The Marvel sequel falls short in honouring the memory of the late Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, says Times Film Reviewer Matthew Dann…
As a film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is a mixed bag.
Is it a worthy successor to the original and highly successful Black Panther film? I honestly do not know. It had its moments, but for me they were few and far between.
Following on from the much-loved original, whose star Chadwick Boseman tragically died at the age of just 43 in 2020, this film has some big shoes to fill.
Angela Bassett is magnificent. She commands your attention. Put simply, she is an extremely elegant, pure talent.
Letitia Wright also puts in a great performance. And as the main character of the movie, she does a great job of honouring Chadwick Boseman while taking over the reins.
Speaking of the late actor, there is a very touching and moving tribute to his memory in the film. It was nice to see, the wonderful talent that he was being remembered in this way.
As previously mentioned, the film itself is a mixed bag. The story is ok – there is a new bad guy to fight. It is a story of loss, vengeance, family and letting go.
The running time of the film is around 2hrs 40mins, and at times it felt slow. The story grinds to a near halt at points and when it does get going again it’s in fits and starts.
I can’t help but feel that the action sequences are there to cover up where the story falters.
By the end, in a way I was glad it was over. There also seemed to be scenes added that in truth weren’t needed.
There were other scenes that went on too long, as such they lost their meaning. This also added to the film feeling a bit too long and lacking in story.
At times, I felt as though they were put there to pad out the plot. If that is the case, all they have added to the film is time.
The main problem for me though, was behind the camera. During fight scenes the camera is often too close to the actors. As such, you can’t appreciate the fight choreography. Or the sequences to their fullest.
There is a chase sequence that felt too dark to fully enjoy.
Then there is the unnecessary use of slow motion. It felt clumsy, as though the filmmakers did not really know when and how to use it.
All in all, it’s a shame. There are very talented actors in this film that work hard to try and make something great to match the original. Unfortunately, it is the team behind the camera that let this film down.
Wakanda Forever is currently playing at the Odeon in Tunbridge Wells at 19:20 each evening.