Friday, December 02, 2022

Wakanda Again

You know that thing where the most interesting Marvel films were framed as other genres that just happened to be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Winter Soldier was a 1970s conspiracy/spy -- conspyracy? conspiraspy? -- film... but in the MCU. Homecoming was a John Hughes teen comedy... but in the MCU.

Well, Black Panther 2 is an Oscar-tickling drama of family, grief, and loss... but in the MCU. It's an astonishing feat of balanced storytelling, weighty but without ever getting heavy-handed, informed by the death of Chadwick Boseman, but not milking that unfortunate event. But it is also, somehow, a big Marvel blockbuster, although that side does feel almost like an afterthought at times, which to be fair is not a bad thing.

It looks -- mostly -- amazing, it sounds spectacular, and the performances throughout are brilliant. It's not perfect -- there are a couple of elements that feel a bit undercooked, and I would not be at all surprised to see an extended cut appear, perhaps for the home release -- but it is very, very good. If you've been feeling Marvel Fatigue, this may well cure you.

I give it four Sub-Mariners out of five.

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