Many movie franchises go through transitions. There have been seven actors who have played James Bond and 14 to play Dr. Who, and series such as “Jurassic Park” and “Star Wars” often give new generations of characters to replace the old. In “Black Panther Wakanda Forever,” the transition was neither planned nor wanted.
The world was shocked in 2020 when actor Chadwick Boseman, who plays T’Challa (Black Panther) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, suddenly and tragically passed away. Boseman had become a fan favorite and held a special place in the hearts of many people, and since Marvel decided to not recast Boseman’s role, many wondered what was next for the character and his movies.
All in all, I was very impressed with the Black Panther sequel and how it stepped up to the challenging circumstances. The movie explored grief while also including plenty of action and excitement. The final fight against the main antagonist, Namor, is a very good example of this. It was very exciting and suspenseful like any good action sequence should be, but it also included much-appreciated callbacks to T’Challa and the previous movies. Unlike many other Marvel movies this fight was not necessarily a battle of bad guy vs. good guy. The good guy had to fight the bad guy, but the real battle was within the hero, and the victory only came when the good guy overcame the grief and anger that was on the inside. By the end of the fight, the character development feels complete, and there is a sense of satisfaction in the culmination of the story. At times, the movie’s pace could be slow, but as the story progressed, its plot began to move faster making it much more engaging.
My favorite part of the movie was how the supporting characters from the previous films stepped up with Boseman gone. The movie did not try to replace Boseman’s role or change other characters to fit into a mold. Instead, it honored him and his performance while giving the rest of the characters space to grow on their own. I think the franchise will forever miss Boseman and his time spent as T’Challa, but it is refreshing to see others develop into unique leading characters that we can look forward to seeing again.
Overall, I would rate the movie 8 out of 10. The only downside I see was the slow beginning, but in the end, it stood as both a good addition to the Marvel franchise and a powerful movie independently. I look forward to what the series has next.