Phase 4 of the Marvel universe on the big screen closes in total antithesis to the recent past: after the grotesque Thor: Love and Thunder and the serial punctuation of She-Hulk and Werewolf by Night, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever arrives in theaters. real anomaly in the run-in MCU.
Ryan Coogler's second film was inevitably called to a thankless task, which is to deal with the untimely death of Chadwick Boseman. The actor's disappearance on August 28, 2020, forced Marvel to rethink plans for the Black Panther sequel and set the stage for a unicum in the reference cinematic landscape.
From Heath Ledger to Philipp Seymour Hoffman, the story of the seventh art has sadly accustomed us to actors who died during or shortly after filming but never before has a franchise faced such events in such a direct and personal way.
Wakanda Forever could therefore only revolve around the elaboration of the mourning for the death of T’Challa and his interpreter Chadwick Boseman, a pain capable of going beyond the boundaries of fiction and unfolding in a meta-cinematic way.
The new Black Panther moves - a lot - and does so with the simplicity of a shared melancholy, capitalizing in the saddest possible way the sense of community that these fourteen years of MCU have been able to create.
The death of the King, his brother, his son, and his friend T’Challa is therefore the first of the two souls who try to coexist in Wakanda Forever. It represents sunrise and sunset, but in between, there is a whole day to live and survive.
In fact, a power vacuum has opened up in the imaginary African country, thus giving foreign powers the opportunity to clarify their aims on vibranium and to launch direct attacks on the most powerful nation in the world.
|Black Panther Wakanda Forever|
The greatest threat to Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), however, comes from a kingdom that has so far remained hidden in the depths of the abyss: Talocan, like Atlantis led by the mutant Namor (Tenoch Huerta), in fact, feels his existence and civilization based on vibranium precisely because of the recent Wakandan policies.
The result is a war of alliances and oppositions with tremendously current echoes. In fact, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever shows a second face, that of a blatantly political film that once again collides with aspects of reality that modify its perception and historical significance.
The first chapter released in 2018 was a resounding success also and above all because of the specific social issues it had brought: the first major black or African-American production of cinecomic Marvel, its merits went beyond the contents and were closely linked to current affairs, the Black Lives Matter movement born in 2013 and the chronicle of America today.
In this second case, however, in addition to the dichotomy between pain and duty caused by the disappearance of Boseman, the reflections and references to world powers, precious resources, and war logic recall what is happening in the world now and the Russian-Ukrainian situation - but involuntarily.
|Black Panther Wakanda Forever|
Written and shot before the start of the conflict in progress (filming ended in March 2022) and without therefore wanting to impose itself as a sort of instant cinecomic, the plot and developments of Wakanda Forever in turn put invaders on the field, invaded and possessed, thus weaving another thread that connects from the internal narrative to reality hic et Nunc.
The result is therefore an anomaly: a Marvel film that never wants to make people laugh and that, on the contrary, tries to combine personal and political drama.
A matter is very distant from the rest of the MCU (even from Sam Raimi's horror incursion) and causes not a few problems of dynamism and rhythm compared to the standards, which weighs like a boulder on the shoulders of the survivors and leads us to think that paradoxically without superheroes, suits, sci-fi technology, that is, detached from the cinecomic system, Wakanda Forever would have had much more to say and a more natural way to do it.