4-Color to 35-Millimeter: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

A movie about death, about grief and mourning, about hidden nations and people who want to take what you have. Introducing the Sub-Mariner and Ironheart to the MCU and also requiring a massive rejiggering of the entire premise due to its intended star’s untimely death, the great superhero movie rewatch concludes its latest semi-annual revival with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

An excerpt:

Thrust unexpectedly into the lead role by the death of her costar, Wright shines in this movie as a person in a thousand kinds of pain and no idea how to deal with it. One of the themes of several of the Marvel movies—particularly the ones featuring Thor and the Black Panther—is that being a political leader and being a hero are almost mutually exclusive callings. We already know that Shuri is a capable hero when she’s in her right mind based on Black Panther and Infinity War, but as a leader, she fails pretty spectacularly—for the same reason that she fails as a hero for a portion of this movie. She’s hurting so badly from T’Challa’s death—and her own sense of guilt over not being able to save him—that she’s not thinking straight. This results in a spectacularly wrong-headed assault on Talokan in which Wakanda nearly loses. Indeed, were it not for Shuri’s direct triumph over Namor, Wakanda’s forces—who are not pushovers—would’ve had their heads handed to them. Attacking someone who breathes water from a small ship (small, that is, by comparison to, y’know, the entire friggin’ ocean) in the middle of the Atlantic is not a well-thought-out strategy. Nor is it wise to choose a battleground where you can’t use your battle rhinos. (Yes, this makes three movies in a row with no battle rhinos. What the hell, people? I WANT MY BATTLE RHINOS!)

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