BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER: (2022) – My rating: 9/10

Black Panther Wakanda Forever poster.jpg

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Black Panther. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the sequel to Black Panther 2018 and the 30th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Wakanda Forever is directed by Ryan Coogler, who co-wrote the screenplay with Joe Robert Cole. The leaders of Wakanda fight to protect their nation in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. This most anticipated sequel was well done with a fitting tribute to Chadwick Boseman. Wakanda Forever was well worth the wait.

T’Challa, king of Wakanda (Chadwick Boseman), is suffering from an illness that his sister, Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright), believes can be cured by the “heart-shaped herb”. Princess Shuri attempts to synthetically recreate the herb after it was destroyed by Killmonger. The Princess was unable to save King T’Challa before he is ravaged by the disease and passed on.

**** SLIGHT SPOILERS ****

One year later, Queen Ramonda of Wakanda (Angela Bassette) attends a conference and is under pressure from the attendees from other nations to share Wakanda’s [vibranium]. As the queen spoke, other parties were attempting to steal [vibranium] back in Wakanda, by force. Upon her return to Wakanda, Queen Ramonda implores Princess Shuri to continue her research on the heart-shaped herb, hoping to create a new Black Panther that will defend Wakanda. Princess Shuri refuses due to her belief that the Black Panther is a figure of the past. In the Atlantic Ocean, the CIA and U.S. Navy SEALs utilize a [vibranium]-detecting machine to locate a potential [vibranium] deposit underwater. The expedition is attacked and killed by a group of blue-skinned water-breathing superhumans led by Namor (Tenoch Huerta), with the CIA believing Wakanda to be responsible. Namor confronts Queen Ramonda and Princess Shuri, easily bypassing Wakanda’s advanced security. Blaming Wakanda for the [vibranium] race, he gives them an ultimatum: deliver to him, the scientist responsible for the [vibranium]-detecting machine, or he will attack Wakanda.

There is so much going on in this sequel of Wakanda, you don’t have time to think about the absence of King T’Challa but you’re aware that Wakanda is in need of leadership.  It is my personal opinion that Michael B. Jordan should somehow be resurrected as N’Jadaka / Erik “Killmonger” Stevens and given the lead role as “The New Black Panther” or let’s be audacious enough to call him “The African Panther of Wakanda”. While Shauri is impressionable in the role I can’t stop thinking of her as a slightly emotional tech and sort of a geek of Wakanda.  I think her size is too small for the role, just compare the muscles of her brother or Jordan against her small frame. The addition of the Talokan people was a real surprise and added much-needed action to the film.  CIA agent Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) returned as an asset to Wakanda. I suspect we’ll be seeing more of him in future sequels. Last but not least, Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) an MIT student and genius inventor from Chicago has arrived. She takes Wakanda on a technological journey like you wouldn’t believe. Just when I thought we were done with surprises, Everett’s ex-wife Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) appears as the Director of the CIA causing all sorts of havoc.  The plot, which contains many twists and turns is plentiful and keeps us guessing.  Overall, I really liked this sequel and highly recommend it to all.  As of November 15, 2022, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has grossed $205.1 million in the United States and Canada, and $150.3 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $355.4 million. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 84% with an average rating of 7.2/10, based on 333 reviews. The site’s critic’s consensus reads: “A poignant tribute that satisfyingly moves the franchise forward, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever marks an ambitious and emotionally rewarding triumph for the MCU.” Be sure to watch beyond the credits for a mind-blowing revelation.  Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is currently in theaters — Check It Out!

 

 

 

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