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Film REVIEW: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - ★★★★★

Updated: Nov 24, 2022

Reigniting the Marvel saga in the face of real-life tragedy, Black Panther 2 is the sequel that Chadwick Boseman deserves.

Director: Ryan Coogler

Writer: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole

Based on: Marvel Comics

Stars: Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Dominique Thorn, Michaela Cole, Mabel Cadena, Tenoch Huerta, Martin Freeman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Angela Bassett.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama

Themes: Sequel, Superhero, Marvel Cinematic Universe

The people of Wakanda fight to protect their home from intervening world powers as they mourn the death of King T'Challa.

It is the sequel to Black Panther (2018) and the 30th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

The film received positive reviews from critics, with praise towards Coogler's direction, the action sequences, production and costume design, the cast's performances (particularly those of Wright, Gurira, Huerta, and Bassett), emotional weight, musical score, and its tributes to Boseman, although the runtime and plot received some criticism.

In Cinemas Now


Erin (Age 12) - ★★★★1/2

"An adrenaline thrilling movie with unbelievable twists and breathtaking scenes. Letitia Wright gives a good performance."

Jasmine (Age 15) - ★★★★★

"This sequel delivers on all notes- great action, great twists and an interesting villain. With superb acting from the brilliant Letitia Wright, I would recommend this movie not to just marvel fans but also any movie fans of an action epic. (Also, Rihanna’s new song made especially for this movie is wonderful). I especially loved how it paid tribute to Chadwick Boseman and created some truly beautiful scenes."

Have you seen it yet?


Black Panther: Wakanda Forever background - What's the first thing to know about Black Panther 2?

The original Black Panther wasn’t just a movie, it was a cultural event. For a half-century, King T’Challa of the fictional African nation of Wakanda had been a semi-obscure character from Marvel’s dusty drawer of also-rans. But in the hands of director Ryan Coogler (Creed) – and his ridiculously charismatic lead actor Chadwick Boseman – the hero became an overnight icon.

Black Panther not only tore up cinema conventions (showcasing the first black movie lead of the MCU era) but smashed box offices from Toronto to Timbuktu, becoming the ninth-highest-grossing movie of all time. It was also the first superhero film to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, ultimately banking the MCU’s first Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, Best Original Score and Best Production Design.

Bottom line, the Black Panther saga is kind of a big deal. And while Boseman’s tragic death in 2020 from colon cancer could have wiped any sequel off the slate, Coogler has shuffled the deck and come up with a Black Panther follow-up that salutes the fallen King T’Challa while turning the spotlight on his subjects.

“It's clearly very emotional without Chad,” said MCU capo Kevin Feige last year. “But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We're going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud.”


Black Panther: Wakanda Forever story - What happens in Black Panther 2?

Marvel has given us the bare bones of a steer, dropping an official synopsis that reveals the Wakandans will “fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T'Challa's death”.

So who are they battling? Unless Doctor Doom or Killmonger really do pop up (file under: ‘unlikely’), the main villain is pretty much confirmed as chippy man-fish Namor, played by Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta (Spectre, The 33). He’s all over the Black Panther 2 trailer: shown in flashback as a chubby wing-heeled baby, giving the evil eye to the Wakandan warships bombarding his base and butting heads with M’Baku.

Mind you, back in the comic books, Namor was more antihero than out-and-out nasty, so it’ll be interesting to see which way Coogler and Huerta nudge the character in Black Panther 2.


Black Panther: Wakanda Forever theories - What is the blogosphere saying about Black Panther 2?

In the absence of hard evidence, the first Black Panther 2 trailer has sparked a ton of wild-eyed web theories. Has Shuri found a way to engineer the heart-shaped herb that gave T’Challa his powers? Might Bucky Barnes repay the Wakandans for healing him in the first film by joining the nation’s frontline? And could the Black Panther 2 trailer’s opening shot of T’Challa’s former lover Nakia angrily staring out to sea mean this hot-headed character is about to go rogue?


Black Panther 2 cast - Who is the new Black Panther in Wakanda Forever?

Marvel was adamant from the off that Chadwick Boseman would not – could not – be recast. And while it seems that someone will be filling that famously snug Black Panther bodysuit – we’ll get to that in a minute – there’s no shortage of star wattage to keep us busy until the biggest secret is revealed.

It’s highly likely that Letitia Wright will get more screen time as Shuri, the Wakandan princess and tech whizz who makes Q look like a kid with a toy screwdriver. With the actress telling an interviewer from Black Girl Nerds that Shuri has been “consumed with her work” since her brother’s death, many Marvel commentators believe she’s created the high-tech armour worn by the warriors known as the Midnight Angels (seen in the Black Panther 2 trailer).

Lupita Nyong'o (Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens) returns as Nakia, while Danai Gurira’s Okoye (leader of Wakanda’s elite Dora Milaje special forces) is once again the very last woman on Earth whose drink you want to spill. But there are notable fresh faces, too, with BAFTA-winning Michaela Coel (Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi) playing Aneka and Dominique Thorne as major incoming character Riri Williams (aka Ironheart): a genius-level inventor who’ll likely be borrowing Shuri’s toolkit.

As things start going boom, Martin Freeman (Sherlock) will be facing a pile of paperwork as CIA spook Everett K. Ross. Meanwhile, as Jabari tribal leader M’Baku, Tobagonian actor Winston Duke told Screen Rant the character has buried the hatchet with his noisy neighbours. “The events of Infinity War and Endgame really showed that the Jabari are now full-fledged members of Wakanda. M'Baku was a part of every single conflict, every event… now we get to see how he figures out a brand new world for Wakanda.”


Black Panther 2 trailer - What footage is out there from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever?

The Black Panther 2 teaser trailer finally dropped in July – and promptly scored 172 million views in the first 24 hours. That’s hardly surprising: it’s probably the most goosebumpy two minutes of footage you’ll watch all year. We’ve been told this Black Panther sequel would mostly take place in Wakanda, and that looks to be kinda accurate, with the trailer opening with striking shots of the nation’s traditional ceremonies.

But from there, the Black Panther 2 trailer goes all over the map, giving us sub-aquatic warriors hitching a ride on humpback whales, motorbikes skidding through city streets and police cars erupting into flame. It’s all soundtracked by Bob Marley’s poignant No Woman No Cry, whose key lyric (‘Good friends we’ve lost, along the way’) can’t help but feel like a salute to Boseman.

Finally, there’s the biggest semi-reveal of all, as a mystery character viewed from behind in the Black Panther armour bares their claws. Cue online hysteria. “Amid the grief that permeates the preview,” wrote CNN’s Sandra Gonzalez, “there's hope, the birth of new life (literally) and a glimpse at the future, with a clawed sneak peek of a new suited hero…”


Equally packed with action and loaded with poignancy, this movie would demand your eyeballs under any circumstances.

As Martin Freeman told Collider, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the sequel that Chadwick Boseman deserves. “When he passed, I thought, ‘OK, well, maybe there just won’t be another one’,” reflected the Hobbit star. “But there are still other stories to tell within that world and other great characters. I think that we’ve made a good film.”

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