Not just another hero!
For more reasons than one, Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER (2018) drastically changed MCU’s landscape. A revolutionary spectacle all on its own, the standalone of all standalones, its roar shook the world and placed it on a throne all on its own. To say it was a success would be an understatement. You name it: interesting narrative, fantastic scenery, costumes, characters, one of the most charismatic villains in the MCU, and lastly, a charming hero. We’ve all seen it, felt it, and lets be honest… we wanted more! Then the unfortunate tragedy led to questioning as to where they’d take the franchise next. I mean, if you’re a fan and know the comics, the storyline is already written and give it time. However, human nature’s whiney, immaturity kicks in and within days of Boseman’s passing people were debating on what should happen next. You know, “the experts.” The good thing there was a strategic pause in how they’d continue with the Black Panther, and I wholeheartedly welcomed it.
Since the release of BLACK PANTHER, much has happened in the MCU. Whether cinematically or TV series, Wakanda has been an anchor in some way, shape, or form. Leading up BLACK PANTHER’s sequel, WAKANDA FOREVER is a piece that generates a lot of interest. Having a hunch where they’d go with the hero character, the appeal of this one is more on how the balance will fair between past and future. The trailer gave us a snapshot, but nothing will compare unital kicking back and taking in.
Post fictional and literal “blip,” in WAKANDA FOREVER, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba) fight to protect their nation from intervening and intertwining world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda.
Firstly, WAKANDA FOREVER is a lot to take in at an almost three hour run. Of course, it doesn’t compare to the first and nothing ever will. But I just want to start off by giving Ryan Coolger much love and respect for doing the best he could to give this flick its own vibe and style, without disrespecting or erasing Bosman’s legacy. It was strategically executed and artfully done. For that alone, I have to say, thank you, Mr. Coogler. I really enjoyed it!
The overall tone from start to finish is the feeling of loneliness and vulnerability. As the story plays along, it’s exposed not only from Wakanda, but from those who live an intertwining lifestyle, led by Namor (Tenoch Huerta). The narrative can also serve as a bit of social commentary for many ways, but the overall exposition is as entertaining and bright, as it is heavy and dark. WAKANDA FOREVER has its drags, but it doesn’t take away from its individuality in all aspects in terms of scenery, story, stakes, scenarios, and a fantastic cameo (which served as a great steppingstone for the story’s evolution of the Black Panther).
This one ends in a way where it doesn’t necessarily give off anything as to what’s next, and I’d say that also applies to its mid-credit scene. One that was pretty special and one of the best presented by Marvel Studios. The overall effect of WAKANDA FOREVER is one that may feel like it shouldn’t have been done, but truth is this story needed closure on the part of Boseman’s work with the character. His presence is felt and serves as backdrop inspiration, but never shadows and allows life for the sequel to provide its own roar — no purrs allowed!
Genre: Action-Adventure, Sci-Fi | Rated: PG-13 | Run Time: 2:40
Starring: Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, Tenoch Huerta
Directed and Co-written by: Ryan Coogler