After the heartbreaking loss of Chadwick Boseman in 2020, the Marvel community had lost a very important person. With the original release of “Black Panther” in 2018, Chadwick Boseman was the first representation of a Black man being the main hero on the big screen of Marvel. And with his death, there was a hole and many people felt like they lost their hero. There were also the questions: Who will be our hero now? Who will be the new Black Panther? But as Wakandan Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) elegantly says, “Don’t think Wakanda has lost her ability to protect.”
Well, with the release of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” those questions are answered in a graceful and beautiful way. Quickly immersing us back into the world of Wakanda, the movie opens up fast-paced with Shuri (Letitia Wright), the Queen’s daughter and T’Challa’s younger scientist sister fighting to save a life.
While paying homage to the first movie with returning characters, the movie introduces a new character and a new world. With the new challenge in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) being Talokan and their leader Namor (a character first introduced in Marvel Comics No. 1 in 1939), this opens up an intricate underwater world and their culture. And it’s safe to say the Wakandans have met their match in this movie. With two grand war scenes that can compete with “Avengers: Endgame” — and with women at the front line — the action in this movie is the chef’s kiss. There is also the introduction of Riri (Dominique Thorne) a young Black woman who is a beautiful genius with a charming personality and quick wit that will make you laugh throughout the movie. She serves as yet another powerful representation for Black girls.
In this new movie, the audience is introduced to the villages and towns within Wakanda. The towns are vibrant and lively with Oscar-winning “Black Panther” costume designer Ruth Carter displaying the beauty of traditional African cultures with her intricate designs. And with Autumn Durald Arkapaw’s cinematography and “Black Panther” Oscar winner Ludwig Goransson’s music that perfectly heightens every moment, I was truly entranced by every scene. And although there are many moments to pull on our heart strings, in typical Marvel fashion, there are joyous moments of humor where the whole audience will roar with laughter, even as we are on the edge of our seats.
Full of high chase scenes, heart-moving moments, and beautiful mixtures of cultures, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is well-paced with every scene jam-packed and memorable. Throughout, we are reminded that in Wakanda, death is not the end and as Shuri graciously puts it, “Brother is dead, but it doesn’t mean the Black Panther is gone.”
All in all, this movie is a must watch and trust me, you don’t want to use the bathroom for this one. And just a heads up: you’ll definitely want to stay after the credits scene for this one.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is in theaters everywhere now.