‘Black Panther Wakanda Forever’: An emotional sendoff

The newest piece of the MCU: Does the second ‘Black Panther’ movie measure up to the first?

A fan made poster for the film Blank Panther Wakanda Forever


A fan made poster for the film “Blank Panther Wakanda Forever”

Jonas Corliss, Staff Writer

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — “Black Panther Wakanda Forever” is the sequel to the 2018 movie “Black Panther” and the final part of Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) Phase Four. The production of the movie faced several issues, the two main problems being the COVID-19 pandemic and the unfortunate passing of the film’s original main actor, Chadwick Boseman, who passed due to colon cancer on Aug. 28, 2020.

The loss of Boseman is felt throughout the story of “Wakanda Forever”. Grieving and loss are two of the central motifs throughout the film and are handled very well. Letitia Wright and Angela Bassett both display incredible skill as Princess Shuri and Queen Ramonda when they show the pain of losing a brother and son.

The plot of the movie is straightforward but does a good enough job to keep the viewer engaged. There is an emotional impact throughout, and the pacing is solid. The main conflict is the discovery of the Talokan people, an underwater society with Mayan ties and access to vibranium, the same metal that powers Wakanda. The Talokan leader Namor, beautifully played by MCU newcomer Tenoch Huerta, wants to wage war against the surface world and requests Wakanda’s aid. This spirals into a conflict between the two powerful nations.

While the story does a fine job, the main draw for the movie is the characters themselves. Huerta plays an intimidating villain who is an equal match to the Black Panther and puts on a great performance for his breakout role in the U.S.. Dominique Thorne plays Riri Williams, or Ironheart, a 19-year-old genius from Boston who is getting her own Disney+ show Fall 2023. The confusion and attitude that Williams brings are a good cleanser from all of the seriousness of the other characters. Danai Gurira’s character Okoye returns and offers both serious and comical elements that don’t feel overdone. M’baku, played by Winston Duke, is a supporting role and offers Shuri relief through all of the chaos in her life.

A hot topic with Marvel recently has been the visuals. Thankfully the CGI throughout the film is great – the water scenes look incredible and there wasn’t a single scene where the visuals distracted me.

Many people were concerned about the story after the tragic passing of Boseman, but I am happy to say that the movie not only stands strong without its original star but also respects his memory and sends his character off beautifully.