Four years ago when Black Panther entered theaters I remember being overwhelmed by how powerful it was. To see so many beautiful, intelligent, inspiring Black people on the big screen in a fashion that was 100% empowering was something I truly had never seen before.
It’s been four years since I’ve felt the power of this side of the MCU and Ryan Coogler did NOT disappoint with this sequel. He understands that sequels always have to up the ante and that means more characters, bigger action sequences, and even greater depth than what came before. He delivered that with Wakanda Forever, a film that never settles for being anything other than an emotional, ultra-serious story.
There is levity, allowing audiences to laugh every once in a while, but this is not Ant-Man. This is what I think people were expecting Thor: Love and Thunder to be except they forgot it was being directed by Taika Waititi, a man known for his comedic storytelling. Wakanda Forever is emotional up and down the board, with several scenes designed to get your eyes watery.
The cast was top-notch, with Angela Basset and Letitia Wright producing outstanding performances. Wright came into her own in this movie, forcing us to understand that this movie was about her and that she was totally able to handle a lead role such as that.
And Tenoch Huerta, my my my. There are great casting choices in the MCU and then there are stellar casting choices. Robert Downey Jr., Chadwick Boseman, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Josh Brolin, are some of the most impeccable castings in the MCU. Tenoch joins their ranks easily with a performance that is utter perfection.
He can invoke emotions that make him seem almost prince-like as if he’s still a young man rather than a 500-year-old being. And then he can be a terrifying antagonist whose power in the film is literally eye-widening.
I have so much to say but I’ll finally leave it at this. Wakanda Forever is a perfect sequel in the fact that it has cast a brand new light on Black Panther, Infinity War, and Endgame in ways I wasn’t expecting. If a sequel can do that it has accomplished its goal.
I’m giving Wakanda Forever 95 out of 100 and 4 and a half stars. I thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day.
3 thoughts on “My Experience after Watching ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’”
Definitely the “Two Towers” of this series. Tear jerking moments. Heavy moments of silence. And all the action.
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I think this felt more like a TV episode in its structure than maybe any MCU movie has before. It might be the inevitable result of what the MCU has been doing with their storytelling. And also the result of having to deal with Chadwick’s death. The movie doesn’t stand alone very well. It’s always asking you to think about things that have happened before and also to think about things that are coming in the future. I wish it was more self-contained than that, because I think it benefits every movie to have its own distinct identity and stand as an independent statement as much as it can.
I liked it best when it focused on Wakanda and the characters native to that land. Angela Bassett basically stole the show and the movie might’ve been better if she had been the true lead of it. I didn’t need to see any Americans in this movie at all. I think they were by far the weakest link, be it the U.S. government agents or Riri Williams. Namor was a good character, done in a pretty three-dimensional way. I had trouble understanding his origin fully though. But the idea of branching out to deal with Atlantis seemed like an arbitrary choice just because it was “time” to introduce Namor. An underwater society would probably not have been the natural choice for a new threat to Wakanda if this movie wasn’t in the MCU.
The plot of the movie ended up bearing a striking resemblance to that of Batman v Superman, especially when we get to the point where Shuri has Namor pinned down helplessly in the same position Batman had Superman with his kryptonite spear, and then she has flashbacks to her family members which affect her thinking, just like Batman did. She also got to that point because of a thirst for revenge after Namor’s destruction of a city. And she made use of an Achilles’ Heel to weaken Namor’s superpowers during the fight. A lot of these beats line up directly with BVS.
Ultimately, I just felt it was an okay movie, with a lot of good scenes and performances in service of a story that was all over the map in some ways and formulaic in others. It’s right in the middle of my MCU list, not disappointing or annoying, but not very exciting or mind-blowing.
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