With its five Oscar nominations (Best Supporting Actress for Angela Bassett, Original Score, Visual Effects, Art Direction, Hair & Makeup), Black Panther: Wakanda Forever It just moved to streaming, although it is still in some theaters in Argentina.
Not once, but twice, Ramonda, T’Challa’s mother, and Shuri, the younger sister of the man who was king, affirm, in their own words, that T’Challa is not dead. Not this. But she may not be physically and she may be in the spirit that reigns and runs through everything Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Sometimes it had to happen for a Marvel film to break away from the rest for some reason. Maybe, maybe, it was the surprise death of Chadwick BosemannKing T’Challa in Black Panther -the only Oscar-nominated Marvel film- which led its director Ryan Coogler and his co-writer of that and this sequel, to imagine and invent a story with more roots in the feeling of pain -and revenge- and even in geopolitics than in action scenes and visual effects.
Which, obviously, they have, because it’s a Marvel movie.
The decision not to replace Boseman involved building a story around the myth. The figure of the king, from Black Panther (the title of the protector of Wakanda, the most powerful imaginary nation in the world) runs through the -long- 161 minutes of the film. It is mainly women who weep and grieve. And they need not only to fill their void, but also to move forward.
We will not reveal what is the cause of T’Challa’s death, only comment that the scenes before the Marvel logo appears -there is also a change- are of deep intimacy, respect and homage to that king who, on a wall painting, he seems to look at us like Che Guevara.
The story must continue
But, and there is always a but, the story had to continue. And vibranium, the indigenous purple metal that glows and is the source of Wakanda’s power, takes center stage. Watch the scene where Ramonda (Angela Bassettowho has not one but two scenes to say give me an Oscar nomination, which it did) inadvertently accuses the US and France of being racist at UN headquarters.
Everyone wants to have vibranium, and when the Americans are digging deep into the Atlantic Ocean, they come across a civilization that, damn it, has it too.
There is no time to tell what it is like, but rather to introduce Talokan, the ancient underwater civilization ruled by Namor, a god with winged ankles (the Mexican tenoch orchard) which has something of Aquaman and something of the “new” DC Comics hero and/or anti-hero, Black Adam. Vengeful, a member of a minority, Namor wants to form an alliance with Wakanda to eliminate the others.
The film will have several twists, some unexpected, some that make it perhaps stretch too much, notes against the CIA and the occasional surprise disappearance.
The music of Ludwig Goranssonthat for the Black Panther won the Oscar, and who composed the bands of Principle AND The MandalorianIt’s almost a separate show. Everything seems very beautiful, but it is in the drama of the scenes, in the suffering of Shuri (Letizia Wright), the character that we follow and that evolves, and all the women who fight for Wakanda where the greatest impact of the film lies.
Ah, the only spoiler is, after the first post-credit scene, it’s gone. They simply warn that Black Panther will be back. Something we have already sensed.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
Action. USA, 2022. Original title: “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”. 161′, SA 13. From: Ryan Coogler. With: Letitia Wright, Tenoch Huerta, Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o. Available on: Disney+.
Charles Hurd is an entertainment journalist for News Rebeat. He brings a fresh and engaging voice to the world of pop culture, covering the latest developments in film, television, music, and more.