Long awaited ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ does not disappoint



Promotional art for ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ (Provided by Marvel).

Peier Li, Staff Writer

Warning, spoilers ahead for ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

Released as the final film for Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as the long-awaited tribute to deceased star Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiered in theaters on November 11, and grossed over $330 million in global ticket sales, topping the box office, in its opening weekend.

Due to Boseman’s death, Marvel Studios had to kill off his character, King T’Challa, aka the Black Panther. Now, his sister and genius inventor, Shuri (Letitia Wright), Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri’s mother and current ruler of Wakanda, and Okoye (Danai Gurira), one of the best warriors in their nation, must fight to protect Wakanda from meddling world governments in search of their vibranium, the strongest metal in their world. They will also have to fend their nation from a new, unseen force hell-bent on destroying the surface world.

This new nation is known as Talokan, and is ruled by Namor (Tenoch Huerta), an excellent combatant with the power to control, breathe, and heal in water as well as the ability to fly upon his winged boots. Ever since his childhood, he has had a deep hatred for land-dwellers because of their past history of enslaving the ancient Mayan tribe. Now, he seeks revenge by flooding and conquering the surface world.

Unlike the previous movie, Black Panther, the computer-generated imagery in this movie, the special visual effects created by computer software, is profoundly improved in almost every possible aspect. This is well shown in the scenes involving Namor and his Atlanteans, as well as the underwater scenes. In both cases, the way the ocean interacts with its characters and environment is extremely detailed with realistic shadows and physics. As always, the musical score, composed by Academy Award-winning composer Ludwig Göransson, who has also written music for the hit TV series The Mandalorian, is amazing. Every piece fits well with the mood of its particular scene, adding to the emotional value of said scenes.

Unfortunately, Namor, the main antagonist of the movie, is greatly undermined by the writers despite him being called “the feathered serpent god.” For example, during the final battle of the Wakandans vs the Talokans, Shuri is able to weaken him just by drying him within a fighter aircraft. The fact that he has such a straightforward and rather unusual weakness even though he is described as a being of divine power is disappointing.

Furthermore, when he is about to be killed by Shuri, she decides at the last minute to spare him if he yields and offers him an alliance, even though the majority of the movie was building on how Shuri was meant to avenge her losses and that she was a symbol of vengeance for the people of Wakanda. Namor, at that point in time, had also massacred numerous people, so letting him live with little consequence was quite strange. The subplots of Agent Ross (Martin Freeman) and Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) also slowed down the progression of the movie and were unnecessary to the plot.

Overall, I recommend this movie to the average Marvel fan despite its flaws. It also does not punish people who have not watched any past Marvel movies, as the beginning summarizes what one needs to know pretty well in a short amount of time. Anyone who enjoys action and emotional movies would definitely enjoy this film too, as it has some great moments of each category.