Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

The second chapter dedicated to the Black Panther is a cry for inclusiveness

After the first film of 2018, Ryan Coogler returned to directing and writing for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. This awaited second chapter dedicated to Black Panther has undergone major changes following the untimely death of the actor Chadwick Boseman, who passed away in 2020. Changes in the works that have turned the spotlight on Shuri, Queen Ramonda and the Wakandan warriors committed to defending Wakanda from new threats. The film will be released in Italian cinemas on November 9th.


A tribute to Chadwick Boseman – Black Panther: Wakanda Foreverthe review

Already Black Panther he had detached himself from other Marvel films thanks to the will, fully respected, to create a film about a nation other than the US, with its own culture, beliefs and traditions.
A task that Ryan Coogler’s first film had accomplished with excellent results by doing Black Panther a profound and multifaceted cinecomic that embraced a new way of making mainstream cinema. The premature death of Chadwick Boseman has, for obvious reasons, prevented the second chapter dedicated to the Black Panther from following the narrative line that the first film had set, prompting Coogler to choose a different path.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Marvel Studios.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever succeeds well in its intent of being a tribute to Boseman and his role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also a passing of the torch for the new face of the Black Panther.
In all and for all this second chapter of Black Panther is a film about the origins of a superhero and is treated as such. A coherent narrative choice for the turn that the story has had to take and which, stylistically speaking, departs from the first chapter dedicated to the Wakandian hero to conceive something new, tailored to the characters who take the role of undisputed protagonists.

The plot – Black Panther: Wakanda Foreverthe review

The news of Wakanda and the next death of King T’Challa it has brought new threats from countries craving the possessions of the most powerful nation in the world. A threat that also comes from the sea, from the Talokan marine people ruled by Namor (Tenoch Huerta), a man with pointed ears and wings at the ankles that allow him to fly and swim much faster.
Threats that do not stop even in front of the mourning of the whole of Wakanda and, above all, in a delicate moment for Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and for T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Letitia Wright), the two women most affected by the unexpected death of the King.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Marvel Studios.

If in the first chapter of Black Panther the enemy were peoples known as colonizers, in this second film Coogler decides to take a different path: that of dualism.
Wakanda and Talokan have a more similar story than one might think. A sharing of the past that continues to carry on the discourse introduced in the previous film, the one that puts in an unflattering, but authentic light, the Western countries that have exploited entire populations and their resources with greed and gluttony.

Marvel and representation – Black Panther: Wakanda Foreverthe review

As we said, the strong point of Black Panther has always been the be able to allow yourself the luxury of detaching yourself from Marvel movies who, on the contrary, are anchored to more rigid rules in which the comic line is now untouchable – and which does not undergo major changes since the release of Guardians of the Galaxy – and the protagonist is unquestionably male. Coogler prefers one to comedy social satire and is committed to creating multifaceted and authentic protagonists.
Marvel has repeatedly attempted to build interesting female characters succeeding (and not always) exclusively when the main role is entrusted to a superheroine.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Marvel Studios.

MJ’s character writing in Spider-Man that, although it is played by Zendaya who has repeatedly demonstrated her skill, remains a character without the slightest characterization. Or the famous scene in Avengers: EndGame in which an overview that was supposed to shout Girl Power is reserved for the heroines, but in reality the powers of the aforementioned have been strongly modified and reduced to give space to the hero – male – on duty. Already the first Black Panther he winked at an inclusiveness not only on the facade, but dedicated to a well-done writing work that, in this second chapter, raises the bar.

A female story of power and rebirth – Black Panther: Wakanda Foreverthe review

Wakandan women are seen by others as weak. The common thought is that, after the death of their King, the nation no longer has anyone to protect them and they believe it is easy to overcome their defenses. A hasty judgment that coincides with the beginning of the film that takes all its time to dismantle the thesis. The women in charge of Wakanda are strong, but they are not described as classic heroines. Their characterization embraces that cinecomics structure where the weak points of the hero of the moment are humanized.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Marvel Studios.

Wakanda is now exclusively in the hands of the technology brought forward by Shuri, Ramonda’s maternal humanity and the warriors trained to protect who are the real flagship since the previous film.
Wakanda before being a nation is a community led by mourning women who do not shy away from the threat that is approaching dangerously, too devoted to their family whose people are an extension of blood relations.

Technical considerations – Black Panther: Wakanda Foreverthe review

The script focuses on the character of Shuri, the backbone with T’Challa in the first film. The way she approaches her brother’s death, dealing with grief and Shuri’s rebirth they take place in a more traditional way than one might expect having seen the previous chapter which, on the contrary, used dreamlike and spiritual atmospheres to describe the protagonist’s growth span. In this Wakanda Forever it looks more like a traditional Marvel cinecomic in which the action and the sets are the masters. This latest film by Coogler would like to combine the dynamic structure of a superhero film with the atmosphere of the African world, but without completely succeeding.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Marvel Studios.

Although the action scenes abound and are interspersed with beautiful settings and scenes that make the protagonists better known, it lacks a dynamism which would have given the nearly three hours of viewing one more solid structure. A structure that overlooks the introduction of Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne), a bit like what happened in Doctor Strange with America. Either way, the story leaves no room for an effective introduction to new characters. In addition to the writing of the protagonists and the dualism that pervades the story, a note of merit goes to the sound system and the well-kept soundtrack that manage to do justice to the construction of the narrative world.

Rating – 7.5


Positive sides

  • The writing of the female characters
  • Shuri’s rebirth arc
  • The soundtrack and the sound system

Negative sides

  • Some secondary characters are left too far behind

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Marvel film review