SPOILER ALERT: REVIEW -Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Sydney Rumpf, Reporter

The sequel to Marvel’s Black Panther is finally out – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Many fans were curious what the studio was going to do with the film after the actor for the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) passed away in 2020 due to cancer. Being the first film to transition from Phase 4 of Marvel to Phase 5, it was a hit or miss opportunity, and the movie has met mixed reviews.

A large theme in the movie is resilience and overcoming difficult times. Not only must the characters, especially Shuri (played by Letitia Wright), overcome the death of T’Chala, the Black Panther (and her brother), but Wakanda must deal with other world powers.

The movie also adds another new, previously undiscovered civilization, called Talokan, that lives under the water in order to remain undetected. After they attack a vessel that was in search of vibranium (a fictitious precious metal that is used by Wakanda) they ask Wakanda to find the scientist responsible (Riri Williams, played by Dominique Thorne) for the vibranium detector, to maintain secrecy.

Wakanda refuses to kill the scientist, however, and chooses instead to keep her alive, and Namor, the leader of Talokan (played by Tenoch Huerta) ends up kidnapping Shuri and Riri. They’re found and rescued, though, which leads to conflict between the countries, and the two end up clashing. After finding Namor’s weakness, Wakanda eventually wins, and Talokan goes back into hiding with a promise of peace.

The movie mainly focuses on Shuri. Not only does she have to deal with her brother’s passing, but she must deal with the situation with Talokan after the queen, her mother, passes away as well. She’s not just the new queen, but the new Black Panther as well, and a lot happens to her in this movie.

The movie also focuses on inclusivity, not only with the people of Wakanda being of African descent, but the people of Talokan are of Meso-American descent. The music also followed this trend, transitioning between different styles and scenes and characters changed.

Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe sees many of the older heroes, such as Captain America, Iron Man, and Hulk no longer acting as heroes and passing those duties over to new people. However, instead of creating new powers, Marvel is just giving the old powers to new people. Hawkeye and Kate Bishop (Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfield) have the same ability to shoot a bow, Hulk and She-Hulk (Mark Ruffalo and Tatiana Maslany) have the exact same power, and now there’s a new Iron Man (now called Ironheart), when Riri Williams constructs herself a mechanical suit to win the battle against Talokan. It’s not a bad idea to bring back fan favorites, but fans think Marvel should come up with new heroes with new abilities instead of just re-creating the old ones. Shuri becoming the new Black Panther only adds to this.

In terms of emotion, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was a very sad movie. Many important characters get killed, and one of the movie’s focuses was on how Shuri was handling grief, so sadness was a very prominent emotion in the movie. There were many people crying in the theatre at the end, especially after the end credits scene. It focused a little too much on that emotion, and while that’s not bad, it was a bit too prominent in the movie.

Overall, I would give this movie 4/5 stars. It was a very heartwarming yet exciting continuation to the story of the Black Panther, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it still wasn’t as good as some of their other films. The story was good, and the action was even better, but it was just a bit over the top, especially with the emotion.

Final Rating: 4/5 stars.