**Wakanda Forever was an earnest film that tackled some tough themes and honored its hero well but got bogged down introducing vast new worlds and complicated characters.** Wakanda Forever left me with mixed emotions. The respect and love paid to the legacy of Chadwick Boseman were heartfelt, meaningful, and sincere. The movie wisely grappled with the aftermath of T’Challa’s passing on his family and nation. This subject matter created excellent opportunities to dive deeper into characters like Shuri, Nakia, and even M’Baku. Instead, Wakanda Forever primarily served as a vehicle to introduce Namor and Talokan. The film rightfully embraced a more somber tone as it dealt with themes of loss and legacy, but the mournful spirit caused the plot to sag and drag along throughout most of the runtime. Winston Duke offers the little levity the movie had. The cast delivered exceptionally, with Angela Bassett’s performance as the true standout. I liked the movie, but the melancholy approach made it more difficult to really enjoy, and the introduction of Namor and his threat to Wakanda chewed up so much of the story that it was difficult to bring closure to characters struggling with loss and heartbreak satisfyingly.
FULL SPOILER-FREE REVIEW @ https://www.msbreviews.com/movie-reviews/black-panther-wakanda-forever-spoiler-free-review "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever may not quite measure up to its predecessor, but it leaves a proud, beautiful, silent tribute to the legacy of Chadwick Boseman, telling an emotionally powerful, resonant story about how grief can truly be love persevering. The screenplay runs into problems when it deviates from the central theme and tries to mix in other MCU stories/characters, with Namor and Riri suffering collateral damage. Technically, the action set pieces are mostly riveting, despite some inconsistent VFX and lighting. Score and sound production stand out in a remarkably memorable manner. Brutally passionate, moving performances, especially from Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, and Danai Gurira. Exquisite pacing reduces the weight of the long runtime. Totally worth the emotional investment." Rating: B+
Mourning the unexplained death of King "T'Challa", the tech-rich African nation of "Wakanda" returns Queen "Ramonda" (Angela Bassett) to the throne and she must stabilise the kingdom and try to help her daughter "Shuri" (Letitia Wright) deal with the loss of her much-loved brother. A fireside chat late one night doesn't quite go to plan though, when they are introduced to an interloper. "Namor" (Tenoch Huerta) arrives to ask their help to thwart the Americans who nave managed to design a machine that can trace vibranium, and this has put his hitherto unknown population of underwater, Mesoamerican, people at risk. Either they help him to track down the scientist who created this or there could be war. The Princess and her general head to Massachusetts where they track down a college student who is almost as much of a whizz-kid as "Shuri". The FBI are on soon their trail and skedaddle they must, straight into the arms of the waiting "Talokan" who take them to their beautiful watery homeland where we learn just how they evolved. Somewhat narked, the Queen wants her daughter back and that action sows the seeds for a conflict between the two nations that, well, you can guess the rest. Sadly, that's the problem here. Despite a really strong and vibrant performance from Wright and some very fine production values, there is precious little story here. It is far, far, too long to sustain the thin plot and the conflict engineered between the two races is flawed in more ways than an US Congressional election. The pace is really slow, the combat scenes could have been choreographed by Sir Matthew Bourne - or by a Wakandan cheerleader at their equivalent of the "Superbowl" - and the supporting characters aren't on screen long enough to give Miss Wright enough help to wade through the frequent tedium. I wasn't helped by Huerta's very thick accent which made his dialogue nigh-on impossible to comprehend at times and the denouement screamed sequel so loudly that I forgot that I'd long given up on any jeopardy at the end two hours ago. There is a bit of character tragedy, character loyalty and thankfully Martin Freeman's ("Ross" - why does he need an American accent?) appears but sparingly as we go along but Marvel must stop taking the audience for granted. They have to realise that their gorgeous Avatar-esque visual effects and technical wizardry are not going to entertain us indefinitely if the stories continue to deliver so weakly. Great to look at, a few power-ballads from the soundtrack and Wright is certainly a stylish and classy star - otherwise, this is a film nobody will remember in two years time, I'll bet!
_Black Panther: Wakanda Forever_ had an impossible task in the wake of the tragic passing of lead Chadwick Boseman, and for the most part Ryan Coggler does a great job at picking up the pieces and creating a heartfelt story. I feel as though this movie is attempting to do too much though. There are so many side plots and new characters being introduced that the film has a hard time finding its footing. For as much as I enjoyed Riri Williams and here banter with Wakadans, her arch was not necessary. By omitting this character, the story could have been more focused and streamlined creating an easier viewing experience and deflating the runtime. The writing was decent, but it was pretty exposition heavy. There were countless number of lines that were strictly feeding information to the audience, and they felt inorganic and awkward in the moment. These writing mishaps really hurt my enjoyment and constantly pulled me out of the film. After those main criticisms, I think this movie overall does a great job in all other departments. The action is surprisingly light, but when it does come it is intense and well-choreographed. There are some really unique fight sequences and weapons introduced with the "Atlanteans" that allowed for some really cool scenes and visuals that were done with some stellar CGI. I specifically like how the final battle had some letterboxing that was not present in the rest of the film. It gave it a grand scale that I thought was excellent touch. The performances were fantastic all around. Angela Bassett was mesmerizing and really captivated me with her emotion and distress with the passing of her son. There is a scene in here that gave me literal goosebumps. Dominique Thorne was a great addition as Iron-Heart and Lupita Nyong'o was amazing in her limited screen time. I loved Winston Duke and desperately wanted more screentime from him. He was sidelined for the majority of the film, and I think that was the wrong decision. Letitia Wright is the real highlight here. She stepped into a very difficult situation and acted her ass off. I never envisioned her as a lead actress, but she proved me wrong. Something I want to note that I do not normally include in my reviews in the music choice. The score to this movie was crafted brilliantly and really elevate so many scenes. I enjoyed every song and feel as though it blended with the movie brilliantly. Overall, this movie has its drawbacks but is still an enjoyable watch and one of the better movies in Marvel Phase IV. **Score:** _75%_ | **Verdict:** _Good_
This was such a fun movie to watch. It was long but didn't feel longer than a regular movie. There was a lot of action, but also excellent character exposition. I don't want to give anything away, but I loved the novel perspective on leadership this one evolved to. Also the contrast between how different Black Panthers inhabit that role and the implications of that. I loved the new world discovered, with its own mythology, and the way those two worlds can come together, for good or ill. I can't wait to see where the story goes next. Beautiful scenes and a fun story with great characters. And the tribute to Chadwick Boseman, his character, and the actor, were deeply moving and tastefully done. Great soundtrack too. strong text
Chadwick Boseman is undeniably missed, but <em>'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'</em> still manages to produce an entertaining and even touching final chapter of the MCU's Phase Four. I had a positive time with this, one good thing about watching it almost two months after release is that I got to watch this in an empty cinema - absolute bliss. Thankfully I managed to avoid all spoilers, though had heard the name Namor bandied about online so that's all I knew coming into it. Speaking of Namor, I'm a fan. He makes for a cool new character to the universe, as does Talokan as a whole, with Tenoch Huerta a welcomed addition to the cast - first time I recall seeing him in something, and I'm impressed. The star of this 2022 flick, however, is Letitia Wright. I don't really remember her standing out in the original much, at least to me, but here Wright is excellent. Angela Bassett is very good also, there's one emotion-filled speech scene in particular that stands out in my memory. Danai Gurira is always a joy to watch, while Winston Duke and Lupita Nyong'o are the best of the rest - though, the whole cast are good; even Martin Freeman, who I'm not always convinced by. The film handles Boseman's absence nicely, there are some very touching moments in there. I'd say they went the correct way with the character of T'Challa, no-one would've been able to even closely replicate Boseman. The music, meanwhile, is pleasant. I do think this has some relatively minor pacing issues, mainly around the midway point, but other than that I felt more than satisified with what I had just watched when leaving the cinema. Phase Five, see you soon!
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