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Black Panther

Director:  Ryan Coogler
Year Released:  2018
Rating:  2.0

Warrior T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns to his ancestral home of Wakanda (a futuristic nation in Africa) to become the new King after his father's death, has to stop an arms dealer named Ulysses (Andy Serkis) from stealing his people's precious supply of Vibranium (a strong metal) ... and fight against rival Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), who has a different vision in mind as to how Wakanda should be 'ruled.' It's a thin allegory - Black Panther-as-MLK, Killmonger-as-Malcolm X - poured on top of the all-too-predictable Marvel plot structure and with lines like "Colonizer!" and "Death is better than bondage!" liberally spread around as crowd-baiting/pandering garnish. I like the defense of moderation (King) over radicalism (X) - because, honestly, going to extremes is rarely good - and if viewers feel better after watching it (it seems like more of a social movement than just your weekly Hollywood mainstream release), that's all right too. However, are we going to collectively forget about or ignore the Blaxploitation genre that came about in the 70's and how important it was to movie culture? And they way they didn't rely on CGI and superpowers and ultra-high budgets? And what about Blacula? And Pam Grier and Fred Williamson? And how there was a certain sex machine to all the chicks by the name of John Shaft? Shut yo mouth.

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