Black Panther Wakanda Forever spoilers review – Messy sequel too long

Black Panther Wakanda Forever spoilers review – Messy sequel too long

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever teased in Marvel Studios trailer

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WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. THIS REVIEW IS FOR MCU FANS WHO HAVE ALREADY SEEN THE MOVIE. It was always going to be difficult to make Black Panther 2 after its title star, who won over audiences globally in the original film, suddenly died of cancer in 2020. With Marvel understandably refusing to recast Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens by paying touching respect to the later actor.

In the pre-titles sequence, Letitia Wright’s Shuri learns from her mother Ramonda that King T’Challa has died after battling a disease.

Wakanda pays respect to their dearly loved monarch in an emotional funeral scene, before the Marvel Studios credits appeared in silence, solely covered in clips of the late Chadwick.

It was always going to be narratively difficult to have T’Challa die off screen, especially as he was thought dead in Black Panther and then died for five years in Thanos’ Snap. Writer/director Ryan Coogler chooses to step around this and keep focused on his story, which was certainly the right decision.

Sadly what follows in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a storyline that disappointingly fails to engage and is all over the place.

The sequel sees Queen Ramonda and Princess Shuri facing a new threat in the mutant Namor, the king of an underwater ancient civilisation with wings on his feet.

Tenoch Huerta’s take on the iconic Marvel character is one of the better aspects of the film, with his intriguing backstory and complex personality. Although the new star doesn’t quite yet have the superhero physique usually expected of such MCU characters.

In the film, Namor wants an alliance with Wakanda to take on the surface world, but when they refuse, he kills Queen Ramonda, a story-telling device that felt way too heavy after already losing Chadwick’s T’Challa.

Nevertheless, Angela Bassett’s more emotional scenes demonstrate her incredible acting talent, which could well get Oscars buzz, as she navigates through a world where she’s lost everything.

It’s not long before this is a greater reality for Shuri, who says she’s lost everyone she loves. Nevertheless, taking on the Black Panther mantle, the new monarch joins forces with much-needed comic relief M’Baku and the somewhat disappointing introduction of Ironheart – who is getting her own Disney+ series.

Shuri leads us through a messy storyline with long, often dull conversations, even with the likeable likes of Okoye, Nakia and Everett Ross along the way.

Yet being a big new Disney blockbuster, Wakanda Forever’s action sequences look very impressive in IMAX, the format the movie’s most explosive scenes were shot on.

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Express.co.uk witnessed some mammoth spectacles at the newly refurbished BFI IMAX in London, which now boasts a 4K projector onto a screen that’s the height of five double-decker buses – the biggest in the UK.

Of course, there’s a big action climax at the end of the movie, in which Namor and the new Black Panther battle each other.

In the end, she spares his life knowing that’s what her mother would have wanted her to do and the two nations form an alliance. This is all well and good, but by the end, we were struggling to care about this story and its purpose in the overall MCU. Nevertheless, there were a couple of cameos that fans will be very pleased to witness.

One is Julia Louis-Dreyfus reprising Valentina after her Thunderbolts recruiting scenes in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and Black Widow.

However, the big cameo was seeing Michael B Jordan return as Killmonger in the Ancestral Plane. Hopefully, he’ll also be back as a variant Black Panther in Avengers Secret Wars.

Like the beginning, Black Panther 2 concludes with a touching tribute to Chadwick, as shots of him from the first movie appear as Shuri grieves for him. Yet there is also an emotionally uplifting surprise in the mid-credits scene, which you can find out about here.

Overall, this sequel understandably has a gaping hole in the loss of its original star, but at almost three hours with a plot that’s hard to care about, hopefully, the third film will be much better.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is out now. 

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