Now it’s been a while since we had a movie review on HereBeGeeks, but this movie was definitely worth gushing over – especially if you just love and appreciate good movie making. No intentional spoilers here and opinions are solely my own.
Let’s get the elephant out of the room first
Now almost everyone that’s into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) should know the situation behind the Black Panther movies, notably with the passing of Chadwick Boseman in 2020 and the concern fans have had on how the mantle of the Black Panther would be passed on in the MCU. This movie has magically been able to overcome this major issue well and beyond itself but also be an amazing tribute from the cast and crew to the first MCU Black Panther.
Now there’s also been thoughts about how Namor was going to be introduced into the MCU and I felt that this movie gave Namor the reverence of being the first (in print!) mutant in the comics as well as adapting his original story from the comics that blends well into the real world. The movie does make you like and dislike him (yes both!) which really came off well for the anti-hero he is known to be.
The presentation of the undersea city, Talokan, is also an amazing piece of cinematography, visual effects and fantastic attention to detail (kudos to the production and costume designers) which is further enhanced with a well-packaged telling of how the Talokanil came about. In fact it was these scenes that resonated the most with me with their almost faerie-like atmosphere
The New! Black Panther and Everyone Else
Most watch a MCU movie with the expectation of high-octane action with superheroes but Wakanda Forever comes through as a depiction of the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression & acceptance) as we see Shuri progress through them in the movie as she eventually becomes the new Black Panther (this is definitely not a spoiler if you’ve watched any trailer for the movie)
But the rest of the cast shines wonderfully in their own moments, from Angela Basset as Queen Ramonda to Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams (aka Ironheart). However Danai Gurira as Okoye and Winston Duke as M’Baku, both returning to their roles from the first movie, totally stole their scenes with the wide range of emotions presented on screen.
And all of that is magically captured through the amazing cinematography brought to the screen by the efforts of Ryan Coogler (Director), Autumn Durald Arkapaw (Cinematographer) and the team of film editors – especially in the moments when it is about people and not the action.
“We’re not so different, you and I“
The ‘quote’ above resonates throughout the entire movie from the smallest moments to the most pivotal between any pair of characters featured, whether friend or foe.
And this also is showcased extremely well through the movie’s soundtrack. I found myself mildly distracted throughout the movie because of its music that just makes you want to hear more of it and to figure out when it’s African-influenced and when it’s South-American-inspired. The wikipedia entry on the soundtrack is an amazing read if you’re into music and how cultural influences shaped the movie’s – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Panther:Wakanda_Forever (soundtrack) (don’t read the main wiki entry for the movie though – it’s 100% spoilers)
Wakanda Forever hasn’t had quite a marketing fanfare compared to other MCU movies this year, but it probably stands as one of my favourites for the cinematography, music and tireless reverence for its comic history, the real-life historical influences and how the actors resolve the passing of Chadwick, both as themselves and as the characters they portray on screen. Enjoy the movie like a walk in a park and not the typical high-adrenaline run that most MCU movies are and you’ll be absolutely fine.
I’m happy I paid $20 to watch this in IMAX and now I’m going to enjoy the OST while whispering “Wakanda Forever”.