Sandy Kenyon reviews 'Black Panther'

NEW YORK (WABC) -- With this much hype, can there be any hope "Black Panther" is as great as everyone would lead you to believe? The short answer is yes.

When is a movie more than just another Marvel-ous adventure? When that movie arrives at just the right moment, and tens of millions of people say, "This is exactly what we need right now." Or as the guy who plays the title role put it, "There is a thirst for it."

Chadwick Boseman explained further, saying, "There is a thirst to see these characters and these images."

Boseman plays T'Challa, who ascends to the throne of the African nation of Wakanda after the death of his father, as shown in the "Captain America" movie that introduced him as the character.

Wakanda stands hidden and apart from the rest of the world, prosperous and independent thanks to vibranium, a material that gives the king his strength.

Nakia, played by Lupita Nyong'o, tells T'Challa, "You get to decide what kind of king you are going to be" and argues the country should use its precious material to help others.

Michael B. Jordan, as Killmonger, wants to employ it to liberate the oppressed because, as he puts it, "The world's gonna start over, and I'm gonna burn it all."

Meanwhile, Andy Serkis' character just wants to steal vibranium and sell it.

It turns out the villains are no match for the strongest warriors, who are almost all women. T'Challa's kid sister Shuri, played by Letitia Wright, uses technology to help him, and she hopes the film has a cultural impact.

"Not only girls, but guys too can be impacted by wanting to be in science and math and engineering and all of that stuff," she said. "That's really positive stuff."

"Black Panther" is all about positive, generating positive reviews for positive messages in a movie that still manages to be positively entertaining.

Director Ryan Coogler's first feature "Fruitvale Station" was released just five years ago. Now, he has made the best kind of superhero movie: one that satisfies fans and appeals to just about everyone else.

It's from Disney/Marvel Entertainment, owned by the same parent company as WABC-TV.

* More local news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.