As an ebullient, defiant celebration of blackness, this concert film is perhaps unparalleled, even among those who aren't fluent in Beyoncé's body of work. That said, the faux-candid behind-the-scenes interruptions do bring with them a strange undercurrent of self-hagiography that I could have done without, but one probably can't command the stage as the best music icons do without a certain degree of narcissism, so I should probably just take the good with the bad and shut up.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
After thinking (and arguing about) this one for the last few days, I think I've finally figured out why audience response to it has been so bipolar: they're watching and reacting to two different movies.
On the surface, we have a somewhat incoherent, largely ineffective space opera with some craft issues that may feature some pretty pictures and the occasional moment of brilliance, but is largely a narrative wet fart. Aborted character development, pointless sequences, flat humor, poor editing, and…