Candyman ★★½

between this and the original, there's a lot thematic soup to swim in: the experience of black trauma as a cyclical nightmare, Candyman as folklore to help process and rationalize said trauma, the exploitation and commodification of trauma (academia, art, etc), gentrification, public housing, etc, etc. and yet after two movies of delving into this mythos, the logic of the stories in relation to the stated themes still leave me mostly scratching my head. why does Candyman need more bodies (indiscriminate of any race or class or generational complicity) to pile up to keep the idea of him alive? why don't we see this utilizing of Candyman to process systemic violence (and what would that ... even look like?) if Candyman is supposed to be "a defense mechanism of the black community," as i read somewhere, then why are they so scared of him, and why does his aim seem to be ::shrug:: whoever's in front of a mirror? we need the legend, but we hate the legend ... which fine, many stories like Emmett Till or Trayvon Martin are stories that we use to symbolize greater pain ... but the idea threads stay frayed instead of properly cohering. at least the first knew when to pull up so it didn't go over its own skis. 

what else? i didn't entirely hate this as much as i was bored by much of its pretensions. it's very easy and chic now to have characters say "gentrification!!" and show new towers and pretend that you've contributed something meaningful to the analysis of cities (but this is basically all of pop culture that is "sPeaKinG tO tHe mOmeNt"). the skewering of the art gallery jargon and psuedointellectuism is low hanging fruit because who doesn't already think those people are empty try-hard parrots? i think DaCosta largely can put scenes together, but this does get weirdly incoherent by the end, Yahya's character especially just sort of gently wanders into oblivion by the end.

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