Our review of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: The Impossible Mourning

Danai Gurira plays Okoye, a fearless general, and Angela Bassett plays Queen Ramonda, in this new superhero saga, Black Panther. Eli Ade. © 2022 MARVEL.

After the disappearance of its main actor, Chadwick Boseman, the second part of Black Panther remains a Marvel production with conventional specifications. Nothing more.

In 2018, Black Pantheris beautiful. It becomes the first superhero film nominated for the Oscar for best picture and proves to the industry that a blockbuster carried mainly by African-American actors and characters can be profitable. Very profitable even (1.3 billion in revenue worldwide).

In the United States, the feline of the menagerie Marvel sparks debate within the black community. Should we live hidden and happy like Wakanda, a technologically advanced African nation (it has no oil, but vibranium, an extraterrestrial metal with supernatural powers) but isolationist, or take part in the tumult of the world and try improve the lot of the damned of the earth. The question, very political, nestles in the heart of a spectacular entertainment.

The death in 2020 of Chadwick Boseman, the interpreter of King T’Challa who became Black Panther, could have compromised the production of a second part. He forced Ryan Coogler to change the scenario and overcome this challenge: continue Black Panther without Black Panther. He’s not sure he’s quite successful.

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An underwater world

A year after the funeral of King T’Challa, the royal family consoles itself as best it can. Princess and scientist Shuri continues her experiments in her laboratory. Queen Ramonda rules surrounded by M’Baku, the leader of the Jabari tribe, Okoye, the fearless general and Ayo, the elite warrior.

To help everyone forget their pain, Coogler comes out of his cave Namor, the ruler of Talokan, an underwater world inspired by ancient Mesoamerican civilizations. Namor is a species of flying fish-man. Pointed ears, pearl and shell necklaces, winged feet, he evokes the feathered serpent, a Mayan deity. A child survivor of the Spanish conquistadors who brought smallpox, war and famine in the 16th century, he became a charismatic leader. Unlike his people, he does not have blue skin.

Visiting his aquatic kingdom can be confusing. No, it’s not yetAvatar 2. The Way of the Water , by James Cameron. In these times of great drought, cinema screens look like aquariums.

Winston Duke plays M’Baku. Eli Ade. © 2022 MARVEL.

Poor in action

Namor and Talokan especially have vibranium for them, like Wakanda, and question the supremacy of the African kingdom, as well as its strategy of pacification with the Western world. Coogler confronts the two peoples and there is no doubt that a political reading is possible. The Latino and Afro-American communities tear each other apart before one submits to the other for a fragile alliance.

We calm down and we drink cold. Wakanda Forever is neither an essay in geopolitics nor a tragedy by Shakespeare. Despite its palaces, its sovereigns dead or alive, this sequel remains a Marvel production with conventional specifications. It is even quite poor in action. A car chase with the CIA, a Namor offensive on Wakanda, a naval battle, that’s a little over 2:41 of a film that fails to mourn the Black Panther.

The rating of Figaro : 2/4

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”, science fiction by Ryan Coogler, with Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Angela Bassett, Lupita, Nyong’o. Duration 2h41.

Our review of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: The Impossible Mourning