Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – A Review (Word count: 798)

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) acts as both a follow-up to the innovative movie of 2018 and a poignant homage to the late Chadwick Boseman. Director Ryan Coogler takes it upon himself to maintain Wakanda’s legacy while dealing with the absence of its iconic king, T’Challa. The outcome is an emotionally satisfying movie that does not perfectly execute its story line.

The film begins by emphasizing how heavily T’Challa’s death weighs on everyone. The opening scenes are heavy with grief as we see Wakandans mourning for their beloved king and defender. Letitia Wright rises up as Shuri, T’Challa’s sister who has to bear both personal loss and carry the burden of her country in crisis. Angela Bassett comes through powerfully as Queen Ramonda struggling to keep her kingdom together in heartbreaking times.

It is commendable that Coogler decided not to cast another actor for T’Challa. It recognizes Boseman’s irreplacability and incorporates his absence into the storyline too. This approach enables deeper examination of bereavement and its effects on a nation or individuals. But this emphasis on mourning distracts from tight plotting.

The main conflict revolves around introducing Namor (Tenoch Huerta), who is a mutant ruler of Talokan, an underwater kingdom. Namor’s motives are intricate because they are motivated by historical mistreatment by the groundlings against his people. This introduces some moral ambiguity which feels new within superhero genre based films. However, the film fails to balance between portraying complete devastation of grief in Wakanda and urgency over conflict with Namor.

Despite pacing issues in narrative, Wakanda Forever excels at world-building. Coogler broadens Marvel Cinematic Universe with Talokan; visually stunning undersea civilization having its own rich culture and history. The contrast between Wakanda’s vibrancy and Talokan’s bioluminescent depths creates a visually captivating experience.

Also, the film delivers on its action sequences. The fight choreography is exceptional; combining traditional Wakandan combat styles with the unique powers of Namor and his people. Dora Milaje, Wakandan all-female special forces, remain a standout for their unwavering devotion to their king and their impressive fighting skills.

The performances are one of the stronger aspects of this film. Wright gives an intense portrayal of Shuri’s grief as she seeks to become the next leader. Danai Gurira remains a force to reckon with as Okoye, leader of Dora Milaje who always maintains her calmness. Ramonda played by Angela Bassett is depicted as being strong during difficult times like when she loses her first born son while guiding her country.

Tenoch Huerta brings gravitas and layers to Namor which make him a compelling antagonist. He is not your typical super villain looking for power but instead he is a leader bent on doing anything in order to protect his people. Winston Duke still charms as M’Baku who is both humorous and wise at other moments.

Though it slightly falters in narrative cohesion, the film excels in emotional resonance. It tackles grief, cultural conflicts’ intricacies and burdens that come with leadership in a maturely nuanced manner. The movie also pays respect to Boseman by celebrating how rich Wakanda culture is and how powerful its women are.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a movie that, while highly personal, was also an epic film. It is a well-done follow-up that offers a new era for Wakanda as it tackles matters of loss. The story may not be as tight as the first one but the emotional connection, great pictures and acting give it something exciting to share in this Marvel Cinematic Universe.