Directed by : Ryan Coogler
Written by : Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole
Starring : Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Dominique Thorne, Florence Kasumba, Michaela Coel, Tenoch Huerta, Martin Freeman, and Angela Bassett.
The world lost its shining star when it needed it the most in the passing of Chadwick Boseman — his legacy, presence, and sheer dedication to his craft can never be overstated. In this great loss, a massive, irreplaceable gap was left in the world of Wakanda. A world that exponentially meant so much more than just fiction to people, to a community.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever already had big shoes to fill even before the passing of Boseman. The first movie was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards — becoming the first Superhero movie to do so — and became this beacon of representation and excellence for the Black community that they can rally behind after decades of mostly-white superhero films.
With that said Ryan Coogler has managed to take on this immense herculean task with flying colors…
Wakanda Forever is a beautifully-crafted film that paints a hopeful-yet-mournful picture. It’s a swashbuckling geopolitical thriller, but it’s also an exploration of grief and the uphill process that one must go through to heal from it — told from the lens of our lovable characters from Wakanda. Each scene directed by Coogler are both physically and emotionally brutal, from the grittier hand-to-hand combat to it’s heart-wrenching scenes as our characters mirror the grief of the loss of T’Challa, as we did with Chadwick Boseman.
Carried by powerful performances, Wakanda Forever has no shortage of great memorable scenes. Angela Bassett is a powerhouse once again as Queen Ramonda, but the centerpiece of this film is Letitia Wright’s emotionally masterful performance as Shuri — without her resonant combo of both tenderness and anger — Wakanda Forever would be emotionally hollow, it is the emotional beats of her performance that ties everything up into a compelling narrative about loss.
MCU newcomer and Narcos veteran Tenoch Huerta brings the long awaited Namor the Sub-Mariner into the silver screen with a very regal and stoic presence, becoming one of the most compelling MCU antagonists in recent memory. But within all the angst and tense emotions, Dominique Thorne’s Riri Williams becomes the much-welcomed comic relief to perfect Wakanda Forever’s tone.
Action is also another aspect that shines here, while Coogler did an admirable job in the first film. Wakanda Forever’s action sequences feel bigger and more bombastic, specifically the much tenser hand-to-hand combat that truly puts our beloved characters through the ringer.
With the immense loss of Chadwick Boseman that we still continue to feel. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a masterfully-woven story of loss and pain, it does justice to the world of Wakanda and the rich characters that inhabits it — and it’s a proper send-off to our King T’Challa
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is Now Playing in Theaters.