Don Reviews "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever"
When “Black Panther” released in 2018 after “Captain America: Civil War”, Chadwick Boseman brought the character of T’Challa to life in a way few could have imagined. When he passed away from cancer, the future stories from Wakanda had to be re-tooled on almost every level, but with Ryan Coogler at the helm once again, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is finally here.
There are returning cast and new actors in this all-star ensemble which includes Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Dominique Thorne, and Tenoch Huerta. It’s been a year since the passing of T’Challa, and Wakanda has been under pressure from other countries to share their resources including vibranium. Queen Ramonda (Bassett) stands firm on not sharing because she doesn’t think the outside world will use it wisely, so as the world looks elsewhere it is found under the ocean. As those who desire the vibranium descend on the kingdom of Talokan, they face its king in Namor (Huerta), and the battle is on for control on multiple fronts.
Since we are dealing with Disney AND the MCU, the visuals here are on-point, especially when it comes to Talokan. The performances are standard for any MCU film, but there was a pretty solid turn by Huerta in the role of a character that has been highly anticipated for many years by fans.
The run time is where I get a bit conflicted; even though this runs over two and a half hours, it is paced well but feels like it just kept going on and on. With the multiple storylines involved, there were times I felt things got almost lost in the shuffle and even a little too complicated. This is definitely a different tone from the first film as “Wakanda Forever” takes a darker tone in the way the script is presented on screen and also deals with more social issues than an origin story tends to have time for. There is some great work giving the backstories of both kingdoms as well as how it pays tribute to Boseman’s character on a very high emotional levels. I can’t give it the “coveted” here, but I will recommend “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” as a Saturday afternoon screening.