Tatsuhito’s review published on Letterboxd:
The first 10 minutes is so heartbreaking and beautifully done. Everything leading up to the Marvel Studios logo, I cried buckets. What a legend he was, and his legacy will continue to inspire people around the world.
It’s messy and too long and it has way too many new characters. Ryan Coogler was given an impossible task, and the fact that this film came out somewhat coherent is a fucking miracle. In many ways, this film exists in the shadows of Boseman and the incredible first film. Throughout its bloated runtime, you do feel the absence of a true legend and his charisma. There’s also no sense of urgency and the palpable anger that was brought by Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Kilmonger. Namor is an interesting villain and his past is fascinating, but his motivation for his actions feels dickish rather than understandable. And the third act is such a dud, even for the MCU standards. I was constantly reminded of how the first movie did everything so much better.
That said, when it’s about these characters (and actors) grieving and trying to move on with their lives, the film soars. It’s these smaller moments that drive this film, and I honestly would’ve been fine if the entire film was just about them mourning. Ludwig Göransson has created yet another incredible movie score. Ruth Carter’s costumes left me speechless, and the production design is just wonderful.
It’s not nearly as exciting or memorable as the first film, but themes of grief and loss really worked for me.