by KJ Proulx
Black Panther was a very welcome addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe back in 2018 and I was really looking forward to seeing the progression of that character. Obviously, with the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, that just wasn’t possible anymore. I figured they would recast the character and continue forward, but they made the tough decision to write the death of the character into the film as well. For that reason, I was worried and relieved all at the same time. It seemed like an impossible task to make a sequel to such a beloved film, but not have the core character there the entire time. Well, after seeing Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, I can confidently say that they handled it as well as they possibly could have. I thought this film was emotional and fantastic, and here’s why.
Picking up six years after the events of Black Panther (in accordance to the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame), this film focuses heavily on the loss of T’Challa and how the country can move forward without their leader. With the emergence of Namor and the underwater city of Talokan threatening all of Wakanda, the remaining characters must band together and protect their country. Shuri (Letitia Wright) is easily the one with the most screentime here and the burden of carrying this franchise is on her shoulders the whole time. This must have been a daunting task, but she pulled it off. Her character, along with her mother, portrayed incredibly well once again by Angela Basset, are the beating hearts of this film. The emotional aspect of this film got me on a few occasions.
Some people may complain about the fact that the death of Chadwick Boseman is basically the jumping-off point for this story to even happen, but I found that it was very tastefully done. With the addition of other characters that will have a future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this film was filled to the brim with story. Where I might have my only complaint though, is the fact that this feels like a big budget prelude to what will come next. It’s a fantastically made film by director Ryan Coogler and I loved watching every minute of this one, but I have to admit that it did feel like more of a long eulogy for the passing of Boseman.
With all of that said though, I’m only complaining about that because I’m reviewing it and criticizing it. That complaint isn’t something I will regularly say about this film. They take the time to make a great film on top of that, so it really worked for me overall. I can’t wait to see where certain storylines continue later and the fact that I’m excited about that, all while this film is satisfying on its own, is nothing short of great. I wept, I was entertained, and I was engaged in the story at hand, so what else could I really have asked for from this film? Also, the final scene that takes place during the credits is easily one of my favourite post-credit scenes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was very well handled. Now playing in theatres, I absolutely recommend checking out Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Check out the trailer below: