Crouching Panther, Hidden Cougar

So, Black Panther then.

I loved it.

A complete change of pace after the rollicking fun ride that was Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther is a more serious affair. But it’s still bloody good. And it has the kick-ass women that the MCU has been lacking. In fact, they could probably quite nicely rock their own stand-alone movie – a great fighter, a techowhizz and a spy; what more do you need?

There was a bit that didn’t really work for me – W’Kabi, played by BAFTA’s rising star Daniel Kaluuya, is a little bit odd. His loyalty swings around more than a compass near a magnet. He’s all over the shop. He’s a friend. Then he’s not. Then he’s completely won over by Killmonger purely because of a body in a bag, then he’s alright again. Maybe. It’s hard to tell.

Well, that and the bit at the end that tells us Black Panther will return in Infinity War.

I mean, come on guys, we’ve sat right through to the end of the credits. You don’t need to tell us that. Well, that and the fact that everyone – well, nearly everyone (no Coulson, cruelly) – is in Infinity War. And that the trailer for Infinity War was shown before Black Panther anyway which, in a way, killed off any sense of tension when it came to climactic battle sequences.

But, you know, I suppose they have to stick these things in for some reason. Much like the “James Bond will return” screens at the end of Bond movies, although in the olden days they used to tell you which film was coming up next whereas now they can’t do that because the think tank they’ve employed to generateĀ  the next film title by slamming a few unrelated words together hasn’t come up with the goods yet.

But anyway, I digress. Black Panther was great.

And queuing up for Black Panther was great, too. Because in the same way you can go to, say, a Susan Calman gig and enjoy a very Radio 4 audience, you could see two clear groups of people in the cinema tonight.

There were the ones for Black Panther – a diverse mix of ages, races, genders – and there were the ones for Fifty Shades Freed. Possibly the least diverse group of people you’ve ever seen – basically, if you know a white woman who’s 50ish and they weren’t at home tonight then they were in the cinema getting their rocks off to some badly written soft porn.