Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (12A, 161 minutes)
lack of Panther culturally significant for many reasons and has a point to prove.
Smashed by online hate campaigns and even a concerted attempt to skew its rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Ryan Coogler’s 2018 epic has defied critics to earn close to $1.5 billion at the box office, proving that moviegoers are perfectly prepared to go see a superhero movie set in Africa with an almost entirely black cast.
When I spoke with Chadwick Boseman at the end of 2019, he told me that he “felt pressured about how well it wasn’t working because I understood the potential it could mean.” any for people from the African diaspora.
If all the other Marvel movies were as successful, I wouldn’t want to Black Panther become someone who doesn’t earn money back.” It’s done that and more, Boseman and Coogler are set to begin filming this sequel when the actor dies of cancer in 2020, just 43 years old.
No wonder then Wakanda Forever is a film mired in grief. Wisely, Coogler and Marvel decided not to reprise the character T’Challa, the technologically advanced African king of Wakanda, who is revealed to have died of a terminal illness in an opening scene. moving.
His sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) has used all her scientific skills to try to save T’Challa, without success, and is the troubled protagonist of this film. Black Panther, protector of Wakanda, is gone: is there anyone brave enough to replace him?
Shuri’s mother Ramonda (gorgeously dressed Angela Bassett) is now Queen and on a trip to the United Nations finds herself surrounded by angry and entitled Western nations who want to get her hands on the source of all things. including the technological brilliance of Wakanda – the precious metal vibranium.
The Americans wanted, the French wanted, and Wakandan forces had just defeated a secret raid by French commandos when a more dangerous enemy emerged.
Brilliant young MIT student Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) has invented a device that can find vibranium: a CIA team used it to detect metal on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, but to a saboteur. when they upset Namor (Tenoch Huerta), the king of the undersea city of Talokan, who roared across the water to destroy the CIA ship and then decided the Wakandans were responsible for it all.
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Namor, like Plankton in Spongebob Squarepants, longing to “rule the world!”, or rather to waste it so that Talokan would be left alone. And so a war broke out between the mightiest nation on Earth and the mightiest nation beneath it.
Played with Huerta’s superb persuasion, Namor isn’t easily taken seriously, mainly because he has few wings above his ankles, allowing him to hover smoothly through the air.
I’m no aerodynamics expert, but if a friend really had small wings from his perspective, wouldn’t he fly upside down and look ridiculous?
Any critic applying logic to a caper like this is a pervert, but Namor’s anatomical anomalies point to a strange dichotomy in this film. Grief is everywhere, as you’d expect, and Shuri’s problem is that she can’t accept that her brother is dead and that she can’t save him.
Ramonda is also devastated by the loss of her son, and when Wakandan spy Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) shows up, she can’t hide her heartbreak either.
But all these raw emotions and reality are restless with a scenario so silly, it reminds me of It’s so elaborate. The story goes on uncomfortably and only the Wakandan characters have real depth.
And for all its emotional unevenness and excessive length, Wakanda Forever very nicely put together.
The decor and costumes are great, the CGI isn’t too terrible, and there’s real power in some of the performances, especially from Bassett, Wright, Nyong’o and Danai Gurira, who play the warrior general Okoye.
It’s far from perfect, but it’s very enjoyable, and the sadness that overwhelms everything feels real.
Rating: Three stars
My Father’s Dragon (Netflix, PG, 99 minutes)
Based on the children’s books by Ruth Stiles Gannett, Nora Twomey’s animated adventure tells the story of Elmer Elevator (voiced by Jacob Tremblay), a curious and resourceful boy who moves to the big city. with his mother, a widow, behind their corner shop. ceased business during the Great Recession.
Money is tight and her mother worries about the future, but meanwhile Elmer meets a talking cat, follows it to the pier, and is transported by a whale to a magical island, where he befriends a a dragon named Boris (Gaten Matarazzo).
Affiliated with Netflix, My Father’s Dragon is Cartoon Saloon’s largest scale animation. Working with American rather than Irish source material, Twomey and her team carefully respect the spirit of the source book and the original 1940s illustrations.
But all the same, there is the freedom to tell stories that are appropriate for children.
All of this is animated with dramatic emotion and emotion by Twomey and her team, and their live-action version of Wild Island is almost like a character in its own right.
Rating: Four stars
No Bears (12A, 107 minutes)
Despite travel bans, house arrests, and actual jail time, Iranian film producer Jafar Panahi has managed to create a work that touches on life in a brutal theocracy.
Prohibited in Iran, No bears is a delicate and complex drama within a drama, starring Panahi as an incredible version of himself. He is hiding in a remote village near the Turkish border, on the other side of a movie in the making.
He is remotely directing the story of two lovers who dream of escaping from Iran, but the internet connection to his assistant keeps crashing. Meanwhile, he is embroiled in a local scandal.
With cold politeness, a village elder explains to Jafar how when a female child is born, her future husband will have his umbilical cord cut.
A woman who managed to defy her fate, fell in love with another man: Panahi may have accidentally photographed lovers and thus became the object of her wrath.
At one point, Jafar stood at the border, but shuddered at the thought of crossing it and leaving his people behind. He was jailed shortly after completing this film.
Rating: Four stars
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/movie-reviews/black-panther-wakanda-forever-review-a-poignant-tribute-to-chadwick-boseman-with-real-emotion-and-a-dash-of-sillyness-42133948.html Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Review – A deep tribute to Chadwick Boseman with real emotion and a bit of goofiness