‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Review: “The Legacy of Wakanda is Strong”

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Chadwick Boseman was an individual beloved by all who had the pleasure to meet him, and even many who didn’t. Whether they managed to meet him in person or experience his acting through a screen, there is no doubt that Boseman left a lasting positive impact on many around the world. Following his untimely passing in August 2020, it became one of the few moments in our history where people collectively mourned the loss of a man who is, without a doubt, a legend in his own right. Throughout his career, Boseman had several roles that marked his impact on the film industry and pop culture. His role as King T’Challa, the Black Panther, was perhaps one of his most beloved, as his character was not only a prime example of a hero our modern world needed but also a celebration of a culture that is so rich and diverse and has influenced nearly every aspect in our world.

With a film as vibrant and incredible as Black Panther (2018), its successor, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, had a highly uphill task of doubling down on the first film’s success while expanding and exploring new worlds in the second. All while handling the loss of Wakanda’s king and protector.

And let me tell you, it did not disappoint.

The mark of an excellent film

For me, the mark of a good film is being able to tell a story that is interesting and compelling to audiences. The impact of an excellent movie is having audiences be wholly immersed in the story and feel the emotions the actors and the story are conveying through the screen. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has that mark of an excellent film.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Marvel/Disney)

Addressing the loss of T’Challa in Wakanda Forever

From the get-go, the film immediately addresses T’Challa’s (and Boseman’s) passing in a way that I felt was well-executed and touching.

One of the overall best story points throughout the film is the motif of grief. Each character can address suffering in their own way, which was an important message that played throughout the film.

New faces in the Black Panther sequel

The introduction of Riri Williams and Namor were incredible additions to the film. Tenoch Huerta as Namor is fantastic, and his depiction in this film and his origin and backstory serves the character and the film very well storywise.

Tenoch Huerta as Namor and Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams/Ironheart in Black Panther Wakanda Forever
Tenoch Huerta as Namor and Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams/Ironheart in Black Panther Wakanda Forever (Marvel/Disney)

The addition of Namor accompanied the introduction of his kingdom of Talokan, and let me tell you, these characters and cultures are as beautiful as they are terrifying. You could feel the tension when the Talokans were on screen. Their presence and abilities are inspiring and rival that of the Dora Milaje.

When you explore Talocan, Coogler did an excellent job of depicting the Mesoamerican culture and basing the people of Talokan on a cultural background that is rich, diverse, and massively interesting. And the capital city itself on-screen was something very spectacular to see.

On the other hand, Riri Williams was also a fantastic character to incorporate into this story. Her introduction felt very natural, and her story was one of the best moments in the film. Dominique Thorne proved she was worthy of the role, and I will confess that I am excited to see what the Ironheart series leads us into next.

It is noteworthy that Marvel managed to establish various future story points throughout the film, and I can see how Marvel could develop a more spinoffs based on how this film set them up.

Wakanda Forever has a perfect blend of visual and audio

Out of all the Phase 4 projects we’ve had so far, visually speaking, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever exceeds each project and beyond. The effects and visuals in this movie are excellent, and that is no easy feat, considering how complex water simulations can be for VFX. The cities of Wakanda and Talokan looked incredible.

Tenoch Huerta as Namor in Black Panther Wakanda Forever
Tenoch Huerta as Namor in Black Panther Wakanda Forever (Marvel/Disney)

The camera work, cinematographically speaking, was spot on and nailed by Autumn Durald. The camera used during many of the film’s high-action sequences stood out, while the more calm, emotional moments managed to keep a slow burn that allowed audiences to take in what they were seeing.

Ludwig Göransson triumphantly returns to the world of Wakanda with his incredible score and builds a new set of themes that revolve around the original from the first film. While the iconic music is reworked, you can still sense the overall power behind Göransson’s score, which works exceptionally well in the movie.

Overall, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever continued to honor its predecessor while ushering in brand-new worlds and stories. It’s thrilling, impactful, emotional, and a story that stands out from the rest of the superhero genre.

My rating for this film:

★★★★★ / ♥♥♥♥♥

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is dropping into theaters now! Have you seen it?  Let us know on social media what you think of the Black Panther sequel. You can join us and chat in a special spoiler channel for the film on our Discord here.

The Wakanda Forever Comics Reading Guide

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