Wakanda Forever Review

Even before Black Panther: Wakanda Forever came out, it was controversial. The first Black Panther movie (2018) was a critical and commercial success with an earning of 1.348 billion dollars and 96% Rotten Tomatoes. Following this massive success, it was pretty clear that there would be a sequel, so why would everything surrounding the sequel be so controversial? Chadwick Boseman.

On August 28th, 2020, Chadwick Boesman, the actor who played Black Panther, passed away from cancer. This tragedy filled people with sorrow and grief throughout the world.“I haven’t grieved a loss this acute before. I spent the last year preparing, imagining and writing words for him to say, that we weren’t destined to see.” stated Ryan Coogler, the director of the film.

After Chadwick Boesman’s passing, people thought the sequel would be canceled out of respect for the actor. On Disney Investor Day December 10, 2020, Marvel Studios announced that they would not recast, but still make a sequel.This birthed the controversy of the creation of a sequel with the replacement of the main role

Black Panther 2 has the very hard job of one warranting its own existence, and two, not to overshadow the legacy of Chadwick Boseman. So the question is, did it prevail or flop miserably?

Black Panther:Wakanda Forever differs strongly from other Marvel movies. For a movie franchise known for fast paced blockbusters filled with jokes, Wakanda Forever contrasts as a slower movie with little action and more focus on the characters and their emotions after Black Panther’s death.

The movie sets itself apart by starting with a scene of Shuri frantically trying to find a cure for her brother’s illness, instead of the typical Marvel Studios logo.It’s a very emotional beginning for the movie that successfully pulls on the audience’s heart strings. After Shuri finds out that her brother passed away, the scene then cuts to the logo,with all of the regular actors replaced with Chadwick Boesman in memoriam.

The movie then cuts to a year after the funeral and how everyone is dealing with the loss of their king. Wakanda is at odds with other nations since they refuse to share vibranium with the other countries due to the fear of what they would do. This makes people go looking for vibranium, which angers Namor, the antagonist. He tries to bargain with Wakanda since if they didn’t give the nations the vibranium they wanted, then they wouldn’t be looking in the ocean for vibranium (Namor’s country is made out of vibranium). This ends up with Namor going to war with Wakanda, killing the Wakandan queen in the process.In the end, Shuri, the new black panther, rips off one of Namor’s wings on his ankles, and makes peace with him and ends the war.

The movie was pretty good in the end. The special and VFX effects were well done and much better than those of the other new Marvel movies. All performances were great, with Angela Basset’s monologues standing out the most. All character motivations are understandable and, the villain is sympathetic and well written. He has clear motivations for his hatred of the world and desire to kill the scientist.His goal is to protect his people from the upcoming threat of the rest of the world.

However, This isn’t a perfect movie. Some of the jokes just dont land properly in the movie. Additionally the serious tone gets cut off by a joke. While this is a problem with many other Marvel movies, it is extremely noticeable in this one. For example, when Shuri took the plant and saw Killmonger in the ancestral plane instead of her mother, she is very distant and emotional after her trance. She hits things in a fit of rage but is ruined by Iron Heart asking if she could have some of the flower..

Another thing not right is the character Iron Heart. Though Dominique Thorne performed well, the character just comes across as static. Her main function is for cool action scenes and comic relief. With everyone going through grief and trauma in the movie, she just feels off.

The final issue is with Shuri. In the beginning and the end she is sad and angry, but at the middle isn’t the same. In the middle however, she is comedic and calm, which is fine but the change is disjointed.

The movie fulfilled its promise to create a good story while honoringChadwick Boesman’s legacy. It is a necessary continuation that is well acted and written, and maybe better than the first one. Marvel had a tough challenge and completed it almost perfectly. 8.5/10