Black Panther 2 Review
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the highly anticipated second installment of the Black Panther franchise, enters the vast Marvel cinematic universe in November 2022. With a delicate balance of honoring the late Chadwick Boseman and expanding upon the beloved legacy of "Black Panther," this film delivers an immersive experience through its captivating storytelling and exceptional performances. In this article, we will see what makes "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" a must-watch movie, mainly focusing on its heartfelt tribute to Boseman and the impact Wakanda is going to have on the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The film begins with a solemn funeral for King T'Challa, where his sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) and Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) mourn his loss. While the kingdom mourns, a vibrant dance celebration highlights the legacy of their fallen king. However, Wakanda finds itself under immense pressure from other nations to share its coveted vibranium resources. Meanwhile, a group of blue-skinned, water-breathing superhumans led by Namor (Tenoch Huerta) accuse Wakanda of being responsible for the discovery of a vibranium deposit, setting the stage for a looming conflict.
Namor confronts Ramonda and Shuri, effortlessly bypassing Wakanda's advanced security, and issues an ultimatum: hand over the scientist who developed the vibranium detector or face an attack. Faced with this imminent threat, Wakanda must devise a strategy to navigate the situation while protecting its people and resources.
Shuri, alongside CIA agent Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman), embarks on a mission to locate and protect the scientist in question, MIT student Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne). Their efforts are met with opposition from both the FBI and Namor's warriors, leading to a high-stakes pursuit. As tensions escalate, Ramonda strips Okoye (Danai Gurira) of her title as general of the Dora Milaje, seeking assistance from Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o), who has been living in Haiti since the aftermath of "The Blip."
In a bid to form an alliance, Namor reveals his hidden underwater kingdom of Talokan to Shuri, showcasing its abundant vibranium wealth. He proposes a partnership against the rest of the world, but Shuri refuses to submit. Determined to avenge her mother's death and protect Wakanda, Shuri successfully recreates the heart-shaped herb and becomes the new Black Panther and gains the support of the Wakandan tribes.
As preparations for a counterattack on Talokan unfold, Ayo (Florence Kasumba) assumes the role of general of the Dora Milaje, and Okoye is bestowed with the Midnight Angel armor. Williams contributes to the cause by creating an Iron Man-inspired powered exoskeleton to aid the Wakandans in their mission.
The climax of the film features a high-stakes battle as Wakanda lures Namor and his warriors to the surface, using a vibranium detector. Shuri engages in a fierce confrontation with Namor, ultimately gaining the upper hand. However, a vision of Ramonda leads Shuri to seek a peaceful resolution. Namor accepts the offer, resulting in a fragile alliance between Wakanda and Talokan.
"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" combines themes of duty, honor, cultural preservation, and the complexity of international relationships. It dives into Wakanda's anguish following T'Challa's death while paying honor to Chadwick Boseman's renowned performance. The film has furious action, new technology, and a touching tribute to Boseman's legacy.
1. Letitia's Role:
In "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," Letitia Wright takes on the role of Shuri, the brilliant sister of King T'Challa, played by the late Chadwick Boseman.
Letitia Wright portrays the role of Shuri, the intelligent sibling of King T'Challa, portrayed by the late Chadwick Boseman, in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever." Because of the irreplaceable impact Boseman had on the role, Marvel decided not to recast T'Challa following his untimely death. Though Shuri eventually becomes the Black Panther in the comics, filmmaker Ryan Coogler had always wanted to show the sibling relationship between T'Challa and Shuri on screen.
Wright, who had formed a profound connection with Boseman during their time together, sees him as a brother and continues to struggle with his passing. Wright accepted the role of becoming the franchise's focal point despite the bittersweet circumstances and was supported by the cast and crew, especially by Coogler and co-star Danai Gurira.
Through this transformative journey, Wright found the confidence to embody Shuri's growth and draw inspiration from Boseman's portrayal of T'Challa, proving herself capable of taking the character to new places.
2. Tenoch's Role:
Huerta plays Namor in the film, a mutant leader of an underwater kingdom influenced by Mayan and Aztec cultures. This representation of Mesoamerican culture, particularly Mayan culture, is groundbreaking for diversity in portraying Latino characters on the big screen.
Huerta is enthusiastic about the film, emphasizing the importance of representation for Latin America, especially Mexico, where white people dominate television depictions. By showcasing Black and Indigenous characters from East Africa and Mesoamerica in a major superhero story, Marvel Studios and Disney send a powerful message about the significance of representation and the need to tell diverse stories.
Namor's character in the film resonates with audiences as an outsider caught between two worlds, mirroring many people who straddle multiple cultural identities. His underwater kingdom, Talokan, is akin to Wakanda on the surface. Both kingdoms thrive in secrecy and possess vibranium, a precious fictional metal crucial to the Marvel universe. They are also conscious of the racial injustices that marginalize diverse peoples beyond their realms. However, while Wakanda remains uncolonized, Talokan is established as a haven for Indigenous survivors who escaped Spanish colonization in Yucatán, Mexico.
This portrayal allows audiences, especially children, to see themselves represented on screen and embrace their cultural heritage.
Direction and Cinematography:
1. Director's Vision:
"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" director Ryan Coogler's ambition hinges upon honoring Chadwick Boseman's legacy and addressing the topic of loss in Wakanda. Shuri, played by Letitia Wright, takes the front stage as she deals with the death of her brother T'Challa and starts on a journey of womanhood.
The film infuses the cast's personal sadness into the plot, allowing them to vent their feelings and cope with T'Challa's death. The plot also centers on Wakanda's attempt to defend itself against a new foe while grieving the loss of its king.
Despite setbacks and difficulties, the cast and crew remained resilient and unified, gaining strength from their confidence in the film's mission and Coogler's vision. "
The film becomes a form of therapy, helping the team navigate the reality of loss. Coogler's directorial vision encapsulates themes of grief, resilience, and unity within the vibrant world of Wakanda.
2. Cinematography and Production Design:
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever delivers a visual feast for audiences, building upon the stunning aesthetics of the first film. Cinematographer Rachel Morrison's exceptional work in the original Black Panther continues in this sequel, enhancing storytelling and capturing emotional depth.
The fictional African nation of Wakanda, known for its advanced technology and breathtaking architecture, sees further exploration in production design. Traditional African aesthetics and futuristic design elements blend seamlessly, creating a visually striking and culturally authentic representation.
The cinematography captures dynamic action sequences, and lighting and color palettes reflect the tone of each scene. The partnership of cinematography and production design takes spectators to Wakanda, providing a visually spectacular experience that pays respect to the previous film and Chadwick Boseman's depiction of King T'Challa.
Impact and Reception
With a record $859.2 million in worldwide film industry profit, the image established its status as the 6th most noteworthy procuring film of the year. This success was followed internationally by gross sales of $331.6 million, and domestically in the United States and Canada where he made a staggering $181.3 million.
Notably, the film's November debut was the highest-grossing November debut at the time, breaking a record.
However, it faced a decline in subsequent weeks. While it performed well domestically, other films overshadowed its box office success in 2022. Globally, it enjoyed an impressive beginning, amassing a staggering $150.3 million across 50 regions, with notable achievements observed in Nigeria, the United Kingdom, France, Mexico, South Korea, and Brazil.
A weighted average score of 67 out of 100 on Metacritic and an approval rating of 84% on Rotten Tomatoes show that critical reception is mixed. However, the movie was well received by people, getting a "A" on CinemaScore and a respectable 93% rating on PostTrak.
Angela Bassett's performance as Queen Ramonda received widespread acclaim, and she became the first actress to win a major individual acting award for a Marvel film. Still, some critics felt that the film fell short of its predecessor's impact and brilliance..
"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" encountered formidable obstacles in meeting the high standards established by its predecessor and grappling with the profound absence of Chadwick Boseman. Despite these challenges, the film garnered esteemed recognition and secured nominations at prestigious events such as the Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards."
"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" is a poignant and touching movie that celebrates Chadwick Boseman's legacy and explores the fascinating world of Wakanda in an expanded way.
Director Ryan Coogler's vision navigates the complexities of grief and loss within the vibrant kingdom. The performances, particularly Letitia Wright as Shuri and Tenoch Huerta as Namor, bring depth and authenticity. The plot weaves together themes of duty, honor, and international relationships, keeping audiences engaged. The cinematography captures the stunning aesthetics of Wakanda, blending traditional African elements with futuristic designs. Despite the hurdles of following its predecessor and Boseman's absence, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" had a big effect at the box office, becoming one of the year's highest-grossing pictures. While critical reception was mixed, the film resonated with audiences, highlighting the power of representation. Overall, it stands as a heartfelt tribute and a testament to the importance of diverse storytelling.