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Black Panther - Honest Movie Review

Verdict - "The Real Deal!"

Debuting at 235 million dollars on a four-day weekend, Black Panther had the biggest opening weekend in February, biggest non-sequel opening weekend, biggest solo superhero launch of all time, biggest pre-summer opening weekend, second biggest comic book superhero opening weekend and the fifth biggest opening weekends of all time. Here's an interesting comparison, Justice League made 228 million dollars on its overall domestic box-office run and it only took four days for Black Panther to beat that record. That's a hard punch in the gut for all DC fans (including me), but that's the reality and a well-deserved accolade for a well-made film.

After the sudden demise of his father and T'Chaka (John Kani / Atandwa Kani), the administration decides to crown T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) as the new King of Wakanda and the storyline advances with T'Challa understanding and amending his responsibilities until he comes across Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) who not only challenges the throne but also questions the perspectives and principles that Wakanda upholds.

From time to time, I always address the importance of character work in a film especially if it's a stand-alone superhero film. One of the main reasons why Black Panther is such a great film is because of the well-developed and appealing characters. Let's start with T'Challa, an amateur and a King stuck in dilemma or puzzled in a tight spot to choose what's right and not right, his character was incredibly written so that the emotional connection was excellently established. Advancing to Erik Killmonger, another rightful heir to the throne, his intentions very plain, simple and very understandable. His character had a much-needed depth and his overall motives were one of the reasons why he's one of the best Marvel villains we've seen in a very long time.

Not only the lead characters but Nakia played by Lupita Nyong'o, Okoye played by Danai Gurira and Shuri played Letitia Wright everyone had an important role in the film which was inspiring and entertaining to watch. Also, great performances will always fortify the well-written characters and both the leads Boseman and Jordan were remarkable in their respective roles. Jordan especially was very charismatic and fit perfectly as the anti-hero with bad-ass abilities.

On the other side, the cinematography and the production design were incredible, the film looked vibrant, stylish and very exquisite. The background music was another positive, it added a unique authentic feel to the film especially with the percussions which sounded amazing. 

Ending with the negatives, this film was definitely not flawless, it had few issues primarily with the villain and his overall presence which was definitely limited. I hoped to see more of Killmonger as he was barely present in the first one and a half hour and then shows up in few action scenes and the film ends. That's a bummer, mainly because his character felt significant and would've been explored with more screen time.

Nonetheless, Black Panther lives up to the hype and is undoubtedly one of the best stand-alone superhero films in the MCU right beside The Winter Soldier. Similar to Logan, this film didn't feel like a generic superhero film as it presented us enjoyable characters, pleasing performances and a dazzling look at the world of Wakanda. An excellent entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

My Rating - 3.75/5 | Grade - B+ (Highly Entertaining!)
-An Honest Movie Review by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal) | Black Panther: Movie Posters - Click Here

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Taken 3 - Movie Review

Verdict - "A pointless sequel from a lifeless franchise. Taken 3 is ridiculous!"

I adore movie franchises, especially if there's a vital story to tell or an enjoyable facet that left the audience wanting more. But few movies like Taken 2 hinge on it's ancestor's (Taken) success, dig up another pointless storyline and make money. Perfect example of a "cashgrab". Is Taken 3 any different? No! It's much worse.

To summarize the plot of the movie, in a world filled with crazy Russian maniacs, after returning back to his place with hot bagels, Brian Mills finds his ex-wife Lenore murdered in his bedroom and immediately after the cops enter the scene, Brian escapes with a perplexed mind thinking about the possible assassin and is now a fugitive and the primary suspect of the murder.

As I stated earlier, a sequel for these movie was actually something needless except for the money it's making everytime. This is a dead franchise, there's nothing more to tell and by one way or another the writers recreated another storyline which was awfully long, sluggish and ridiculous.

It's pretty easy to guess that you're not in a safe place by watching the first ten minutes of the movie. The scenes look reckless with a swift speed and all these aspects that they're trying to setup didn't look convincing for me and I partly lost my interest.

What's more terrible in the movie? Definitely the action sequences! This movie was by far the worst shot action movie I've seen in a while. It's completely awful! Director, Oliver Megaton (who also directed Taken 2) was not a right fit for this genre at all. The fast-cut edits, shaky cam really made my eyes strain a lot and when you're cutting an action scene for every one second, it's not gonna work.

On a positive note, in spite of hating the movie a lot, I liked watching Liam Neeson as a dominant lead force , his appeal and screen presence added a little credibility to the movie. Forest Whitaker did an okay job, he was given a generic brainy police character and there's nothing he added to make it special.

To conclude, I really do hope that this is the last movie of the franchise and I want it to be buried forever. Taken 3 is a movie which disrespects it's genre in the way it was shot and is something so lazy to piece up a good storyline. It may appeal, if you're a casual fan of action movies and is definitely not the one which I recommend you to go watch in theatres.

My Rating - 1.5/5
Grade - D+ (A hangover!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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