The movie we’ve all been waiting for…Black Panther: Wakanda Forever finally came out last friday!!! With the success of the first Black Panther and the death of Chadwick Boseman, the hype made sense. But did it live up to the anticipation? Yes and No.
Character development was absolutely perfect. Especially with Shuri who takes center stage. For 80% of the film Letitia Wright is dynamic but really turns it up in the last act. Tenoch Huerta as Namor was amazing and continues the tradition of amazing villains. At times he seems like an anti-hero which can have audiences confused, even cheering for him. The action set pieces with Okoye were outstanding, her fights were reminiscent of Killmonger vs T’Challa. Angela Bassett returns as Ramonda and plays the role perfectly especially when it comes to grief and loss. The music was a pleasant surprise with Spanish songs splashed with Afro-beats.
The plot and run time really killed this film. This movie could have been split in half and been more effective. Ryan Coogler directs an emotional story but overplays his hand instead of focusing on developing characters like Ironheart and M’Baku who stole every scene. The sub-plot of Martin Freeman returing as CIA agent Everett K. Ross felt like a waste and did not progress the story. Some movies are slow burns (like The Batman with Robert Patterson) but provide a rewarding ending…but Wakanda Forever leaves the audience with more questions. Maybe to set up the trilogy but it felt incomplete and rushed at the end.
The Final Take
This movie does not have the same spark we felt in the first movie. It felt like a depressing drama more than a deep metaphorical super hero epic. Some characters provide entertainment but it felt forced and rushed. Was it trash? No. Was it fire? No. It was lukewarm.