Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

An interlude playing blockbuster dress-up

Queen Ramonda and her countrymen and woman, while mourning the passing of King T’Challa, must fend off efforts from nations around the world to get their warlike little hands on Wakanda’s apparently weaponizable vibranium element.

This is not a good time to discover another hidden nation, this one underwater off Central America and which also has vibranium, that wants to join up against the forces facing both of them or fight about it. Guess what they end up spending three hours of your movie-going time doing.

If you go to the movies for spectacular special effects, noble speechifying and lots and lots of fighting, you are firmly within this movie’s fanbase, and you’ll love it. The acting’s top-notch (for a Marvel movie). Fabulous cast includes Tenoch Huerta, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman and for some odd reason Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

But it suffers from being the second in a franchise that has no hope of matching the original while being unfairly saddled with setting up an as-yet-unmade second sequel. There’s a lot going on here, but nothing that couldn’t be done in 90 minutes. Bottom line: better than expected but not high on my recommendation list. (161 min)