Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Review

Published 2 months ago -

Adam Ide, Sports Editor


Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the most recent movie to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). In the sequel to the 2018 film Black Panther, director Ryan Coogler attempts one of the most difficult tasks in movie making in the last decade: making a Black Panther movie without Chadwick Boseman.

Chadwick Boseman, the original actor behind King T’challa of Wakanda and the Black Panther, passed away from colon cancer in 2020. This shocked the entertainment world as he had not been open about his illness. This also left a gaping hole in the MCU with no canonical reason for the Black Panther’s death. 

Now in 2022, Ryan Coogler has come out with the next chapter in the story of the Black Panther, and although there were many skeptics who thought that without Boseman, there was no movie, the results did not disappoint.

At this point, if you have not seen the film, I recommend you stop reading this and go buy a ticket. There are spoilers ahead!

From the movie’s opening scene, it is clear that it is not only meant as a love letter to Boseman and his legacy but is also a story of overcoming loss and moving forward. T’challa’s sister Shuri, played by Letitia Wright, starts the movie failing to save her brother’s life after he falls ill. The rest of the movie shows Shuri’s journey through the grieving process until she can finally accept her loss. 

Inserted into this emotionally driven film is one of the best comic book movie villains to date. Namor is the ruler of an underwater, vibrainium-controlling nation whose people are threatened when scientists build a device that can detect their precious metal. This is a villain with a noble goal and flawed execution, which makes the struggle of the movie a powerful one in which the protagonist and antagonist do not have many differences from one another.

This movie contains some of the most powerful scenes in the MCU to date. Coogler manages to make Namor an extremely powerfully looking character despite his classic comic book appearance. During Namors invasion of Wakanda and the death of Shuri’s mother, the tone of the movie is clearly portrayed through visuals, as no words are needed. 

However, the movie was not all good, as so few movies are. The introduction of Riri Williams, who will be getting her own Disney+ show Ironheart, felt forced at times. She is an American MIT student that Namor is after and is the catalyst of the film’s struggle. Unfortunately, she feels out of place amongst the Wakandans. Also, a subplot of the movie, including the CIA, could have been completely cut out with little changes being made to the story. This was not necessarily a negative, but it felt like wasted time.

Overall, the movie was one of the best MCU additions in the past two years, and what Coogler was able to pull off was incredible. After Boseman’s passing, it would have been very easy for the movie to have been scrapped, but the emotions and drive put into it, and the love that was had for Chadwick Boseman made it a reality.

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