Black Panther Wakanda Forever Review
Here’s my Black Panther Wakanda Forever review starring Letitia Wright, Tenoch Huerta, Danai Gurira and more. Directed by Ryan Coogler.
I really wanted to see what Coogler and company plan to do with a movie which pretty much lost its main star after the untimely death of Chadwick Boseman. I have to level with you, I was hoping for the best and expecting the worst. And I am glad that I hoped.
Because the film was great. Not super awesome but great. We will get to that in this review. But first let me talk about the casting and characters. Everybody’s back to reprise their role with some getting significant boosts than others. Letitia Wright as Shuri is, for me, a blessing and a curse. You actually realize that having her in small doses like in Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame is a great thing. But don’t get me wrong, her role here is important and poignant too.
Angela Bassett’s Queen Ramonda also takes a bigger role in the film as she’s the catalyst for change both after T’Challa’s death and Shuri’s acceptance of who she is and what she needs to become.
I loved Winston Duke’s growth as a character as M’Baku. In the first one, he’s sort of an antagonist and eventual ally for T’Challa but here he’s stepping into the role of a big brother for Shuri. On top of that, they gave him more character moments showing him as a capable leader and a fearless warrior.
If there’s a weaker link here it has to be Dominique Thorne’s Riri Williams. From the plot and narrative to some parts of her plot points, I feel like we could have gotten more. It does feel more like they kind of watered down her potential probably so as not to steal the spotlight and partially to just tease us for her upcoming solo TV series Ironheart on Disney+.
Tenoch Huerta Mejia’s Namor might be polarizing to Marvel fans because of the choices Marvel Studios has done but for me he was good. That native Latin American smolder and screen presence is there and you can’t deny that he’s got anti-hero vibes written all over him. I really think he did a good job when it comes to acting as the Talokan (not Atlantean) living god. He can be tender and he can be scary and that’s what Namor has been written. Do I see him interacting with the MCU X-Men down the line and stealing the scene? Yes.
Another great thing about Black Panther is that they did set out to stuff the hell out of the movie from world building to status quo changes but they didn’t fumble the ball (that much). We start the movie, get the new expositions and then end the film that it’s intact.
The action scenes were totally on point too. I’m an action sequence enjoyer and this ticks all the check boxes for me. Added bonus is that one fight scene where everything is quiet. There’s not musical score to speak of nor was there any shaky action. Just a standard almost comic book -type action scene.
While on the subject of fighting scenes, I have to regretfully say that it felt like an all-action episode of Bleach with several battles taking place and we are forced to follow all of them rather than doing the more “scenic” route of just finishing each fight. Suddenly, its hard to comprehend and really savor what was happening because your mind needs to catch up with the next scene with the other characters.
There is only one mid-credit scene for this film and its, and I don’t want to repeat this term over and over again, “emotionally charged”. Actually if there’s any real strong point for the film, its that. It plays with our emotions and uses fans need to mourn and grieve for Chadwick Boseman and turn that into some powerful moments in the film. And now that you think about it, it’s a good examination on pain and loss. Although the same can be said for what the showrunners of Wandavision wanted to give us back when it first aired.
Lastly, the music is top notch once more including the new Rihanna track that dropped before the release of the film.
If there’s anything that makes “Wakanda Forever” stand out its how brilliantly it shows Marvel audience what pain and grief looks like for superheroes and people from royalty. But at the same time it offers a warm embrace for fans who lost their Black Panther while opening a new door with this new Black Panther.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens November 11 and is distributed locally by Walt Disney Studios PH. Catch the movie in all SM Cinemas nationwide!