Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Review

   The long awaited Marvel movie, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” has finally been released, and fans are thrilled to see Wakanda return to the big screen. With the passing of Chadwick Boseman, the new film will answer the question of who will take over the Black Panther name.  

      The film takes place after the events of “Avengers Endgame” and pays homage to the recently deceased character of T’Challa, as well as the actor Chadwick Boseman. The film’s primary message is moving forward after grief, while also being able to process all the different stages of grief one can go through. 

According to Good Morning America, Director Ryan Coolger stated that, “It was a difficult decision for everybody [to move forward with the film]. But eventually after thinking about it for long enough, it became clear we had to do it…as we got going the momentum kept up and it felt like he was always with us.”

The film is helmed by Shuri (Letita Wright), the sister of the late T’Challa, and renowned Wakandan scientist. Her mother, Queen Ramonda (Angele Bassett) has taken over the throne, and must deal with the aftermath of T’Challa opening Wakanda, and its resources to the world stage. The primary conflict comes from a new MCU character, Namor (Tenocoh Huerta), ruler of Talokan, an underwater country with citizens who can only breathe underwater. 

While the film still offers various CGI battles, and classic comedic relief seen in most Marvel movies, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is unique as it is a way for the audience and the actors to collectively grieve. Director Ryan Coolger wanted to both pay homage to Chadwick and T’Challa, but still wanted to ensure enough time for a fully fledged story of the other characters and Wakanda as a whole to be told. 

The movie shines with black women leading the charge, which is not often seen in the superhero genre. Along with Shuri and Queen Ramonda, Okoye (Danai Gurria) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) return, and new character Riri Williams aka Ironheart (Dominique Thorne) play crucial roles in the film, and their strength and resilience is highlighted throughout its entirety. 

Cheo Hodari Coker, a showrunner for Marvel states, “Black women have finally been given the chance to show what they can with a character and not have to shoulder all the various burdens.”

In a genre predominantly dominated by white men, the “Black Panther” franchise is once again able to make strides in including more diverse stories. Fans have rallied around the new film with it making $180 million at the domestic box office during its opening weekend, and $330 million in the global box office. 

While the film does feel like it drags at time, and some of the scenes could have been cut, as a whole the movie offers time for its four lead women to properly grief and come into their own. The characterization is excellent and is matched with gorgeous cinematography. Not only is “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” an emotional journey, but it’s also beautiful to watch. 

Overall, the film is a stunning tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman and T’Challa, but creates space for the new heroes of Wakanda to become more prominent in the MCU.