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"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" (2022) Movie Review

Movie lover, but didn't have the time to review all of them. Enjoy this one!

The late Chadwick Boseman as King T'challa/Black Panther

The late Chadwick Boseman as King T'challa/Black Panther

A Bittersweet Sequel

The Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ryan Coogler, and the entire Black Panther cast had an impossible task of coming up with a sequel to the 2018 original. That task was made a lot harder with the tragic death of its main star, Chadwick Boseman who plays King T’challa/Black Panther.

With their leading man gone, the question opened up of who would assume the mantle of Black Panther, and can the second movie in the franchise be a step up from the previous one?

Let us find out with my five talking points from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

1. Emotionally Complex Story

The story of Black Panther (2018) was about a country that abandoned its own people just to protect itself. The issue was raised and war happened among the people of Wakanda. By the end, the nation’s ideology changed under the rule of King T’challa.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever picks up on this plot point with a heavy touch of the tragic passing of King T’challa in the storyline to coincide with the real-life loss of Chadwick Boseman.

The story focuses heavily on how the tragic loss had impacted the nation of Wakanda and its people, especially the characters that we had known previously. We see how the death had impacted them and how they choose to overcome it.

There are also welcomed additional story points such as the burden and fear of being a ruler of a nation, the devastation of a warrior who failed their task, and others. Not every plot point landed as it did become a bit too complex towards the end but the core emotional story is excellently told nonetheless.

Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda

Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda

2. Great Performances

Everyone ups their performance from the first movie. Angela Bassett (Queen Ramonda), Letitia Wright (Shuri), Danai Grurira (Okoye), and Tenoch Huerta (Namor) are a few names worth mentioning.

My pick for best performance has to be Angela Bassett, whose character has been given much more to do in comparison to her previous role. Her performance was simply amazing as she portrays a character with the poise of a queen, but the heartbreak of a mother and wife.

Letitia Wright’s performance also came as a surprise. There were questions if she could be a leading woman but she proves her critics wrong.

Then, Tenoch Huerta as the villain Namor is a delight to see. His portrayal was emotional and believable. It also helps that his character was given time to develop. Once again, great performances from every cast member.

3. Grand Action Sequences

Black Panther had some amazing moments, but it also features one of the most terrible third-act action scenes put on film. Ryan Coogler and his team had to fix that, and they did.

The action sequences are bigger and grander, but they also look better. The CGI effects have certainly improved. The scenes no longer look like there are two PS2 characters dancing on screen.

The inclusion of Namor and his underwater kingdom, Talokan, also allows the movie to include a different way of fighting in the MCU. The water-based fighting of the Talokan people is unique and amazing to watch.

Credit to Ryan Coogler for learning from the first film and stepping up his game.

4. A Technical Marvel ... Again

On a technical level, Ryan Coogler and his team improved on everything. The cinematography and use of effects are amazing. The best part has to be the sound editing. Every time Namor and his people appear on screen, they are followed by a sensational score.

The way Coogler captures the Wakanda and Talokan cultures is also worth praising. Like the first movie, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a technical marvel.

"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" (2022)

"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" (2022)

5. One Extraneous Subplot

Earlier I said that not every plot point landed. Towards the end of the movie, a subplot involves Everett Ross (Martin Freeman). In Black Panther, Ross played a crucial part in the overall story, but this time his inclusion feels like Marvel attempting to link this movie to the wider world of the MCU.

His sidekick also didn’t work. Sure, the subplot might pay off in later movies or series, but the scenes involving these characters don’t add anything valuable to the story.

Conclusion

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a worthy sequel to Black Panther. The movie had a better story, much more consistent visual effects, and a cast of actors in full spirit wanting to deliver great performances. Even with a bloated script, the positives outweigh negatives

This was intended as a tribute to Chadwick Boseman, and it delivered. Not only would he be proud of Wakanda Forever, but everybody watching should be, as well.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever gets a 4/5.

© 2022 Fadhli Dzil