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Long live the king!
Early reactions from the Black Panther premiere (which kicked off with a standing ovation) are coming in from the Dolby Theatre, where audiences were treated to the first screening of the film. Reviews have not yet hit for Marvel Studios’ superhero project, so this is the first word fans awaiting its Feb. 16 release date are getting.
THR has created a snapshot of early responses to director Ryan Coogler’s film, which stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther, as well as Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright.
Across the board, the reaction to Black Panther was overwhelmingly positive, with those lucky enough to see the film early praising the performances, the story, the costumes, the direction and the cinematic realization of the African kingdom of Wakanda.
Black reviewers and geek sites, in particular, were effusive about the positive representations of black women. Natasha Alford, an editor at The Grio, made the point that there will be a generation of kids growing up seeing superheroes that look like them. The Los Angeles Times‘ Tre’vell Anderson called Black Panther a “love letter about blackness.” ReBecca Theodore-Vachon, who has written for Forbes and RogerEbert.com, was one among many who felt that Wright’s Shuri and Gurira’s Okoye were important and necessary portraits of black women not seen before in superhero movies. Many black reviewers also praised Coogler’s deft handling of issues of identity and imperialism.
If you don’t understand the power of representation, imagine growing up never seeing a superhero who looks like you. When American Girl dolls came out I always picked Addy who had to escape slavery. But now kids have #BlackPanther’s Nakia, Shuri and Okoye. Dope on many levels.
— Natasha Alford (@NatashaSAlford) January 30, 2018
#BlackPanther is a love letter about blackness, to a world that often ghettoizes it without realizing that it is on black backs that this planet revolves.
This world’s livelihood is in our blood. pic.twitter.com/FscW1hWbI6
— Tre’vell Anderson (@TrevellAnderson) January 30, 2018
Shuri, played by @letitiawright, is absolutely delightful. I love that Shuri is so at ease with her brilliance and genius. And her scenes with T’Challa are so funny! #BlackPanther pic.twitter.com/Rch7LfSlqM
— ReBecca Theodore-Vachon (@FilmFatale_NYC) January 30, 2018
— Brandon Norwood (@bwood0824) January 30, 2018
The story arc of Eric Killmonger will strike a heavy cord for every African-American who was raised here.
It puts tears in my eyes, made me grit my teeth and broke me before the credits.
— Mellow Marketer (@MellowMarketer) January 30, 2018
Black Panther is the best MCU movie ever. I was blown away from start to finish and I’m not even being biased. This was by far the best marvel movie to date. Thank you, Ryan Coogler! #BlackPanther pic.twitter.com/8Qh0hlOYAb
— Geeks of Color (@GeeksOfColor) January 30, 2018
Jen Yamato from the Los Angeles Times was also brimming with enthusiasm about Black Panther and the wider themes it tackled such as “representation and identity.” Indiewire‘s David Ehrlich, while deriding the action scenes, also noted the film’s “actual sense” of identity and history. Slash Film‘s Peter Sciretta called it Marvel’s “most political film.” Fandango‘s Erik Davis said the movie was “100% African and it’s dope AF.” Uproxx‘s Mike Ryan chimed in on the political nature of the film, adding that Black Panther was a movie “with a lot to say.”
BLACK PANTHER is incredible, kinetic, purposeful. A superhero movie about why representation & identity matters, and how tragic it is when those things are denied to people. The 1st MCU movie about something real; Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger had me weeping and he’s the VILLAIN
— jen yamato (@jenyamato) January 30, 2018
Ryan Coogler knocked it out of the park, some great sequences presented in a “single take/shot.” If this movie isn’t nominated for costume, art and production design awards next year, I would be seriously shocked. #blackpanther
— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) January 30, 2018
BLACK PANTHER is like a Marvel movie, but better. the action is predictably awful, but this is the first MCU film that has an actual sense of identity & history & musicality. Wakanda is alive. whole cast is great but the women (and the war rhinos) steal the show — Danai Gurira!
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) January 30, 2018
#BlackPanther is exceptional – the James Bond of the MCU. You’ve seen nothing like this in a superhero movie – it’s bold, beautiful & intense, but there’s a depth & spiritualness that is unlike anything Marvel has ever done. It’s 100% African & it is dope af. pic.twitter.com/Z77IjnIjf2
— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) January 30, 2018
BLACK PANTHER is not screwing around. By far the most political Marvel chapter, to the point I had to remind myself this is a Marvel movie. BLACK PANTHER is a movie with a lot to say.
Also, Michael B. Jordan … damn
— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) January 30, 2018
Among the major film and entertainment reporters, CNN’s Frank Pallotta praised Jordan as a “top tier” Marvel villain, a view echoed by Mashable‘s Angie Han, who tweeted that she “didn’t want the movie to end.” Collider‘s Steven Weintraub confidently predicted that Black Panther would make “serious” big office.
“Black Panther” is one of Marvel’s most ambitious works and includes, in Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger, a top tier villain for Marvel or otherwise. He owns every scene he’s in and the film is everything it’s been billed as. Long may it reign. pic.twitter.com/KajWk3PNRm
— Frank Pallotta (@frankpallotta) January 30, 2018
#BlackPanther: I never wanted this movie to end, and as soon as it did I wanted to go back. Solid action, smart story, tons of personality. Shuri is my new fave, Nakia is everything, Killmonger is incredible, T’Challa deserves to rule the MCU. Coogler has done it again. pic.twitter.com/t9gG3DLuCL
— Angie J. Han (@ajhan) January 30, 2018
#marvel does it again with ‘Black Panther’. Very impressed with the story and filmmaking. @michaelb4jordan absolutely kills it as the villain and is the best one since Loki. Also @DanaiGurira kicks so much ass and I loved every second of it. Going to make serious $. pic.twitter.com/YBrg2x3Nnz
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) January 30, 2018
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