After a very pleasant first work and two participations in Avengersfranchising Black Panther had a prominent place in the current phase of Marvel Cinematic Universe. The sudden and tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman sadly upset Disney / Marvel’s many plans for the character. In addition to losing an actor as gifted as he is human, the studio had to revise all of his plans. It is out of the question to replace the actor, nor to cancel Black Panther 2. Wakanda must have its own defender. We had promised a tribute film, destined to be as cult as the first. Another broken promise. That goes a long way.
it’s going up …
The new MCU baby is quite peculiar and, while disappointing, very interesting. The film offers a smooth and almost flawless first hour and a half. We stay a long way from what Marvel usually offers. What a pleasure. The story is intimate, with a people mourning the death of their King and protector: T’Challa aka Black Panther. Humor is rare, dialogue works and characters are endearing. Of all, we will remember Namor. The big villain of this film is shown in a fascinating light, at first glance. King of Talocan, another underwater kingdom also equipped with vibranium (a detail that will be totally blown away by the plot despite its enormous consequences on the world), Namor is wise, reasonable and above all human. We understand his motivations and the reasons that lead him to act in this way. The dialogues with Suri, the main heroine of the opera, are successful. We almost end up taking sides … at the beginning.
Suri, meanwhile, is pretty good at taking control. It must be said that Chadwick Boseman had raised the bar. The youngest still has that rebellious and intelligent spirit that we know her. Laetitia Wright does her job despite a tendency to more or less acceptable excessive play. Too bad for her, all the other actresses steal the show, be they Okoye (Danai Gurira) and especially Ramonda (Angela Basset) who offers a masterful performance. The feature film, composed almost entirely of women, offers good dialogue that changes the world of Wakanda and its inhabitants. Among the newcomers to the future Avengers B team is Riri Williams aka IronHeart. If the character works, her costume is still pretty ridiculous and almost feels like she’s in the wrong movie. Obviously we are not asking for an Iron Man bis, which already exists elsewhere, but one less outfit Power Rangers it would have a better effect in the future. We will also remember the rather anecdotal return of Ross (Martin Freeman). Dr. Watson Series sherlock it is of little use here, despite its essential importance in the first opus.
… and goes down.
Unfortunately, after a very successful first part that was like a small UFO in the current MCU, Black Panther 2 it falls completely and on almost all levels. To say that Disney really made a mess after the Marvel acquisitions and / or Star Wars is an understatement. The second part of the film collects a lot of what went wrong for a few years. Let’s start with Namor. The character, initially so charismatic, quickly becomes another villain, lambda and without personality. What a pity and what a cruel disappointment. Let’s face it, the movie suddenly makes bad script decisions. What if Disney asked to pick up the pace, to get the film out in time? The tribute to Boseman, announced as the best ever made in a film, is really light. We talk about it at the beginning, a little here and there and then … nothing more, or almost. Marvel’s opening titles remain, soundless and truly touching, for once.
Well, the story falls, OK And then what? It’s even worse for graphics. Beautiful at first, the film gets uglier and uglier. Green backgrounds are noticeable and even painful. And that’s nothing compared to horrific action scenes from a CGI perspective. It will also be noted that Marvel movie images have declined since the acquisition by Disney. (We know the reason: Marvel / Disney is asking too much of FX teams for ridiculously short deadlines, which causes many burnt, depressions and interruptions.) Lighting often does not work in night scenes. We don’t see anything. As for Talocan, it offers pleasant graphics, drowned in the green of the abyss. For once, let’s accept the illumination or calibration of this gloomy water city.
The worst is probably the action sequences, truly catastrophic apart from the lost immersion from the horrible digital effects. Because neither the choreography of the fights, nor the lack of idea of realization, nor the abominable montage save the day. The film’s first fight scene, for example, is a textbook case of what not to do. You might almost see a novice editor at work. We never vibrate during these sequences, except for a more successful confrontation (but with very mild lighting) on a bridge. With this agonizing poverty, it’s hard to get excited about Suri as a new Black Panther. Definitely no, what a crude disappointment that closes a phase 4 which overall is very average.
Black Panther: Wakanda forever – Trailer
Black Panther: Wakanda forever – Data sheet
Director: Ryan Coogler
Screenplay: Ryan Coogler / Joe Robert Cole
Actors: Letitia Wright / Dunai Gurira / Tenoch Huerta Mejia / Angela Basset
Music: Ludwig Göransson (Rihanna: end credits)
Set Design: Hannah Beachler
Release: November 9, 2022 in theaters