Brian Truitt, USA TODAY
Even with rampaging armored rhinos, spiritual dreamwalking and technology that wouldn’t be out of place in a Blade Runner film, Black Panther still manages to bring an undeniable realness to the Marvel movie universe.
Director Ryan Coogler’s spectacular new film (★★★★ out of four; rated PG-13; in theaters nationwide Feb. 16) features the most high-profile black movie superhero yet, and also happens to be the best origin vehicle for the mighty Marvel brand since Guardians of the Galaxy.
Chadwick Boseman follows up a memorable Captain America: Civil War appearance as African ruler T’Challa (and his masked warrior alter ego) with a roaring solo adventure that unleashes James Bond-style spycraft, geopolitics galore and tribal intrigue a la Game of Thrones. Yet while there are plenty of fantastical aspects, Black Panther is extremely grounded, dealing with the consequences of ages-old colonialism and exploring isolationism at a time when actual countries are building borders rather than breaking them down.
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