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FILM REVIEW: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Mystifyingly moving Cast: Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Guria, Dominique Thorne, Tenoch Huerta, Martin Freeman, and Angela Bassett...

Mystifyingly moving

Cast: Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Guria, Dominique Thorne, Tenoch Huerta, Martin Freeman, and Angela Bassett.

Rating: 3.5*

The film is a tribute to Chadwick Boseman and it weighs heavily on the film. He is truly missed as he carried the entire legacy of Black Panther on his shoulders. The sequel has visually stunning sets, and intricately detailed costumes, and talks about world-building. Yet the film has a simple and straightforward narrative which makes the film an easy watch unlike any other in the Marvel franchise. Kudos to director Ryan Coogler and co-writer Joe Robert Cole for keeping the viewers hooked with their simple linear story-telling.

The film starts with the burial of King T’Challa (the late Boseman), who died due to an undisclosed illness. Ramonda (the effortless Angela Bassett) becomes the ruler of Wakanda. Shuri (excellent Letitia Wright) T’Challa’s sister and daughter of Ramonda is distraught and under severe trauma for not having saved her brother. During a conference of the United Nations where various nations blame Wakanda for not being cooperative and not providing them with vibranium, Queen Ramonda makes it clear that she will not share the vibranium for any destructive means. However, the USA finds traces of vibranium in the Atlantic Ocean where a team of researchers heads for the machine built by scientists. Suddenly out of nowhere, they are attacked by mysterious creatures and kill everyone on the mining ship.

The chief of this tribe Namor (a restrained Tenoch Huerta making his debut) secretly reaches Wakanda and tells Ramonda and Shuri that USA plans to extract vibranium and Wakanda is responsible for the exposure of the metal. He orders them to find the scientist responsible for the building of the machine otherwise he would destroy Wakanda. Shuri along with Okoye (the dependable Danai Gurira) go to USA to find that the scientist is a 19-year-old student Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne with limited screen time). They are helped by CIA agent Everett K Ross (the adorable Martin Freeman) to find the scientist. But unfortunately, the CIA arrives and upon fleeing Riri and Shuri are caught and taken prisoners by Namor and his army in their underwater kingdom Takalon. Namor makes it clear to Shuri that he wants to kill Riri otherwise the ‘surface people’ will come in search of the vibranium.

The film has a long runtime of 164 minutes but that doesn’t deter the narrative or the flow of the film. The end of the film is truly poignant. Another person who stands out is Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia. She is wonderful.

This Marvel film is definitely more subtle and expressive than the others in the franchise.

The tribute given to Chadwick Boseman right at the beginning and the end is also truly moving.


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