Irish Independent critic gives Black Panther its first rotten review

Is the movie too politically charged?

black panther movies poster
A general view of atmosphere at the Toronto Premiere of 'Black Panther' at Scotiabank Theatre on February 6, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Sam Santos/Getty Images for Disney)

Black Panther, one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year, has been getting rave reviews ahead of its Feb. 16 release.

A shock to us all, the film just received its first unfavorable review on the movie review site, Rotten Tomatoes.

This review comes from Irish Independent writer Ed Power, and the problem Power seems to have is that the movie is too aligned with today’s political landscape.

“The strain is visible”

The movie follows the story of T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman, who is set to take the throne of Wakanda after his father’s death depicted in Captain America: Civil War. But in order to rule the country, T’Challa has to face down threats from within his own nation as well as from outside enemies.


“Fourteen months into the Trump presidency, Black Panther arrives on storm-clouds of hype and with the presumption that, as the first African-set Marvel movie, it will deliver a resounding high-kick to prejudice and decades of hierarchy, racial and otherwise, in blockbuster cinema. It is expected to stand for something bigger than itself,” Power writes, noting, “The strain is visible.”

It seems Power would like to see more superhero fights in this superhero movie instead of story lines that delve into the politics of a fictional African nation.


Black Panther spirals into a stodgy tale of internecine feuding, in which T’Challa is required to come to terms with the sins of past generations,” Power writes. “What he doesn’t get to do much of is jump around beating-up bad guys. That’s a shame. Marvel has finally given us an African superhero. The hope surely was that he would be allowed do superhoeroic things.”

Even with those complaints, Power still gave the movie 3/5, which usually qualifies as a “fresh” review on Rotten Tomatoes. It probably says a lot when the worst review of the film thus far isn’t even all that “rotten” to begin with.