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Marvel Studios has never been shy about their big new releases - not only often screening their films for critics and journalists weeks in advance of release, but also letting them publicly share their early thoughts. It's been a trend since the earliest years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and one that is continuing with Ryan Coogler's Black Panther. The hotly anticipated blockbuster played for an audience for the first time tonight, and now a wave of first reactions has popped up all over social media. And as you might have predicted, they are overwhelmingly positive.
I personally was one of the people invited to check out Black Panther this evening, and I'm incredibly happy to say that I loved the film. As noted in my Tweet below, I think it does some brilliant things with its unique setting, features one of the best antagonists in the franchise, and will be one to watch many, many times:
And I am extremely far from being the only person to feel that way about Black Panther. My CinemaBlend colleague Conner Schwerdtfeger was also at the same screening I was in Los Angeles, and drew comparisons between the film and two classics in his reaction: one known for its high-octane thrills, and the other for its beautiful, picturesque exploration of Africa. He wrote,
Plenty of other critics and reporters from other outlets shared similar sentiments as well, echoing thoughts about a wide variety of aspects. In his take, David Ehrlich from IndieWire notes that he was not at all impressed by what Black Panther had to offer as an action movie, but also loved the exploration of Wakanda and the fantastic female characters (played by Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong'o, Letitia Wright, and Angela Bassett).
Jen Yamato from the Los Angeles Times also had some high-praise to offer for the latest Marvel Studios blockbuster - but didn't solely focus on character, action or story. Instead, she notes just how important Black Panther is from a cultural and moral perspective, offering a very real message that audiences can chew on at the same time as their popcorn (while also offering similar praise for the part played by Michael B. Jordan).
You can also count Wilson Morales from BlackFilm as a big backer of the film. Tweeting after his screening, he expressed that there's very little (if anything at all) that he didn't love about Black Panther:
In summation, I offer my adaptation of the hashtag that became popularized when Black Panther was putting first starting to put together its amazing roster of epically talented filmmakers and performers.
Black Panther will be arriving in theaters everywhere on February 16th - and be sure to stay tuned to CinemaBlend for not only our review, but also a ton more content from my interviews with the talented people who brought it all to life.