Wakanda Forever Review


Marvel Studios

Wakanda Forever attempts to continue the story of Black Panther without its iconic lead.

Sarina Luke, Staff Writer

The new release of Wakanda Forever, the sequel to 2018’s Black Panther, aroused many questions from millions of fans who were preparing to see the movie.

The original movie, Black Panther, was memorable to many because it featured the first African American Marvel hero. Unfortunately, Chadwick Boseman, the actor who portrayed Black Panther, passed away, which generated controversy about how Marvel would be able to create a movie that would be good enough to replace the first. 

However, the movie was wonderful precisely because it did not replace the first, or even attempt to. For example, instead of replacing Boseman as Black Panther, the movie opens with a funeral scene dedicated to the character, and his legacy is mentioned multiple times throughout the story.

There are also moments where Shuri, the character’s sister, starts to distrust the ancestors who served as guides for T’Challa in the original film. One example of this is when she creates the artificial heart-shaped herb. The heart-shaped herb was the plant traditionally used to pass the power of the Black Panther to the next heir to the throne. When she drinks the herb she is supposed to see her ancestors. However, she ends up seeing someone who the audience may not have expected. This makes her feel like the ancestors rejected her because they did not offer her advice like they did for her brother.  She was grieving over the loss of her brother and felt completely alone because the ancestors weren’t there for her.

Seeing her go through this grief makes her character appear more genuine. I loved how they didn’t try to make it seem like everyone had moved on from T’Challa’s death and everything was ok. At the end of the film, she is about to kill the antagonist, Namor, out of vengeance, but shows mercy out of her love for her brother. It’s a beautiful moment where, even though her brother died, she uses him as a model for her actions out of respect for him. 

A Tribute to T’Challa wasn’t the only thing that makes Wakanda Forever so special. It is also filled with comedic relief that broke up the tension between moments when Shuri is dealing with grief.

A Tribute to T’Challa wasn’t the only thing that makes Wakanda Forever so special. It is also filled with comedic relief that broke up the tension between moments when Shuri is dealing with grief. There are also multiple references to how the general, Okoye, is adamant about sticking with her own ways which brings humor to the film

For example, there is a scene where Shuri creates the midnight suits, which are new uniforms for the Wakandan warriors. She shows the general who remarks “Is it just me, or does that thing get uglier every time I see it?” “It’s you,” Shuri replies. These brief comedic moments are perfect to break up the tension and stress in certain scenes. 

I also loved how the queen wasn’t afraid to publicly withhold vibranium from other countries during the UN Conference. Giving vibranium to other countries would have meant giving up the one element that distinguishes Wakanda from other countries. It would also have brought up the question of if everyone has the power of vibranium, does anyone have the power of vibranium? Instead of making Wakanda stronger than other countries, giving everyone vibranium would have done nothing but even the playing field. 

Another thing I loved about this film was how they still incorporated Nakia’s character. In the first film, she played Black Panther’s love interest. I was skeptical about how they would use her now that Black Panther is gone. She ends up being a teacher in Haiti who ends up saving Shuri from Namor’s underground palace and helps her fight the battle with him. She is also revealed to be the mother to T’challa’s son, which brings hope that there will be another film. 

Although this movie was terrific, it still left some unanswered questions. 

At the end of the movie, Shuri met T’Challa’s son whom he kept a secret. What role will he play in future movies? Will he be the next black Panther?

In addition, the character M’Baku challenged Shuri for the throne at the end of the film. Why would he do this? He was like a father figure to Shuri throughout the movie and offered her advice on defeating Namor. Since Shuri didn’t show up for the challenge, did he automatically earn the right to be the next ruler of Wakanda?

Another piece of controversy was the role of the scientist. 

Ironheart, a young female African American inventor, was the focus during the beginning of the film. She created a device that could detect vibranium, which was being used by US intelligence. Shuri and the general were tasked with finding her and giving her to Namor in order to protect Wakanda from attack. However, she wasn’t much of a big deal once they found her. She created a suit to help them in the battle with Namor and created conflict when Shuri didn’t give her to Namor,  but that was pretty much it. It seemed as though they could’ve created the movie without her at all. 

The movie definitely made up for this with the special effects. 

The special effects were magnificent. The battle scenes were very realistic and the fighting was very well choreographed. It felt as though you could see the characters struggle as they fought which made the fights seem so real. 

Overall, although Wakanda Forever left me with lots of skepticism, there were so many aspects that made it a unique film that was wonderful to watch.