brother N'Jobu's betrayal. The accusation is confirmed by N'Jobu's best
friend and assistant, Zuri, who is actually another undercover Wakanda agent.
The flashback ends and we are in Wakanda, a futuristic city in the middle
of a primitive African jungle.
The king's dies and his son T'Challa is crowned king in an elaborate ceremony, despite a late challenge by his rival M'Baku.
His mother, his ex-girlfriend Nakia and his younger sister Shuri support him.
The white mercenary Ulysses, who has a prosthetic arm weaponized with vibranium,
and the black Erik steal a Wakandan artifact,
containing vibranium, from a British museum.
T'Challa is informed that the CIA is trying to buy it and T'Challa leads
the expedition that disrupts the operation and captures the mercenary Ulysses.
Ulysses reveals to the CIA agent, Everett, that Wakanda is a technologically advanced civilization. Erik frees Ulysses and kills Everett, but Everett is
resurrected by Shuri using advanced technology.
Zuri tells new king T'Challa that his uncle N'Jobu wanted to provide African-American rebels with vibranium to conquer the other races.
T'Challa's father was opposed and traveled to Oakland to stop the plan.
The uncle tried to kill Zuri and T'Challa's father killed him, killed his own
brother. Uncle N'Jobu had a child in the USA, Erik.
A flashback shows the then prince (now king) as a child playing basketball near the building where his father killed his brother to save Zuri's life.
Erik kills Ulysses and takes the body to Wakanda, challenging the king T'Challa to the throne. Erik wins, kills T'Challa throwing him into a waterfall, kills Zuri and becomes the new king with the declared intent
to use the vibranium to subjugate the white race.
A flashback shows Eriks' version of the killing of his father.
Everett, T'Challa's mother, Nakia and Shuri
trek to the kingdom of the defeated challenger M'Baku and beg him to help dethrone the new king Erik. M'Baku's men found T'Challa's body unconscious but not
dead and he is promptly resurrected to lead the rebellion.
T'Challa kills Erik, who refuses to surrender. T'Challa is king again and looks
like he's going to marry his old girlfriend Nakia.
Back in Oakland, children are playing basketball.
T'Challa brings his sister to visit the building that is being torn down to
create a museum run by his sister.
A Wakanda spaceship lands in the basketball court: the king has decided to
tell the world the truth about the kingdom, which he does at the United Nation.