Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright play Okoye and Shuri in Marvel Studio’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
There’s no substitute for the irreplaceable, but that’s Ryan Coogler’s job as director and co-writer Disney’s The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe movie “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”.
The sequel to 2018’s blockbuster Black Panther follows the real-world death of actor Chadwick Boseman, who played the titular character in several Marvel films before dying of cancer in 2020. hero. He is 43 years old.
“Wakanda Forever” is not only a tribute to the late Boseman, but also a new chapter in the multibillion-dollar MCU franchise. A huge opening weekend is expected to be released.
Coogler and Marvel Studios executives decided against recasting T’Challa’s character. Instead, the movie begins with the character’s off-screen death. The story that follows focuses on how the secondary characters of the Wakanda world respond to this loss and the encroachment of the rest of the world, which has become aware of the country’s rare and powerful resource – vibranium.
As Coogler sought to pay homage to Boseman and establish the necessary markers for future MCU projects, some critics called the plot overblown. The film introduces Tenoch Huerta as the ruler of Namor, Talokan, a fictional kingdom based on Atlantis, and Riri Williams, known in the comics as Ironheart, who will star in her own Disney+ series.
Despite its length, Wakanda Forever has a “Fresh” rating of over 80% out of 300 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
Here’s what some critics have to say about “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” ahead of its debut Friday:
Christy Puchko, Mashable
Puchko said the film, while informative, is at its core about how people deal with loss differently. This is especially evident when T’Challa’s mother Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and his sister Shuri (Leititia Wright) quarrel over Wakanda’s future.
“Through their mother-daughter rivalry — born of love and broken hearts — Coogler raises heavy questions,” Puchko wrote. “What do we owe to those we lost? Is their legacy our responsibility? Or are we responsible for our own? Will their memory support us, or will we fail to see a future without them?”
Wright, who spent most of the first Black Panther as a comedic cameo, now plays a more serious lead, which many critics have praised.
“[Wright] Handles the transition nicely and matures the nasty little sister without completely losing her bear jab advantage,” Puchko said.
Read Mashable’s full review.
Still from Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Moira MacDonald of The Seattle Times
“Boseman’s T’Challa is a spirit that haunts the film so deeply,” MacDonald wrote.
“That’s part of the power of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, it doesn’t shy away from that sadness; it’s a superhero movie after all, and Coogler might be forgiven for wanting to cut to the chase quickly, So to speak,” she wrote.
Instead, filmmakers allow characters and audiences to absorb losses before flashing.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever gets it right that it’s frustrating to blame it on a flaw it can’t fix,” she wrote. “But you look at it and wonder what that movie never did. A finished film, an unfinished story, a life that comes to an abrupt and premature end.”
Read the full review in The Seattle Times.
Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly
Like the first “Black Panther,” Coogler was praised for adding a talented actress and creator to “Wakanda Forever.” Hannah Beachler and Ruth Carter, who won Oscars for their designs and costumes in the first film, are back with more acclaim.
Greenblatt wrote: “Their shared vision of Afrofuturism is countered by the usual white noise of Marvel’s fanfare, and even (or almost especially) in darker moments, such as the primitive rituals of funeral scenes, feel Lush, happy and beautiful.” “‘Wakanda’ is clearly still a Marvel property, with all the story beats for fans and the secondary characters its ever-expanding universe needs, but it also feels like a Nothing before is different.”
Greenblatt also talked about how Wakanda became a matriarchy without King T’Challa.
“Without their king, Wakanda became a kingdom from the top down, overseen by Bassett’s tycoon, the immortal Ramonda, the gorgeous and formidable Gurira, and Wright, with feline grace and vulnerability to fill her dramatically expanded role,” she wrote.
She noted that while the sequel likely isn’t what Coogler and Marvel intended to create before Boseman’s untimely death, “they’ve made a movie that has an unusual elegance in multiple theaters. And a deep feeling; kind of forever for that star who left too soon.”
Read Entertainment Weekly’s full review.
Winston Duke plays Mbaku in Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Campbell Campbell, Empire
Critics also praised Huerta’s performance, known as Namor in the comics, and Coogler’s interpretation of the character. Campbell called Namor “a unique adversary.”
“He’s a bright spot, an imaginative adaptation of the veteran comic book character, where he speaks the truth with convincing venom. Coogler links him to Mesoamerican history and Spanish colonialism, And there’s a sense — like Wakanda — of a tangible, real history.”
Campbell also noted that “Wakanda Forever” “can feel too busy” because Coogler has so many elements to incorporate into the film.
“It all sprawled into a messy finale scene that was inconsistent with the rest of the film,” he wrote. “But Wakanda Forever ends up on a poignant note. In Bookends, it confronts the passing of T’Challa and Boseman, moments that pull the film into a moving, surprising Individual overall. Even in his absence, Boseman put Black Panther together.”
Read Empire’s full review.
A still from the movie Black Panther.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBC Universal owns Rotten Tomatoes.