BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER(2022)
Release Date: 11/11/22 [Cinemas]
Studio: Marvel Studios
"The people of Wakanda fight to protect their home from intervening world powers as they mourn the death of King T'Challa."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the finale to Phase Four of the MCU and what a great way to conclude this lackluster era. While delivering some true emotion when it comes to T’Challa and Chadwick Boseman’s passing, the film sticks to the usual formula. While many say they’re suffering from “Marvel fatigue," I’m suffering from “third act fatigue.”
Let’s begin with the excellent way the film launches, with an emotional opening headlining Shuri attempting to cure T’Challa’s illness, while off screen he is on his deathbed. Once the inevitable occurs, the audience is greeted with a beautiful dedication to Boseman with an entirely T’Challa themed Marvel intro. From then on, the film sways back and forth with some truly gripping family drama, to an intriguing new villain being introduced into the MCU, however all comes to a head when the third act declines into exactly what you’d come to expect at this point in Phase Four of the MCU.
The acting throughout is a powerhouse, every single actor is giving their absolute all to their performance here - possibly in respect to the one we’ve lost. Within the walls of Wakanda or the newly discovered kingdom in which our villain, Namor reigns. There’s a lot to explore with Namor and his history will be a joy to better flesh out in the future of the MCU. Tenoch Huerta delivers a powerful performance here with much allure and the chemistry he immediately conveys with Letitia Wright’s Shuri is electric. Where the film loses credit however, is its choice to force Martin Freeman’s Ross back into the storyline, with the addition of Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Val. The couple add absolutely nothing to the story and just add a surplus of minutes to the runtime. Without spoilers in any regard, the fight for power mentally and physically is one, to view this film alone, even with its many typical faults near the end.
The city of Wakanda is gorgeous, beautifully pieced together in every way; same can be said for the weapon and costume design. It’s the suit designs this time ‘round that caught my eye. We get an introduction to Riri Williams aka “Iron Heart” and her suit both made from scrap, as well as created from the best resources known to man acquires an almost anime look to them in their CGI appearance. It seems off putting when you can think back to how realistic the Iron Man suit looked nearly fourteen years ago. If you’ve seen the trailer or any of the new posters for Wakanda Forever, then the reveal is basically spoiled for you. The introduction of a new Black Panther is a no-brainer and in the images in the preview content, it’s easy to decipher who that’s ultimately going to be. The actor taking on the role, once in the costume, I didn’t mind in the slightest however the design itself could use a rework.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is half a beautiful picture that is truly dedicated to the incredible actor and human being, Chadwick Boseman. The other half is a predictable, MCU set piece that becomes a visual headache as it takes too long to get to the point. Nevertheless with such a roller coaster of a phase for the MCU, even an uneven Wakanda Forever nears the top of the pack in quality alone.