Freeze Frame: “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (PG-13), “My Father’s Dragon” (PG)

The highly anticipated sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is a sprawling, action-packed and overlong Marvel epic, redeemed by filmmaker Ryan Coogler’s vision that serves as an earnest salute to the late Chadwick Boseman, who initially played the title character. It’s also a thoughtful commentary on colonialism. Laticia Wright takes the spotlight as Shuri, the Black Panther’s scientist sister who may be called upon to save her peaceful nation from an unexpected existential threat. Tenoch Huerta Mejia plays Namor, the scary god-like leader of an underwater nation descended from the Mayan civilization. His vengeful ambitions threaten all humanity living on the Earth’s surface. While the film indulges in plenty of dramatic and action excesses, it provides all the spectacle Marvel fans have come to expect. And Angela Bassett’s forceful performance as Queen Ramonda may well have people considering her turn here at awards time. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is a crowd-pleasing superhero aga that will undoubtedly give the box office a superpowered boost.


Traditional hand-drawn animation still has its place, and the beautifully rendered Netflix fantasy “My Father’s Dragon” provides a fitting example. Based on the 1948 children’s book by Ruth Stiles Gannett, “My Father’s Dragon” is a sweet, heartfelt tale about a young boy who is whisked away to a remote part of the ocean where he befriends a dragon and tries to save the inhabitants of a sinking island. Jacob Tremblay from “Room” and Gaten Matarazzo from “Stranger Things” lead the voice cast. While parents may find “My Father’s Dragon” a bit too familiar, younger viewers should be captivated by its good-humored and gentle charms.

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