Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Review – The King Would Be Proud

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

The unexpected and heartbreaking death of Chadwick Boseman SHOULD have derailed the Black Panther sequel. After all, how can you create magic again without the man responsible for it? Yet, Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole did the impossible by crafting something that would’ve made Chadwick proud. Every inch of the film was designed to share the heavy weight of grief with audiences. At the same time, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever tells a compelling narrative. Yet the most outstanding achievement of Wakanda Forever is that it says something beautiful and meaningful through the themes of hopelessness, mourning, and forgiveness.

In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the loss of T’Challa weighs heavy on Queen Ramonda and Shuri. Queen Ramonda is fearless and strong, but you get a sense that there’s a pain inside her that she buries deep inside. Shuri is a character that has grown jaded—and much like Tony Stark—invests heavily into her technology as a form of therapy. It feels as if T’Challa’s death took a piece of her optimism while still dealing with the torturous pressures of protecting Wakanda. Angela Bassett and Letitia Wright convey passion and emotion in their powerful performances. No wonder there were talks of the potential of best acting nominations for both actresses.

The most outstanding achievement of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is that it says something beautiful and meaningful through the themes of hopelessness, mourning, and forgiveness.

Although Wakanda is still at the forefront of this film, the film does extend beyond there. Wakanda Forever introduces the brand-new underwater nation of Talokan (formerly Atlantis) and its protector, Namor. While seeing Namor and Talokan on-screen was an experience, the place doesn’t feel as developed as it should be. Sure, we discover a lot about Talokan and Namor. However, it feels more like an expositional device than a way to flesh out these characters. Nevertheless, Namor is everything I wanted Namor to be and more. Tenoch Huerta plays him as an honorable and confident man that teeters on the a-hole side—just like Namor in the comics.

Overall, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a worthy follow-up to Black Panther. Although the loss of Chadwick Boseman is enormous, it’s not the end-all-be-all of the franchise. The cast lifts the heavy load of the loss of Boseman and carries on his legacy. There are simply too many adjectives to describe the range of emotions the movie will make audiences feel—many of those emotions are not positive ones. Wakanda Forever forces its characters to confront the realities of a world without a Black Panther. It’s a much-needed therapy session—for the cast, crew, and audiences alike. Nonetheless, Chadwick Boseman would be proud of the effort put forth by everyone involved.

Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on November 11th.

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