Saturday, February 24, 2024

Movie Review : Black Panther – Wakanda Forever

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Wakanda Forever

In Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba) fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda.

PROS

  • Outstanding performances by the entire cast. Especially  Letitia Wright (Shuri) and Angela Bassett (Queen Ramonda). The character development and emotional depth were tremendous.
  • Excellent movie, which pays homage to Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa -Black Panther) but also moves forward with a gripping storyline.
  • Fantastic visual effects.
  • Wakanda Forever celebrates African culture with female characters dominating the narrative.

CONS

  • The movie’s only low point was the inclusion of Dominique Thorne as Riri. Her performance was far below the rest of the cast.

FAVORITE QUOTES

M’Baku:“[talking about Namor] His people do not call him general or king. They call him K’uk’ulkan, the feather serpent god. Killing him will risk eternal war.”

Shuri“If I sit and think about my brother for too long, it won’t be these clothes that I’ll burn, it’ll be the world”.

Namor“My ancestors would often say only the most broken people can be great leaders.”

CONCLUSION

Wakanda Forever can be described as a mixed bag of emotions, you will cry, laugh, and feel pain, anger, and love. A fear I had about the movie was how they would treat the real-life death of Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa -Black Panther). There was speculation that the character would simply be replaced, or killed off somehow. Gratefully, It was handled beautifully with respect and honor.

Shuri was the star of the movie, you will develop an emotional connection with her right from the beginning. She fights to come to grips with her new reality without her brother, T’Challla, as well as fighting to protect her homeland. Shuri is choosing to hold onto her anger so she doesn’t have to feel the devastating sadness of losing her brother.

Her Mother, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) was helping her to overcome this. The audience can witness how close Queen Ramonda and Shuri are throughout the movie. Shuri has a wonderful mother in Queen Ramonda, who was continuously concerned about her mental and physical health as well as her spiritual development. Shuri’s anger will become a central theme in the movie. Later in the film, Namor exploits these feelings to try to get an alliance with her.

It has been said that trauma freezes at its height. It calls for us to slow down and consider everything that has transpired in its fullness and agony. Ramonda and Shuri make an effort to cope with unfathomable pain and remember their losses. The problem is that the narrative logic of superhero movies necessitates a certain momentum. They must proceed forward. They move quickly from one scene to the next, flickering like a comic book, pane by pane. Grief asks us to do the opposite. It asks us to pause and move more slowly.

Where Wakanda Forever conflicts the most is in this: It struggles to decide exactly what it should feel or where it wants to land in terms of feeling. But maybe that’s the truer film. The more honest one. It’s not as neat. It’s unseemly but more vulnerable as a result.

Tenoch Huerta, who portrayed the villain, Namor, had a standout performance. Namor is not evil for the sake of it. He wants vengeance and control, but his desires are on par with the larger themes of the Black Panther franchise. He has a clear justification for his actions coupled with a solid backstory with layering depth.

Wakanda Forever accomplishes more than enough to stand out as one of the best MCU movies in recent memory.

RATING

5 out of 5 

BY KAPA KAUMBA

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