nazah afreen

Black Panther 2 Wakanda Forever Review - A Beautiful Tribute to Chadwick Boseman

Read Time: 9 minutes
Published On: November 28, 2022
Black Panther Wakanda Forever

Black Panther Wakanda Forever is an amazing movie with great symbolism that expands the MCU further with new characters

Director: Ryan Coogler

Production: Marvel Studios

Cast: Letitia Wright as Shuri, Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Winston Duke as M’Baku, Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda, Tenoch Huerta as Namor, Martin Freeman as Everett Ross, Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Runtime: 2h 41m

IMDB Rating: 7.5/10

Rotten Tomatometer: 84%

My Rating: 8/10

The Storytelling of Wakanda Forever

Plot

After the death of King T'challa, Wakanda is vulnerable in front of the world and world leaders are taking every advantage available to them to seize the most precious metal in the world, Vibranium. This was especially at a worse time for the enemy nations to discover deposits of Vibranium under the ocean but little did they know that the Vibranium there is not theirs to just take freely.

Another hidden empire having access to Vibranium set on protecting its existence is not happy with this development. Talokan will risk waging war on Wakanda to protect its people. The United States is not happy with its second place among the most powerful nation. So they want to change this by destabilizing Wakanda and taking it down from the position of the most powerful nation in the world.

The writers did a fantastic job of showing the international conflict along with an internal war with Talokan. The Black Panther is needed more than ever to fight on all fronts and win. But the mantel of Black Panther is a heavy burden to bear and the next person to become one will have to earn it.

Characters

Shuri

Shuri's character loses so much in Wakanda Forever. She goes through major growth from where she started. Her need to express her grief in destructive ways is explored well. The sibling relationship between her and T'challa takes front and centre. I loved her arc the most.

I was sceptical about her becoming the Black Panther because I thought Nakia was the best choice for the role. But Wakanda Forever proved me wrong. Her character truly earns the Black Panther mantle in the movie. There is no one better suited to carry her brother's legacy.

I want to see more of Shuri and her interaction with other characters in the MCU. I want her especially to interact with Peter Parker aka Spider-Man in the future.

Namor

Namor's character is one of the strongest of all of the characters introduced in Phase 4 of the MCU. My number one pick is Moon Knight. Namor is a close second. His character has huge potential going forward. I loved how Marvel changed parallel storylines to avoid comparisons with Aquaman. Namor is the original. But most people watched Aquaman first. So, it made sense to change Namor's backstory drastically. It is believed by many that Mesoamerican people were the descendants of Atlantis in the conspiracy theory circle. So Namor having a Mesoamerican origin fits perfectly.

He is an anti-hero. His actions and motivations are completely valid. His people becoming the next target is the direct result of T'challa opening up Wakandan resources to the world. So, his demand that Wakanda helps him is completely justified. The conflict arises from the fact that he wants to kill a kid for it and eventually wage war against the surface world. His reasoning has holes but he is prepared to do anything to protect his people. This makes for the strong and multidimensional character that he is.

Okoye

Okoye as always is a powerful character and commands everyone's attention when she is talking. She was a great supporting character to Shuri and Nakiya. She contributes to some of the funniest scenes in Wakanda Forever without it becoming cringy like Thor Love & Thunder & She-Hulk.

Nakia

I always loved Nakia. I was completely in for her becoming the Black Panther. But watching Wakanda Forever, I realized her becoming Black Panther would not do justice to her overall arc. She will, in fact, be limited in what she can do if she becomes Black Panther. Her strength is in staying covert. Black Panther is not about that. I loved how she had a happy life with T'challa before he was blipped and after he came back. I was only sad because I really loved her relationship with T'challa in the first Black Panther movie and I will not get any more of it.

Queen Ramonda

Queen Ramonda was elegant and powerful in all her glory. Angela Bassett played this character extremely well. I loved her dialogue. Her death is the catalyst that drove the whole conflict with Talokan. I loved her arc so much. I will miss seeing her in MCU.

giphy

Worldbuilding

Wakanda

Wakanda as always was exquisitely captured. The visuals were so cool. We don't venture out much from the city but there is some notable addition to the beauty of the city. The entrance to the city is changed from the first and their airship looks like the Black Panther helmet. These are some cool design choices.

The symbolism is huge in everything they do. Wakanda's funeral ritual is also beautiful. It captures the grief of not seeing close ones anymore and the celebration of having transcended to a peaceful existence in the afterlife beautifully. The one thing that was not clearly explained is how Talokan was able to attack Wakanda because Wakanda is a landlocked country.

Talokan

What takes the center stage is the empire of Talokan, Namor's underwater home. The entrance to the city is hidden just like in Wakanda. You have to enter Talokan by accessing an ocean current. I loved how the empire is depicted in Wakanda Forever. In Aquaman, they didn't change much about how underwater things worked. Everybody did similar things as surface people just underwater.

But in Talokan, the way of life is completely tied to water. Their weapons are made utilizing water; their cities are not gravity based; they have unique markets and the light source in the city is clearly explained by Namor.

Tying Talokan with Namor’s origin was a masterstroke from Marvel. The comic book Namor is very similar to Aquaman. If they followed comic book origin it would have been something that we have already seen before in theatres. But making his origin Talokan, Namor successfully stands as a diverse and never-seen-before character.

giphy

Cinematography

The cinematography of Black Panther Wakanda Forever was breathtaking. All the shots were. I loved how Ryan Coogler, the director applied symbolism and cinematic shot to build an allegorical narrative.

The action scenes were sometimes clunky. Despite being a technological marvel in every aspect of life, fist fights are going nowhere when it comes to fighting an adversary.

The visual effects of Wakanda Forever are not lacking in any way. Sometimes the Black Panther suit looks unreal in some settings. The most beautiful scene was when Namor was showing Shuri Talokan.

Music

The background music of Black Panther Wakanda Forever hits differently. It elevates the narrative and fight scenes tastefully. The tribute song to Chadwick Boseman sung by Rihanna was truly emotional. I loved how when conveying grief, the director uses complete silence. The impact of the silence was way bigger than the music.

Acting

There is no none in Wakanda Forever who falters in acting. Everyone gave their best to the role. But Angela Bassett and Tenoch Huerta shine brighter than everyone. Marvel has again proved that their casting can not be beaten. I can't imagine a single character played by someone else.

Dominique Thorne has a great start in MCU. There wasn't much in Wakanda Forever where she could portray Riri's character to its full potential. Her introduction was just there to connect with the larger narrative of the MCU. Other than that, she could have been completely replaced and it wouldn't make any impact on the plot. I am excited to see what she brings to the character in her next project at Disney Plus.

giphy

Verdict

Despite not being rich in symbolism compared to Black Panther, the movie excels in building a narrative around the tragic death of the main lead Chadwick Boseman. The writers and director have successfully given Chadwick Boseman a great tribute for playing Black Panther and built a compelling conflict that is impactful and emotional.

The performances are phenomenal for every actor. Namor's character is interesting and every scene with him is satisfying to watch. Shuri goes through a lot of loss and grief over her brother's death and her arc is really good. Okoye's character seems to lack clear direction. Nakia is the best supporting role in Wakanda Forever.

The political dynamics of Wakanda are changing. It is not the only Vibranium rich country anymore. The portrayal of international threats and manipulative tactics applied by the political nations is very telling of the time we currently live in. The allegorical narrative works extremely well in this situation. The symbolism in the movie carries the narrative along elegantly.

The visuals of the underwater empire of Namor, Talokan are breathtaking. It showed the rich symbolism and cultural heritage of Mesoamerica in a wonderful way. The movie is colourful and diverse. The story tackles an urgent & important matter with dire political instability in absence of the Black Panther to protect Wakanda.

Wakanda Forever is slow-paced at times. The story takes a lot of time to go from one point to another. The beginning and the end are emotionally gut-wrenching. But the midsection suffers from a lot of loose threads. Ryan Coogler had to give an emotional payoff to Chadwick Boseman, introduce Riri Williams, build the character arc for the next black panther and at the same time add political intrigue to the mix. He managed to give a satisfying narrative for all of it. Some questions are bound to be left unanswered since this is MCU.

Overall Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was a satisfying watch.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *