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Wakanda Forever, “What A Beautiful Movie”

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Though he’s still out on the road for this Clerks III roadshow tour, filmmaker and fanboy Kevin Smith has taken to the internet to offer his thoughts about the latest Marvel Studios release, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Speaking on his latest FatMan Beyond podcast, Smith offered candid thoughts about the movie (notably how many times he cried) and how the movie defying all fan expectations was almost certainly for the better. Smith was quick to shout out Letitia Wright when he opened up his thoughts on the movie, noting he believes she deserves an Oscar nomination for how she handled her performance thought the sequel. Spoilers follow.

“I was already crying from the opening scene, and then when they rolled him in the Marvel logo it was like ‘come on…’ It was an emotional affair,” Smith said. “Whether you like that movie or not, whether you think it’s top tier Marvel or not, how do you not feel the emotion of that movie. The man’s gone. They had a choice, they could have made two different movies…you hire somebody new to be the Black Panther and you just tell a Black Panther sequel story, the same way there have been multiple James Bonds, multiple Batmen, multiple Spider-Men, or you do something that honors the passing of the man who played the part.”

He continued, “So in a world where they lose their brightest star and can’t do what originally was intended, unless they just hire somebody else to be the Black Panther, I dig their choice. I know it’s not what everybody thinks of when they’re like ‘we’re gonna go see a Marvel movie.’ A lot of it was slow and about grief and acceptance and stuff. They tried to keep it moving with some action sequences, but they tried to do something different and unexpected and I salute that 100%…In a world where you could have made a different choice altogether and just like, all right lets keep doing the movie we were gonna make, I think it’s kind of special that they did what they did. It’s like a $200 million wake.”

Naturally Smith spoke about the film’s emotional mid-credit scene where it was revealed that T’Challa had a son before he died, one who was named after his father and will seemingly when he’s old enough succeed his father as the King of Wakanda and the Black Panther. Smith added:

“For my money, hands down the best part of the movie. You could have just shot that scene and charged me double to see (it) and that was the movie, then ran full credits after it without even a mid-credits scene, and I would have been happy with it. That was profoundly wonderful. As a writer I was ashamed that I didn’t see it coming, but as an audience member I was so delighted by that scene.”

Smith’s public acknowledgement that he wept profusely during the Marvel movie prompted one person watching the live stream to add, how much of the movie WERE you crying? He replied:

“I cried in the beginning when he died off camera, and that was more about Letitia Wright’s performance triggered me. Seeing somebody be that heart broken man, and pulling it off. I’m fairly empathetic so if somebody’s crying, I’m crying with them. The rest of the movie not so much until the end sequence when she’s on the beach. It’s tough not to get emotional when they show that flashback footage of him, Chadwick. Then her perfect little performance, the sun hitting her face, that smile breaking out of acceptance…That definitely got me emotionally, so I was already kind of wet eyed when they got to the mid-credit scene.”

The filmmaker offered his final thoughts as well, noting that while it wasn’t the sequle we thought we’d get four years ago, it was the kind of movies fans always ask for. 

“Was it perfect? Was it the Black Panther 2 we thought we’d get when we first watched Black Panther? No, but what a beautiful movie about losing and letting go. Which a major studio made, normally people are up in arms when studios don’t make something like this.”

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