Movie review: ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’


Alicia Quan

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the final MCU project of phase 4, only in theaters November 11th.

Max Spiegel, Staff Writer

After the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman in 2020, the highly  anticipated sequel to 2018´s “Black Panther” has finally hit theaters. 

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is the final project for Marvel Studios´ phase four, as well as the last comic book movie to come out in 2022. The film stars Letitia Wright as Shuri, Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda, Lupita Nyong´o as Nakia, Tenoch Huerta as Namor, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Winston Duke as M´Baku and Martin Freeman as Everett Ross. The movie was written and directed by Ryan Coogler, telling the story of Queen Ramonda, Shuri, M’Baku, and Okoye fighting to protect Wakanda in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their nation’s next chapter, the heroes must band together with Nakia and Everett Ross to forge a new path for Wakanda.

With the death of Chadwick Boseman, I had no idea how a sequel to the iconic film would work without the title character. The situation felt similar to the production of the Fast and Furious movie “Furious 7” as Paul Walker passed mid production. With all of that being said, since I enjoyed the first “Black Panther”, I walked into the film with high expectations. 

Right off the bat, this movie does a great job of establishing a somber, and more serious tone. As someone who has been very critical of the current phase of Marvel Studios, due to campier projects such as ¨Thor: Love and Thunder¨ and ¨She Hulk: Attorney at Law¨ I appreciated this movie’s seriousness. In contrast with most of the other projects in phase 4, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”, returns to the action packed feel of projects in phases 1-3.

This movie did a commendable job on handling Chadwick Boseman’s passing while also continuing the Black Panther mythology. The people behind this film were able to take side characters from the original and give them powerful arcs. Additionally, the acting was nothing short of incredible from top to bottom with Angela Bassett’s performance as Queen Ramonda standing out in particular.

 The main villain Namor was a great antagonist for the film, both with his set of powers as well as the dynamic he brought to the movie. Tenoch Huertaś performance made Namor extremely interesting, he was able to capture my attention every time he came on screen. The original “Black Panther” received many Oscar nominations and I wouldn’t be surprised if the sequel does just as well.

When it comes to my criticisms of the film, I felt that it was too long. With a runtime of 2 hours and 41 minutes, it felt like the director’s cut. There is an entire subplot in the second act that I thought could have been removed from the film. It didn’t feel necessary to the main plot and only existed to set up and tease things for the future. I also felt that Marvel could have done more with Namor and his tribe. Even though I enjoyed Namor as a character, he wasn’t given much of a backstory. His tribe was underdeveloped and barely received any screen time. The whole concept of an underwater tribe planning to go to war with the world is interesting, however, it wasn’t explored as much as I had hoped. Considering the movie is nearly three hours long, there definitely could’ve been more emphasis placed on this plot.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the film. Director Ryan Coogler and the team behind “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” did as good of a job anyone can do following such a tragedy. This might be the most emotional MCU movie yet and probably my favorite project of phase 4. I don’t think the film is perfect, but I do think it ranks up with the original in terms of quality and just overall enjoyment. I would say this is definitely a must watch for MCU and Black Panther fans, and even though I’m not a huge fan of phase 4, this sequel ended it on a high note.