Black Panther

I went to the earliest possible show today. The trailers began at 12:00 PM. I got to the ticket window of the multiplex at 11:50 AM and was the only person there. I was a little surprised, so I asked the ticket-seller “Where’s the crowd?” He responded with “It’s Monday. It’s always slow on Mondays.” So I picked a seat and paid $8.52 with tax and a senior discount for my ticket.

Well, that made the experience a little easier. I got inside and found just two people ahead of me in the concession line. I loaded up, paying $14.32 for a medium bag of popcorn and a medium Coke™.

After half-a-dozen trailers that I can’t remember, the movie began about 12:20 PM, and for the next two hours I was thoroughly entertained. The plot isn’t as outlandish or as predictable as I expected it to be from my memory of superhero comics (weird villain out to take over/destroy the world, Ver. 1909). In fact, the villain Killmonger’s goal is perfectly understandable. Not that I was rooting for him, you understand. T’Challa’s character is much more sympathetic.

There are lots of whiz-bang special effects and futuristic gadgets. Shuri is a kick as the head geek and inventor — she’s a far more amusing Q than any one that James Bond ever had. She plays the smart-ass younger sister to King T’Challa perfectly.

She’s only one of several really strong female characters in this film, too. In fact, T’Challa has no male buddies I can remember. He’s surrounded by women and takes their advice quite happily. They’re brave, strong and valiant in battle, too.

I don’t know what awards this movie might get nominated for, but the costume design has to be recognized by the Academy. Not just the flashy suit that the Black Panther wears, either. The warrior’s costumes were wonderful, as were the ones worn by the tribal representatives at T’Challa’s coronation.

Two thumbs up!