Synopsis: In Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Queen Ramonda, Shuri, M’Baku,
Okoye and the Dora Milaje fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. When Namor, king of a hidden undersea nation, alerts them to a global threat and his disturbing plan to thwart it, the Wakandans band together with the help of War Dog Nakia and Everett Ross and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda.
It’s never easy dealing with the loss of a loved one. Not only because they’re gone, but because a piece of you left with them. You may have to move on but that doesn’t mean you have to forget. You can forever hold on to what they taught you, how they made you feel, the love you shared, and all the other memories you have of them. You can then use this monumental change in existence as fuel to make the most of the time you have left.
“I thought the Black Panther was gone.”
Deal with your pain or it will consume you. Written and directed by Ryan Coogler Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is both a touching tribute and an impassioned epic. With this being the last film of Phase 4, it has to go out in grand fashion—and it does just that. Following the death of King T’Challa, this is a story where vengeance is salvation for an ocean of grief. As the loss of the Black Panther creates the illusion of a weakened Wakanda, there is global interest in its resources, particularly vibranium, and a ‘by any means’ attitude in obtaining it. However, that approach has a chain reaction of consequences, unfortunately, they affect the Wakandans disproportionately. While the futuristic hidden country tends to opt for defense or not to get involved at all, when threats come knocking, going on the offensive is the only option — but they’ll need help.
“Only the most broken people can be great leaders.”
This film is unlike most others in the MCU. Everything is grandiose from beginning to end. Every shot, every fight sequence, the emotional turmoil, everything is done on a larger scale. The stakes feel incredibly high and the tone is more grounded and more serious. If I had to liken it to another film, it would probably be Avengers: Endgame or maybe even Infinity War. Its opening sequence is saddening and beautiful and definitely worthy of teary eyes as is the mid-credits scene. It’s visually dazzling with some of the most beautifully crafted cinematography of the year. With this being the closing of a chapter, as you’d expect, the wheels are turning to set up new things for the future. It includes new faces, unexpected familiar ones, and a legacy that will continue. It could’ve been called Wakanda is Changed Forever. The film takes on the task of blending two amazing titan-sized storylines. Moreover, that is also where some of its faults lie. While both storylines are written and unfold in fantastic ways, they’re too big to be sharing a film. This could’ve been two separate films. There are so much more details that could’ve been explored, but as I said, it needs a part two. Nevertheless, you can feel the love and passion that went into this script just as you could in its predecessor. Coogler again does a phenomenal job of including social issues and letting the characters speak up for minority groups and how we feel. Not to mention, how he handles the relationship between black and brown communities.
Ultimately, this film delves into the stages of grief and we see them play out in heartbreaking and destructive fashion. As two worlds collide, the power dynamics just got more complex. There is an abundance of action, the body count is high, the word we’ve been wanting to hear is confidently uttered, and nothing will be the same after this. Oh, and you’ll never guess who was once married. Now, I did enjoy the film a great deal, but I can’t say that I was completely blown away. It almost felt as if this was an in-between movie that just was dotting some I’s and cleaning up the timeline in order to introduce new characters. But we all understand and truly empathize with the circumstances. This is definitely a two-watch film because there is so much going on that you are bound to miss something. As I mentioned previously, there is a mid-credits scene but there is no post-credits scene. However, I like to stay and honor all those who put together the exhilarating experience we just witnessed. Its rewatchability is high.
Pacing & Pop
The film’s pacing is mostly solid and steady throughout the film. However, with a runtime that’s pushing three hours, there are bound to be some moments that feel and move, unlike the rest. What popped for was the spectacle of it all. This film is a feast for the eyes and quite possibly the pound for pound the best visuals of the year.
Characters & Chemistry
Starring: Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira, Florence Kasumba, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman, Tenoch Huerta, Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena, Alex Livinalli
It goes without saying, this cast is top-tier. There’s effortlessness in their chemistry when they are all together. Letitia Wright dominates as Shuri and completely makes the film hers. There is never enough Winston Duke as M’Baku. He needs his own show. Angela Bassett is as fierce and regal as ever as Ramonda. Danai Gurira as Okoye is still the most badass woman in the MCU leading other badass women. Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia continues to be one of the most intriguing characters. The young, gifted, and black, Dominique Thorne is a fantastic addition as Riri Williams, I can’t wait to see more of her. and Last but not least, Tenoch Huerta killed it as Namora. He has to be one of the most intimidating characters we have in the MCU.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever releases in theaters on November 11, 2022. Stay safe and enjoy. Chadwick Boseman forever.
Rated: PG-13 Runtime: 2h 41m Director: Ryan Coogler Writers: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole Producers: Kevin Feige, Nate Moore Executive Producer: Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Barry Waldman Director of Photography: Autumn Durald Arkapaw, asc Music: Ludwig Göransson
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is both a touching tribute and an impassioned epic.
Senior Critic. Observing the human race since 1988.