BRENT NORTHUP Film Review
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
At the Cinemark
Sheri Flanders of the Chicago Reader wrote the review I hoped to write about “Wakanda Forever.”
“A thoughtful and mature exploration of communal grief and a fitting tribute to the legacy of Chadwick Boseman,” wrote Flanders.
I begin with the words of Flanders, because I suspect she’s speaking for the pride of panthers who celebrated the sequel as a worthy successor to the brilliant “Black Panther.”
Alas, I saw the sequel as ultimately a retreat from the transcendent “Black Panther” back into the mainstream Marvel formula, often including a numbing onslaught of sound and fury.
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I will acknowledge, however, that formula finish is preceded by very powerful and touching scenes during which I, too, was entranced.
Ultimately, I found “Wakanda Forever” a formula Marvel film, periodically interrupted by tender, tearful and glorious moments of communal grief. The eulogy to Chadwick Boseman felt upstaged by formula action.
An undeniable strength is the rise of Black women to the forefront of the franchise. The cast of Black actresses — Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Angela Basset, Lupita Nyong’o — is a glorious tribute to both