Ben Oliver

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film

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Have I not given everything?
12 February 2023

A sequel to the 2018 Marvel hit. With king T’Challa dead (sadly also in real life), his mother (Angela Bassett) and sister (Letitia Wright) must step up and lead Wakanda, now facing a threat from a new secretive nation that has also discovered the powerful metal “vibranium”.

This is pretty much the bloated overlong mess you’ve come to expect from Marvel films, with many scenes serving to shoehorn stuff in from the extended universe. It feels like the visual effects are getting more and more inconsistent, and the action scenes are more and more thoughtless.

They even introduced a character and gave her strictly nothing to do, which is cynical and careless even for this franchise.

However when Black Panther 2 steps away from the spandex and the fistfights it shows a great attention to detail in its more downbeat moments. It deals with the death of Chadwick Boseman tastefully, and actually uses that grief to give the film a strong emotional core.

The other element that pays off is the extra effort put into the score, carefully crafted using instruments and sounds from the cultures it represents. Again, when it’s not all kicking off in the action scenes it’s not afraid to stand at odds with how Marvel film scores are usually constructed. There are a lot of bold choices made in the music and they mostly work out for the better.

So much potential wasted on just another entry into the endless Marvel catalogue. A film doomed to be forgotten very quickly despite its best efforts.