The highly anticipated Marvel sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” was released on Nov. 11 and had big shoes to fill from the previous installment. The film was not only expected to live up to the praise of the first Black Panther film but also to carry on the legacy of actor Chadwick Boseman.
In August of 2020, Boseman tragically passed away at the age of 43 after fighting colon cancer for several years. The sudden news shocked the world and left fans with many questions on how the sequel movie would be altered. Director Ryan Coogler and the team on board had to make major changes within the film’s universe in a respectful manner.
The movie opens up with Shuri, the younger sister of King T’Challa, attempting to save him from a deadly illness, but she is unable to do so before he passes away. The funeral afterwards not only pays tribute to the previous Black Panther in universe but also to Chadwick Boseman as a whole.
One year later, as the kingdom of Wakanda is recuperating from their loss in the midst of global political conflict involving Wakanda’s powerful resource, known as vibranium. At the same time, a machine capable of detecting vibranium is utilized by the CIA in order to find traces in the ocean, but the search turns sour as a group of underwater superhumans known as the Talokanil attack and kill the expedition crew. The resulting incident is then blamed on Wakanda.
Namor, the leader of the Talokanil, confronts Shuri and Queen Ramonda and gives them the ultimatum of bringing him the scientist responsible for the vibranium detector or else the Talokanil will attack the nation of Wakanda. What follows is a warring conflict between the two nations.
The themes of overcoming loss and legacy are prominent throughout the film and can be seen within the main cast of characters. Letitia Wright and Angela Bassett give excellent performances as Shuri and Queen Ramonda respectively. Both characters are confronted with grief throughout the film and the great writing helps the audience become invested in their struggles.
Tenoch Huerta plays the anti-hero Namor, who is made somewhat sympathetic with his backstory and disposition which serves as a foil to the main cast. Fans and critics alike will compare him to the highly memorable villain from the first Black Panther movie, Eric Killmonger, but Namor is still threatening enough to stand on his own.
One main critique of the first Black Panther movie was how the computer generated effects were very noticeable and often distracting. Not only does this film outdo the original in terms of effects and cinematography, but it is also a noticeable improvement above other Marvel films released in 2022. The various locations such as the underwater civilization of Talokan are some of the main highlights of the film’s improved computer effects.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” stands as an important and noteworthy entry in the Marvel cinematic lineup. Not only is it above other Marvel films that have released this year in terms of acting, writing and effects, but it is also a carefully crafted sendoff to one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors.