Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) Movie Review – An overlong, unfocused sequel
A long, unfocused, and ineffective sequel
T’Challa has died, caused by a virus that has gone off-screen. Wakanda is in mourning. Others are trying to take over Wakanda’s Vibranium reserves A new threat appears in the shape of Namor.
Alongside Talokanil warriors who have hypnotic singing abilities like Sirens, Namor shows up unexpectedly in Wakanda and seeks assistance from Shuri and Queen Mary to rescue his home of Talokan. A brilliant scientist has developed a device that can detect Vibranium and Namor seeks the help of Wakanda to kill them in order to safeguard both worlds. This scientist is Riri Williams, aka. Ironheart.
At a whopping two hours, Wakanda Forever takes forever to move. The film is tethered between being a fun explosive Marvel movie and a more somber reflective drama about the effects of the death of T’Challa on the people of Wakanda and the subsequent push-pull feeling gives the film an extremely uneven flow.
The menace to Wakanda and the potential world-ending consequences of Namor’s army’s attacks are real, they’re added to the chaos due to the debut of Riri Williams’ Ironheart. While she’s not nearly the same level of insufferable as she was in comics, her inclusion seems like an odd choice and appears to serve the goal of attracting attention to her forthcoming series in 2023. In reality, you can easily alter the plot and eliminate her from the plot completely because of the significance of her involvement in the story in this story. That’s not even mentioning the repurposed sequence of Iron Man she’s in, speeding through the atmosphere but then running out of oxygen before falling back into Earth again. It’s basically exactly identical!
It is rife with minor gaps in the plot, and a few truly humorous scenes. Namor’s opening scene sees him flying into the scene to view Shuri as well as the queen. They have wings that are attached to their ankles. The camera is zoomed in close to reveal the wings. Five minutes after, Shuri exclaims “Did you notice those wings that are on the ankles of his friend?” These moments of unnecessary dialogue are frequent and become tedious after an amount of time.
However, more effective the most effective character is Shuri She starts as a cocky, argumentative, and angry young lady struggling to deal with grief, and transforms into an empathetic and well-rounded person after the end credits. She’s still not powerful enough to ensure her authority. In the final moments, she totally out-does her lines to Namor and yells “I am the Black Panther, and I am here to retribute!” In a way that makes it seem like she was ripped straight from the most embarrassing parts of drama school.
It’s true that Angela Bassett is the best character on the show, in my opinion, totally dominating the screen in every scene she appears in. In fact, it makes one think she should be one of the successors of Black Panther instead!
Wakanda Forever will play several things however, at no point does it manage to find the right pacing. The middle section of the film is a complete mess in a constant battle of long-winded monologues and snoozy scenes that could have easily been cut completely out. In reality, the more expansive and grandiose the film becomes and the more impact it will have.
It’s extremely frustrating, as there’s a decent film there. If the film had been focused around Shuri struggling with grief and riffing against Bucky (who’s still in prison at Wakanda and is only mentioned by the name of “that black man” at least once) it could have allowed the subject of loss to be fully addressed in a manner that doesn’t rely on comedy or explosion of action in the final moments.
The aesthetics are also impressive. Wakanda Forever looks quite good The world of Namor is beautifully created and the portions of Wakanda and its customary funeral ceremonies absolutely beautiful to look at. It’s unfortunate that things as simple as CGI beats (including Ironheart’s terrible costume at the close) make this film less beautiful. The choreography isn’t great at its very best. A battle on a bridge in the middle of the film is badly executed by zooming in on a spear missing a Talokan fighter… as well afterward, showing the spear from the other side of the stomach of the warrior. These kinds of stupid mistakes aren’t what one would expect to feature in an investment of $250 million.
CommentsSo empty here ... leave a comment!