Phase 4 of the MCU has been underwhelming to say the least. While the Disney+ series have been decent, films such as Thor: Love and Thunder and Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness have been disappointing. Enter Black Panther: Wakanda Forever which ends Phase 4 with a moving conclusion.
After the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, many fans have wondered how the sequel to one of the most influential superhero films would be able to carry on without their King? Although I still left the theater wondering “What If…” Ryan Coogler and the cast did an amazing job in presenting us with a film that honors the impact of their late star, as well as a satisfying story in the Anthology as we know now as the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
As always, this review will contain some spoilers but it has been well over two weeks so if you have not watched it by now, are you really an MCU Fan?
The cinematography and the dialogue undoubtedly helped elevate the film to another level. There was some humor but it did not feel as forced compared to previous projects and genuinely felt organic in the scenes leading up to it. The impact of T’Challa’s death weighs heavily on all of the characters and each of the actors executed this idea perfectly. Since Disney/Marvel Studios is in the mood to give the supporting characters their own shows, I would definitely be anticipating a Dora Milaje or M’Baku show because they were stellar in this film.
I came in very excited to see the Sub-Mariner take the big screen and they did not disappoint. I love this incarnation of Namor where he is a character of Latino descent and representing an Aztec-inspired city known as Talokan. Although I am sure the reason for the creative reimagining of Namor was to contrast Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, it is a welcomed one because the character design and Tenoch Huerta’s performance made Namor an absolute threat. Although Namor isn’t really considered a stereotypical “villain”, he was an absolute menace and he absolutely stole every scene he was in.
Some things I wasn’t too big of a fan of like Queen Ramonda’s death as it seems to have very litte impact on the story. Instead, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever should have solely focused on the loss of T’Challa. I understand that the plot was intended to inspire Shuri to pick up the mantle left behind by the Black Panther but it felt lackluster seeing how she was adamant about protecting Wakanda her own way. In addition, Shuri’s development of the Black Panther did seem rushed and I would have loved to see either Okoye or Nakia take up the mantle due to their experience of combat.
Regardless, Ryan Coogler did a spectacular job in developing a film about grief and growth under such unfortunate circumstances. I absolutely LOVED how at the end, T’Challa has a son that is named… T’Challa still! This is just a beautiful way of paying tribute to Chadwick Boseman’s iconic performance while allowing the character of T’Challa to continue (which definitely makes me excited because I think a “Storm” is brewing in the works, hehe). Overall, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was an amazing sendoff as we end Phase 4 of the MCU.
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