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Black Panther Blu-ray Review

May 14, 2018

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Black Panther Blu-ray Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on May 14, 2018
( Rating: 4 Star Rating)

Kidzworld checked out the Blu-ray for the hit Marvel epic Black Panther. Does it look and sound great? Are the extra features well worth a watch? Read our review.

By: Lynn Barker

In Black Panther, the locals shout “Wakanda forever”! T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) son of T’Chaka (John Kani), will succeed his father as king of Wakanda, an African nation that has long hidden its ultra-high tech capabilities by posing as a poor, third world country. T’Challa will also continue to fight evil as Black Panther but past family transgressions with surface to haunt him and his kingdom forcing him to fight for his throne and to prevent weapons made of Wakanda’s rich vibranium deposits from reaching the wrong hands all over the world.

Wakanda is ultra-modernWakanda is ultra-modern

In the Beginning….

Many centuries ago, a meteorite of vibranium (the strongest metal on Earth) fell in the middle of Africa. Five tribes warred over the alien metal, until one warrior discovered the "heart-shaped herb”, a vibranium-effected plant that, when ingested, gave him superhuman strength and reflexes. With these new abilities, he became the first "Black Panther" and united the five tribes to found the nation of Wakanda. Using vibranium, the Wakandans developed highly advanced technology but shut themselves off from the rest of the world, posing as a poor, third world country.

Shiri in her Wakandan labShiri in her Wakandan lab

In the 1990’s

In 1992,  Wakandan Prince N’Jobu (Sterling K. Brown). feeling that Wakanda’s isolationist beliefs hadn’t helped oppressed African-descended people worldwide, wanted to share all the high tech with them so he went undercover in the U.S. and allied himself with arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (Klaw, Any Serkis). Klaw then invaded Wakanda and stole some vibranium. When N’Jobu’s brother king T’Chaka learned of the betrayal, he reluctantly killed N’Jobu and to keep all of this a secret, abandoned N’Jobu’s young son by an American woman, who will later be known as Erik Stevens (Erik Killmonger, Michael B. Jordan).

Klaw is questioned by RossKlaw is questioned by Ross

Struggle for the Crown

About to be crowned king, T’Challa wants the love of his life Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) extracted from her undercover assignment to stop human traffickers so that she can be there for the ceremony. General Okoye (Danai Gurira), head of the elite royal guard the Dora Milaje, will help him. They are successful but, returning home, T’Challa is challenged for the throne, defeats M’Baku (Winston Duke), leader of the rival J’Bari tribe, and is crowned king.

T'Challa and Nakia discuss their relationshipT'Challa and Nakia discuss their relationship

The Trouble with Klaw

Wearing his vibranium arm weapon, Klaw steals a Wakandan weapon from a British museum to sell to a buyer in Korea. T’Challa, with Nakia and Okoye, goes to Korea to stop him but the buyer is actually old pal Everett K. Ross of the CIA (Martin Freeman). The Wakandans plus Ross survive a wild car chase that results in Klaw’s capture. He is soon rescued by Erik Stevens (Killmonger) and Ross is badly injured. T’Challa takes Ross back to Wakanda where his high tech whiz sister Shuri (Latitia Wright) can use advanced medical tech to save him.

Killmonger confronts T'Challa/Black PantherKillmonger confronts T'Challa/Black Panther

More Challenges

Klaw is murdered by Killmonger who takes his body to Wakanda to show his “good will”, revealing that he is the son of N’Jobu and has a right to the throne. T’Challa has his Black Panther powers temporarily removed, the men fight and Killmonger throws T’Challa over a huge waterfall. As the new king, he drinks the special herb and gets his own Black Panther powers. Enforcing his father’s old plan, he prepares tons of Wakandan weapons to be distributed to shady and “oppressed” people everywhere. Brokenhearted Ramonda (Angela Bassett), T’Challa’s mom, with Nakia, Shuri and recovered Ross go to the J’Bari tribe asking for help only to learn that they are caring for the frozen but still living T’Challa. Okoye, sworn always to protect the Wakandan king, reluctantly sticks with Killmonger.

T'Challa fights Killmonger for the throneT'Challa fights Killmonger for the throne

A Future for Wakanda?

Will T’Challa again become Black Panther? Will Killmonger succeed in shipping vibranium weapons all over the world? Will Okoye again protect King T’Challa? Will Wakanda ever reveal its riches and share its vast knowledge with good-hearted people of the planet?

In a post-credits scene, Shuri continues to help Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) with his recuperation.

Black Panther in actionBlack Panther in action

Special Extra Features

There are some nice extras on this Blu-ray set although not as many as you might expect.

  • An optional Intro by Director Ryan Coogler can be found after you hit “Play”. This is sweet and touching. I’d watch it. 
  • From Page to Screen: A Roundtable Discussion features two comic book writers for the “Black Panther” series plus the screenwriters and director who discuss how revolutionary the Black Panther character truly was. This is very interesting especially for fans of both the comics and the film.
  • Gag Reel – just not long enough for me. The usual actors blowing lines, props breaking and a whole lot of dancing between scenes on set. Fun
  • Deleted Scenes – (4). These are quite good and it’s very nice that they are included. We see more about Okoye, Black Panther/T’Challa as a kid etc. Very worth a watch.

T'Challa, Nakia, Okoye arrive at the U.N.T'Challa, Nakia, Okoye arrive at the U.N.

Featurette​s (4):

  • Crowning of a New King –filmmakers and actors talk about Black Panther’s appearance in “Civil War”, his unique suit, etc. Chadwick Bozeman tells us what being king means to T’Challa, Danai Gurira on the traditions vs. modernity in Wakanda and taking on real-life problems in the film. Very nice.
  • The Hidden Kingdom Revealed focuses on creating Wakanda and its magical scientific culture. Production design, African-inspired costumes, gadgets, language and more are discussed. Just beautiful.
  • Wakanda Revealed: Exploring the Technology –all about the vibranium-based weaponry, machinery, Shuri’s inventions and designs for ships, communication and using Wakanda as the battlefield in “Infinity War”. Interesting.
  • The Warriors Within focuses on the characters and people of Wakanda, female leadership etc. Female actors talk about their characters. Very cool!

Danai Gurira (Okoye) shooting a fight sceneDanai Gurira (Okoye) shooting a fight scene
  • The Audio Commentary by Director Ryan Coogler and Production Designer Hannah Beachler is quite heart-felt and covers behind-the-scenes info and some details in addition to what’s on screen. Really worth listening to.
  • Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years - Connecting the Universe is really an ad for “Infinity Wars” but it’s a great look at all the complicated crossovers and character interconnections through all of the Marvel films. Worth a watch.

Early costume art for OkoyeEarly costume art for Okoye

Wrapping Up

This Blu-ray/Digital set for Black Panther sounds and looks amazing. The extras are very nice. Could have used more on set stuff and a longer gag reel but the creation of the world of Wakanda is especially well-covered.

Ryan Coogler directing Chadwick BosemanRyan Coogler directing Chadwick Boseman

The film is a great origin story for the superhero with well-expressed family intrigue and great character development at its core. Humor is well-inserted when needed. Acting is really top notch all around and the look of the movie is mind-blowing. Production design, costumes, weaponry (a virtual reality car, etc.) and music all combine to create a colorful, believable high tech African nation that is a successful mix of tribal tradition and otherworldly power.

This title is well worth collecting or gifting. We go four out of five stars.

Black Panther Blu-ray Rating:  4

Buy Black Panther in stores now!

Have Your Say

Are you collecting all of the Marvel films? Is Black Panther a favorite? Are you glad he has joined the Marvel Universe? Lay down a fierce comment below!