Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a more mature spin on the world of Wakanda since the last time we came visiting.
King T’Challa is dead and the people of Wakanda, like those of us in the real world, must navigate life without their beloved king, brother, and son. It’s heartbreaking watching these people grieve and be reminded of our own grief at the real-life tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman in 2022.
Although the bulk of the movie is steamed in elements of grief and loss, Wakanda Forever doesn’t forget that it’s a comic-book action movie, nor does it suffer for any of the aforementioned. The balancing of elements of its grief and action is superbly done, a reminder that the man at the helm of the movie, Director Ryan Coogler, understands the world and material he’s working with and fully embraces its peculiarities. He’s not afraid to tug at our hearts and play the game of heroism at the same time.
I had a thousand and one worries going into this movie, with most of them being centered around whether The decision to not recast T’Challa was one the movie would suffer for, and I’m glad those were allayed. Although I still don’t agree with that creative decision, it’s one I’ve come to respect having seen Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
The ending felt a bit anticlimactic for me. Granted it made sense following the journey Shuri’s been on the entire movie, which shows growth on the character’s part and how she indeed deserves the mantle of the Black Panther, but as a thirsty viewer eager for blood in equal measures, it kind of let me down. Thankfully, it’s something I can live with.
One thing I very much liked about this movie was how the Talokans felt like an actual threat throughout the movie. Namor is amazing, and unyielding in motivation. It was fun watching them drive his actions.
Okoye is badass as ever and has a lot more to do in this sequel, and I loved every bit of watching her do her thing. But aside from her, and perhaps Aneka (the latest Dora Milaje played by Michaela Coel), this elite group of female warriors don’t really get to shine as they did in the first movie.
Riri Williams’ (aka Ironheart) debut here was cool. We’re still a while away from me being blown away by the latest MCU character, but, thankfully, since her own solo Disney+ series is coming, I don’t think that’ll be long now.
Without risking dropping a major spoiler here, I’d like to applaud Ryan Coogler and the rest of the story team for a bold decision made at the Battle of Wakanda. I didn’t see it coming at all, and I thought the rest of the movie benefited greatly from the filmmakers decision to toe that line.
After a somewhat lackluster year for the MCU, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever takes us back to the times when Marvel Studios was always a hit. It ranks among the better entries in Marvel Phase-4 and is a good way to end it.
Go see Black Panther: Wakanda Forever at the cinemas.
Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5
Want more of Wakanda? Listen to the official soundtrack album HERE.