Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Movie Review

When Chadwick Boseman passed away two years ago, it was more than the loss of an actor whose gifts were once in a generation. His portrayal of T’Challa/Black Panther in the original Black Panther film was groundbreaking and universally applauded.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was released in theaters this past weekend. It takes place a half dozen years after the first movie ended. It starts with T’Challa’s off-screen death from an unknown illness. The loss of both the King and protector leaves Wakanda in a state of mourning. While his mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) steps up to lead the nation and deal with pressure from the outside, her daughter Shuri (Letitia Wright) tries to pretend that everything is fine.

Then a new threat emerges. Namor (Tenoch Huerta) is the king of an underwater Indigenous people. His ancestors were nearly exterminated by Spanish colonizers. Like the Wakandans, vibranium is part and parcel of their culture. Namor is threatening to wage war against the surface world. The only way to appease him is to bring him a young wunderkind scientist, Riri Williams/Ironheart (Dominique Thorne).

Ramonda and Shuri have a tough decision ahead. Do they sentence this young girl to death or do they work with Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and M’Baku (Winston Duke) to stop Namor?

Wow. Like its predecessor, the film balances action, emotion, and timely social issues. This is Wright’s film. She carries it with everything she has. I was floored by her abilities as a performer. In addition to dealing with the grief (and the connected mental health issues) that come with losing a loved one, Shuri must protect her country.

As in Black Panther, it is the women who are in leadership roles. Each is human and powerful in her own right. She is also an important part of the narrative and is dealing with the loss of T’Challa in her own way.

My only issue is that it was a little long.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely. It is one of my favorite movies of the year.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is presently in theaters.

P.S. As usual, stay for the mid-scene credits. It will make you cry.

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Black Panther Movie Review

*I have no knowledge of either the narrative and characters in the Black Panther comic book, so this review is strictly based on the movie.

Comic books, especially the ones based around superheroes have become our modern-day fairy tales. There are heroes, villains, difficult journeys and life lessons that leave a lasting imprint long after we have read the final page.

Black Panther hit theaters this weekend.

The film starts off where Captain America: Civil War has ended. T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), is stepping into the role of King of Wakanda, a fictional country in Africa, after loosing his father. He is supported by his ex/best friend, Nakia, (Lupita Nyong’o), his younger sister Shuri (Letitia Wright), the Q to his James Bond, his widowed mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and his general, Okoye (Danai Gurira), who is the head of Wakanda’s Amazon-esque army.

When Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) threaten T’Challa/Black Panther and his kingdom, our hero must fight for his thrown and his country.

I loved this movie. I loved this movie. It has heart, it has humor, it has action, it has bad ass female characters and most importantly, character and actors of color who are proudly representing their heritage.

This movie is worth every word of praise and every dollar that has been spent to see it.

Black Panther is presently in theaters. 

 

The Oscar Goes To….. 12 Years A Slave

If I were a betting woman, I would say that 12 Years A Slave will  not be at a loss for nominations and awards come  award season.

It is a brilliant piece of film making that brings the crime of slavery to life in such a way that is as real and raw as if the viewer lived that life.

Based on the book of the same name written in 1853, the movie tells the story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is a free black man living with his family in Saratoga, NY in 1841.  Under the guise of a business trip, he travels with two men to Washington DC who drug him, kidnap him and sell him into slavery.

His first master, Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch) is as sympathetic as he can be.  But his next master, Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender) is a cruel man with a jealous wife (Sarah Paulson) who is obsessed and infatuated with a fellow slave, Patsey (Lupita Nyong’o).

With the arrival of Bass (Brad Pitt) Solomon sees what might be his way out of slavery.

This movie, despite being just over 2 hours, is incredible. Most American adults and children over the age of about 10 have been taught about African-American slavery.  It’s one thing to learn about it in a history book, but it is another thing to watch the brutal and violent honesty of the subject on screen.

I predict nominations, if not for the movie in general for Fassbender and Ejiofor.

 

 

 

 

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