BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER – A Review by Cynthia Flores

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. © 2022 MARVEL.

BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER – A Review by Cynthia Flores

How does one cope with grief and overcome loss? This is the theme and driving force of the narrative for the new film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Unless you live on the moon or under a rock, you are aware that the lead in the now iconic 2018 film Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman, died of colon cancer in 2020. 

When writer/director Ryan Coogler was asked about the untimely death of the star, he is quoted as saying:

“Chad’s passing affected filmmakers and the actors in a way that was incredibly profound,” said Coogler. “Chad was very much our artistic partner in this project, in this franchise, and in this storytelling. I would spend time with him, just he and I, talking about where we wanted to see the character go, where we wanted to see the story go, how much he admired the other characters and the actors that portrayed them. We realized that it would only be right for us to continue the story.”

Luckily for us, they didn’t decide to make an animatronic copy even though they have the technology. Or have another actor just appear as King T’Challa in the new film. Instead, they deal with his loss in a beautiful way that lets the audience grieve together the actual loss of such a talented man. 

I will keep this short and sweet to avoid giving away any spoilers. 

In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), his sister Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba) fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. 

The heroes must band together as the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter. With the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman), they forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda. This new chapter introduces us to Namor (Tenoch Huerta Mejía), a mighty king of a hidden undersea Mayan nation. They, too, have vibranium, and they know how to use it. Namor has not decided yet if Wakanda will be a friend or a defeated foe. You will have to see this film to find out how it ends and how it all plays out for these two mighty nations.

The film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has much of the same team in front of the camera and behind it that made Black Panther such a hit. So the cinematography, music, and costumes are amazing. And the chase and fight scenes really pack a punch. Add to the mix the inclusion of the Mayan civilization of Mesoamerica into this Black Panther storyline, and you have a bit of magic all over again. Because there is a whole world of brown-faced little children that will get the thrill of seeing people that look like them as fierce superhuman characters on the big screen. That is the gift that the first film gave to African Americans. And I gotta say, we people of color all look good in this epic and exciting new chapter in the Black Panther franchise. It is definitely worth a trip to the IMAX or other big-screen showings at a theater near you.     

I give Black Panther: Wakanda Forever 4.5-stars. It’s a fitting farewell to actor Chadwick Boseman who originated the role of the Black Panther. And a great way to carry on the story for hopefully more films about Wakanda. Also, you know it’s a good movie when you don’t even notice the long running time.

 

Directed by: Ryan Coogler

Written by: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole

Rated: PG-13

Selig Rating: 4.5 Stars

Running Time: 2h 41min

Action Adventure / SciFi

Wide Release: In theaters only November 11th

Starring: Tenoch Huerta, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Martin Freeman

 

The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.

4 Stars – Good movie

3 Stars – OK movie

2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.

1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.

 

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