Director: Ryan Coogler
Starring: Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Tenoch Huerta
Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke
Black Panther is one of the best additions that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to offer; Wakanda Forever is one of the worst. If fact, it may be the weakest link in the MCU so far, and another sign that the franchise is dying, or at least has already peaked. The Universe started with a bang, had a ton of shaky moments, focused on what worked, created an epic story line, gave fans everything they could ever want …and then what? No wonder there’s not much else to do and not much else to say, it was already done quite well for quite a long time, this regression might simply be the result of nature taking its course. But that understanding doesn’t help us here; Wakanda Forever is a tough watch, a really awful movie, and a very sad reminder that the magic is over.
After T’Challa has a medical event and dies, Wakanda finds itself without a leader, without a ruler, without its Black Panther. Queen Romanda and Princess Shuri try their best to move on, to rule well, but the death of their loved one weighs heavily, and is not easy to put behind them. Meanwhile, American scientists and government officials have discovered Vibranium elsewhere and go to retrieve it, only to be destroyed by an underwater army, led by the powerful Namor. His plan, now that his people have been provoked, is to destroy the surface world before it can destroy him, but he needs Wakanda’s help; their help in return for him not killing them. Not a great bargain, and not the situation Shuri wishes to find herself in, as she navigates her brother’s dead and her new role as protector of her people.
About the only thing that this film did right was the honoring of Chadwick Boseman, who we all feel very personally attached to, all of us feeling a deep sense of loss. We didn’t know him, but it sure seemed like we did, and not only did he make Black Panther work but he made every film he touched special, in a way that we couldn’t even understand. We miss him, the cast of this film must have missed him terribly, and the heart that goes out towards him in this movie is excellent, that’s by far the best part. The rest, I’m sad to say, just sucks. A bloated script, pointless choices, too many characters, not enough happening, too long a run time, too little attention to detail, awful CGI, bad acting; this is a complete disaster, perhaps the worst that the MCU has ever experienced. I do think the Universe is dying and this is just a symptom; it might be time to cut loose and focus on the memories of what once worked so well.
My rating: ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆