The newest review is all about Marvel Studios Black Panther Sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The film was not only highly successful, but it was also the perfect tribute to the legacy of a real-life hero, actor Chadwick Boseman, who passed away after complications from Colon Cancer.
In the wake of King T’Challa’s Death, Queen Ramonda, Shuri, M’Baku, Okoye, and the Dora Milaje are fighting to protect their nation from a world that is ready to seize their Vibranium and take it from Wakanda by force if needed. As the Wakandans prepare to go into the next chapter of their lives, the heroes must band together and forge a new path for the Kingdom of Wakanda.
In a Cinematic Universe that has seen half of the living beings being wiped out and brought back with a mere snap of one’s fingers, Wakanda Forever reminds us that the loss of one person can feel devastating. This film worked as an effective, emotional farewell to T’Challa, serving not only as a way to introduce a new nation and potential new Marvel Stories but to also celebrate and honor his legacy on and off-screen.
Speaking of T’Challa, the beginning of the movie didn’t waste any time in addressing Boseman’s passing with a chaotic and tense scene with Shuri feeling responsible for her brother’s death. There is a fine line that this film is walking on, even when it comes to mourning in the Funeral procession while serving with celebration and dancing in what T’Challa has done for the nation, it was Shuri who walked solemnly and holding onto the helmet of the Black Panther. The helmet serves as a strong reminder of the conflicting emotions she and the movie carries in having to balance.
Wright’s character was used as Comedic Relief at one point in the beginning, and now Shuri’s character arc was refocusing the energy on how she is processing this pain. Everyone in Shuri’s life was urging her to let T’Challa go, and she began to lash out in those moments, which helped ground Wakanda Forever. It was about Wright’s Emotional Availability and Intensity that carried her character through the grieving process.
T’Challa’s death also came with a huge power vacuum that incited a challenge to Wakanda from the outside world. If you recall, in the first movie, Killmonger destroyed the heart-shaped herb that granted T’Challa his Superhuman Strength and it left Wakanda without their protector and King. The Outreach Program from the first film is also still intact in the sequel. Also, there is immense political pressure for Wakanda to submit to regulations, which the country’s leadership fears will endanger the world. Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) was magnificent. Bassett delivered a commanding, riveting performance.
This threat is temporary as the bigger threat to Wakanda enters the picture, and King Namor (Tenoch Huerta Melja) and the Underwater Kingdom of Talokan join the fray. I enjoyed the mixture of Talokan Culture with Mesoamerican history. It gave Namor’s resolve to go to any length of protecting his people’s homes and resources a real richness to it. As far as it goes when approaching political and societal aspects of Wakanda Culture, it was fascinating, but I felt that we were robbed of learning more about the Talokans.
In the final portion of the review, I would like to focus on the other characters in the film. Take, for example, Dominique Thorne’s portrayal of Riri Williams, Riri is fiery and intense, and her personality is infectious. While setting up Ironheart in the process, gave Shuri someone to be an older sibling (Some would say like how Tony Stark was with Peter, but I felt that type of mentorship hurt the first MCU Spider-Man experience.) and Winston Duke’s M’Baku was certainly a scene stealer, it was clear to see that T’Challa’s positive influence has changed him, but he was still one of the fiercest fighters out there in the MCU.
Another scene stealer was Danai Gurira’s Okoye. She was willing to risk everything to help Shuri’s grieving process and add another dimension to Okoye when she stands up to the Queen in one of the most emotional moments of the film. T’Challa’s peers took on the role of older siblings for Shuri.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was not only a sequel to a Cultural Juggernaut, but it also served as a loving farewell to a hero and actor. Tenoch Huerta Melja’s Namor and Letitia Wright’s Shuri were perfect together on screen, challenging her ideology and grieving process, and Namor’s underwater kingdom, Talokan got a complement with the film’s theme of Colonialism.
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