Black Panther: Wakanda Forever


By Andrew McManus - Contributing Columnist



McManus

McManus


In has been some time since we have been in the Marvel universe. Our last journey was with Dr. Stephen Strange in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in May. That seems like a lifetime ago. It’s no secret that although I enjoy both D.C. (think Batman) films and Marvel. I tend to enjoy Marvel more. I grew up reading the comments so that love started early. This sequel to Black Panther from 2018 is a bit of a conundrum. The film’s star and the aforementioned Black Panther passed away recently after a private battle with cancer. It is said he was battling cancer when filming the first movie and from all accounts he was brave, strong, and didn’t let his illness show. As someone who has been dealing with health problems recently myself this hit home for me more than normal. Mr. Boseman is sorely missed from this film, but I will say (spoiler warning) this rendition gives him the credit and peace he much deserved. So, would this be like most sequels and fall flat from its predecessor?

Onto the film.

We open in a whirlwind of hysteria and sheer fear and panic. T’Challa (Boseman) is dying. Shuri (Wright) his sister is attempting to recreate a “heart-shaped” herb to save him. She is unsuccessful. She will carry the weight of this throughout the film. As will her mother, Ramonda (Bassett) who is left to protect Wakanda in the wake of losing their King. We cut to a year later and other countries and powers are wanting vibranium (priceless mineral) that is only found in Wakanda. We see a story of lose, and healing and picking up the pieces when all seems lost. I don’t want to give too much of the story away but I will say it is a powerful film. I felt happy, sad, scared, excited all in the course of two hours. I will touch on one other aspect of the film. Namor (Mejia) is another king from an underwater realm in Wakanda. He is essentially the “big bad” of the film and makes for a good foil versus the people of Wakanda attempting to protect their lands.

The score of this film is wonderful. You feel the pain in the characters during T’Challa’s funeral. You feel the sadness and then the triumphs throughout with the help of the sound of drums and the passion transcends the screen. The fight scenes as typical for Marvel films are GREAT! You will be on the edge of your seat almost feeling the punches as they land. The best aspect of this film, however, is the story. It is rare to see a “superhero” film marred in loss in this nature and allow that to carry it, but it works. I am beyond excited to see what the future holds. I dare say this film rivals the first. You feel for the characters, and you loathe and love them throughout. When a film does this, it is a gem. Angela Bassett deserves award nominations for her portrayal in this film. She’s worth the price of admission by herself. Also, Shuri played by Letitia Wright is a force in her own right. I wasn’t sure if she would be able to carry the mantle, but I was pleasantly surprised. Her pain becomes the viewers pain, and this allows us to pull for the character even more.

I wasn’t sure if they should make a sequel to Black Panther with losing Chadwick Boseman but I hope and feel that this film does him justice and expands his legacy. If you are a Marvel fan, you’ll be in the theaters for this one. If you aren’t or unsure GO, SEE IT. The film does a good job of recapping the events prior, so you won’t feel lost and the performances from all on screen are a sight to see. 5 STARS out of 5! Well done Marvel and Rest in Peace Chadwick Boseman. Your legacy lives on.

McManus
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By Andrew McManus

Contributing Columnist