So much happened in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever! Instead of recapping exactly what happened in the movie, let’s talk about only the highs and lows of the film. Reminder, there will be some spoilers! Read at your own risk!
Chadwick Boseman Tribute
Going into this film, I knew tears would spill. The way Ryan Coogler presented Chadwick Boseman’s sendoff throughout the film was one of the highlights. It was perfectly executed in every possible way. From the beginning, middle, and end, we are reminded that T’Challa has passed but isn’t forgotten. From the get-go, the audience said their farewells to T’Challa.
Boseman was the first black superhero to reach over one billion at the box office. How it took this long is beyond me, but I digress. Like the characters on screen, the audience is grieving just as much. Each character’s grieving process is fleshed out to show the different signs of Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Each character close to T’Challa shared their feelings without it overshadowing the main plot of the movie.
Namor (Tenoch Huerta) was a great addition to the MCU. It was revealed he was the first mutant in this universe. This opens the doors to more mutants! What Namor represented in Wakanda Forever was not every story needs a villain. Namor and his people lived a certain way, and when the humans disrupted it, the Atlanteans issued a reaction. I am not mad at Namor or his people, because they did it in self-preservation. Incorporating Latinx characters and not pointing them toward a villainous role signifies the progression of storytelling. Namor is an antihero to the world, but a hero to his people. That’s what matters at the end of the day.
Dominique Thorne kicked ass as Riri Williams. I can’t wait to see what happens next to her character. I do wish we received a little more background on why she builds a suit like Iron Man. In fact, there isn’t a mention of Tony Stark in the entire film. Instead, Riri does what she does because of her father. Hopefully, Riri will explain in future films why she decided to wear a suit like Iron Man.
Everyone did such a fantastic job. Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia gave us a breath of fresh air. Angela Bassett, as the Queen, slayed until her last breath. Although Letitia Wright has been involved with controversial opinions, we have to give credit where credit is due. She has thus shown the audience that she can carry the mantle of the Black Panther.
The Run Time and the Fight Sequences
My main problem is the running time. This film runs just under three hours and for whatever reason, there were missing parts to keep the characters round. As stated earlier, Letitia Wright did excellent as Black Panther, but we still didn’t see how Shuri was instantly great at fighting. She has always been in the lab, so it would be good to see her train before her dawning the black suit.
I expected more from the action sequences. Instead, we got close-up shots and heavily edited fight scenes, which has always been a gripe I’ve had against the MCU. I see it as sloppy choreography.
The Death of the Queen
Unnecessary. It did not need to happen at all. I know why Queen Ramonda was killed. It’s supposed to motivate Shuri’s character to get vengeance, but her death doesn’t solidify anything. Shuri is already grieving her brother, so to add, her mother creates this very strange moment of who she should be grieving over more. You would assume her mother because she had just died. Her death is only there to progress the plot. There are alternatives to killing a main character.
Post Credit Scene
Moving on to a brighter subject… our T’Challa had a baby… and this baby will be the next Black Panther! I see Young Avengers in the future. I’ll admit it; this is where I broke down into tears because the little actor looks just like him, and when he revealed his Wakanadian name: T’Challa. It filled my heart with joy. “Death is not the end.”
Now every Marvel movie has two end-credit scenes (sometimes more than two, depending on the film), but during Avengers Endgame, there was only the sound of Tony’s hammer from Iron Man 1. This time, Wakanda Forever has no after-credit. I was pretty upset at this revelation. Like why no after-credits? What’s going on, Marvel?? I need answers, STAT!
For the sake of this mini-review… I’m giving Wakanda Forever a 7.5/10. Overall, the film was good, but I can’t ignore the things that could have been better.
Want to read about the original story behind Wakanda Forever? Click here!