There’s just one more week before Marvel Studios rolls out Black Panther, one of the most highly-anticipated films of the year. Chock-full of beautiful melanin, the film’s stars have been traveling around the globe, from Hollywood to Seoul, Korea, and the United Kingdom, promoting the film and delivering Black excellence to the masses.
Directed by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther not only broke advance ticket sales records, but it has both fans and film critics hype. Rolling Stone called it “a masterpiece” and The Daily Beast called it “a game changer.” But not everyone is singing its praises.
Black Panther had a 100% film rating on Rotten Tomatoes until a critic from the Irish Independent ruined its perfect score. While it was inevitable that someone wouldn’t be in love with the world of Wakanda, critic Ed Power’s reason for dinging Black Panther made fans collectively roll their eyes.
According to Power, the film “spirals into a stodgy tale of internecine feuding, in which T’Challa is required to come to terms with the sins of past generations. What he doesn’ get to do much of is jump around beating up bad guys. That’s a shame.”
I’ve seen the film, and let’s just say there’s no shortage of action scenes. So Power’s assertion that T’Challa didn’t hand out enough beatdowns doesn’t fly. And many folks on Twitter weren’t buying it either.
A day after Power knocked Black Panther off its perfect perch, another critic chimed in with a negative review. Writing for Australia’s Urban Cinefile, Louise Keller compared the film to Coming To America (uh, how?) and actually wrote, “Hell hath no fury as a crazed African.” While Power’s review sounded juvenile, Keller’s exposed her lack of familiarity with Black people, something to keep an eye on as more people see the film.
Still, it’s going to take more than a couple of problematic reviews to dim Black Panther’s light. And judging by the tickets the film has already sold, it’s well on its way to becoming another big hit for Marvel Studios.