Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
2022 K-12 2 h 41 min.
Is it just me, or is the “it’s almost 3h” realization also trigger other people like “Well, I hope I won’t get bored” – and next concern is holding it in that long? (Btw, for all those who have difficulties – after the mid-credits scene you don’t need to stick around any more).
In this case, you’ll definitely not feel bored – on the contrary, towards the end I would rather have wanted more of epic story telling: The second visit to Wakanda is a feast for the senses, just like the first Black Panther movie. The colors, the costumes, the scenery, the music, the complex characters, the Shakespearean-drama plot – those almost-3 hours pretty much fly by.
Judging by the audible sobs from seats behind me, I was not the only one who shed – again – a few tears for Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman, who tragically passed away in 2020. Because here he receives an epic farewell, a royal funeral for T’Challa. Many in those scenes probably didn’t have to act on their mourning … Even if Chadwick himself might not have objected to a simple recasting (which his brother Derrick Boseman publicly suggested), he had made this great charismatic figure too much part of his own personality – therefore a well-deserved tribute and a good MCU headquarter decision. (Anyone other than Robert Downey Jr playing Tony Stark/Iron Man? A Thor/Loki duo without the Hemsworth/Hiddleston brilliance??? Inconceivable!)
After the painful farewell, you can celebrate the reunion with beloved characters from the first movie: Letitia Wright as Shuri, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira
as Okoye, Winston Duke as M’Baku – and yes, as you can already guess, the strong women predominate, driving story and action, even if the central counterpart is male: an intense, captivating Tenoch Huerta as Namor. Despite the breathtaking SF/Fantasy scenarios, many things seem so “real” and comprehensible: the conflicts, dilemmas, feelings the characters go through, the endangered nature, ruthless politics and warmongering, yes, this unfortunately feels real-life familiar and therefore immediately gets to you. This film will certainly take you in immediately and will keep you thrilled until the end. Maybe not just me wants to shout out “Wakanda Forever” at some point….
Why still not a full 10/10? Well, in the final chapter, some things felt like being rushed, somehow half-heartedly as an alibi concern and therefore a bit unsatisfactory. Were some scenes edited out or is it a buildup for the third visit of Wakanda? In comparison, the first Black Panther movie felt more rounded, offered a closure. But that’s my only criticism – absolute recommendation to watch the 30th film within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, preferably in IMAX format.
Director: Ryan Coogler
Script: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole
Music: Ludwig Göransson
Tenoch Huerta … Namor
Letitia Wright … Shuri
Angela Bassett … Ramonda
Lupita Nyong’o … Nakia
Danai Gurira … Okoye
Winston Duke … M’Baku
Martin Freeman … Everett K. Ross
Michaela Coel … Aneka
Dominique Thorne … Riri Williams
Janeshia Adams-Ginyard … Nomble
Mabel Cadena … Namora
Florence Kasumba … Ayo
María Mercedes Coroy … Princess Fen
Alex Livinalli … Attuma