The following movie review does not contain direct spoilers for the film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, however general information in regards to the plot, characters, key climax points and spinoffs directly related to events in the film will be heavily discussed.
Please read at your own discretion, or after seeing the film in theaters.
It’s finally here!
The highly-anticipated Marvel Studios film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, a sequel to the 2018 superhero blockbuster starring the late Chadwick Boseman, is officially in theaters today.
While the still-shocking death of Boseman in August 2020 occurred before he could complete any filming as the titular character, director Ryan Coogler decided to honor the late actor’s legacy by pushing forward with a sequel that from start to finish honors both the character and real-life loss.
His successor, alongside a stellar supporting cast of POCs from African and Mesoamerican culture alike, results in what could easily be considered the best film of 2022.
Wakanda Forever starts off from jump by honoring the character of T’Challa, and no, he’s not killed off in battle or given another fate like The Snap. In all actuality, his death his handled very much like it happened in real life: it was simply an unexplained disease.
The opening funeral scene is enough to bring the biggest Wakandan to tears, filmed with precision, honor, grace and so much authentic African tradition that it makes you feel like you’re witnessing a real-life going away ceremony. A cold Marvel title opening that follows, again tributing Boseman with a highlight reel from the first film and other MCU memories, does the job at letting you know that he will truly be missed by millions.
After it’s made clear that T’Challa won’t be returning in any way, shape or form – well, actually…never mind! – the question becomes how will the plot progress for a whopping runtime of 2 hours and 45 minutes without being weighed down in grief. The answer comes in the form of a shining new Black Panther, taken on this time by his grieving sister Shuri. Although shrouded in slight controversy during the production of Black Panther 2, Letitia Wright overall brings the right amount of pain, rage, sadness, determination and ultimately strength to the character in order to properly step into the lead role and do it with 100% respect to her dearly missed predecessor.
Also adding to core elements of Wakanda Forever is the introduction of Riri Williams, who as many Marvel fans know goes on to be Ironman’s successor, Ironheart. Dominique Thorne gives the vital character an around-the-way Chicago girl spin, which comes off refreshing and very relatable. It goes without saying, but every single time Angela Bassett graces the screen as Queen Ramonda, a regality is felt that makes this role seem fit for no one other than her.
Rounding out the cast includes Lupita Nyong’o returning as Nakia, Danai Gurira being fierce as ever portraying Okoye, Winston Duke as the loveable, jovial and badass M’Baku, Florence Kasumba deserving all her flowers as Ayo and Michaela Coel as breakout star Aneka aka Midnight Angel.
However, the real plot driver that will have everyone talking is the force of Talokan, an opposing threat to Wakanda that’s also mastered the use of Vibranium. Their tribe is of Mexican heritage and live in the majestical underwater kingdom of Atlantis. Their king, the swoon-generating Namor played to perfection by Tenoch Huerta, is the perfect antagonist for Shuri’s Black Panther, which is triggered by a startling climax that also leads to an even more surprising cameo by…well, let’s just say Shuri’s need for revenge triggers her to manifest a familiar foe.
Overall, Black Panther 2 provides a strikingly powerful message in the final big battle which occurs between Wakanda versus Talokan. Without giving too much away, you truly understand that both sides are fighting for a cause they feel is morally just. Also, both are influenced primarily by a mutual feeling of mistrust by the corruption of white Westerners, and after loss on both sides comes to understand that we’re indeed stronger as a united front.
We’ll let you see the film for yourselves because it’s just that important, but take our word for it — best movie of 2022, hands-down! Do yourself justice by catching it in a Dolby Cinema near you, where underwater scenes, car chases and action sequences come to life in surround sound thanks to the cutting-edge technology of Dolby Atmos.
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