There are many amazing tributes to Chadwick Boseman that may bring you to tears, but just enough to let the story breathe its own life, however its not without its issues.
WRITTEN BY ELLIOT LINES / NOVEMBER 14, 2022
With the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman in 2020, Black Panther Wakanda Forever was always going to be overshadowed by how this character was going to move forward in a cohesive but respectful way. There are many a tribute to Chadwick Boseman that may bring you to tears, but just enough to let the story breathe its own life, however its not without its issues.
After the sudden death of King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), Wakanda Forever opens with a vibrant and wholesome funeral to celebrate his life. Fighting their grief Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and Shuri (Letitia Wright) must continue their lives and do their duty to Wakanda, when a surprise threat becomes known, Namor (Tenoch Huerta). A "human hybrid" from Taloken (an under the sea city) with winged feet. When this threat becomes all to real the people of Wakanda must protect their nation all while processing the loss of their King.
At the forefront throughout the Wakanda Forever is grief. There was going to be no easy way to tell this story, due to the loss of Boseman, but the film tackles and incorporates these themes in naturally. Different people deal with grief in different avenues, but Ryan Coogler (Director) and Joe Robert Cole (Writer) bring it to the very face of the film, in turn bringing plenty of emotion, not only for the loss of a great star, but the character too.
Taking over the mantle of the Black Panther, as expected, is Shuri. Played by Letitia Wright she proves here that not only can she be more than the techy in the background, but can lead a film with emotion and personality. There are moments where her fight comes to the surface, you would even call it rage, she's not like her brother, she's angered by her grievances (which brings into play another character) and this comes into play with her actions, but there is an arc for Shuri and its an earned one. Shuri is a character that people love, but Wakanda Forever sheds a new light on her that we haven't seen as yet, which brings excitement going forward.
A new character introduced is Namor, Tenoch Huerta's first outing in the MCU is a successful one, and one of my prefered villains thus far. However, there is a shame that at times there are inconsistencies in his goals but not making him a one film show is an exciting proposition. Unfortunately, there were some undertility within the ranks of the cast. The most notable were certainly M'Baku (Winston Duke) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o), who as characters are favourites and using them more would've been a welcome site.
Within Wakanda Forever we got an even closer look at the city itself, and the people that reside there. This place of amazing technology however got caught out by Namor and the blue people from the sea (a sight we're about to see again soon in a little film called Avatar The Way of Water). They are from Taloken, in which we see very little of, which was a shame. It almost felt like this nation we'd not heard of needed more fleshing out, and we definitely needed to see more of their world than the dark shadowed scenes we did see.
Not exploring Taloken further may have been put aside due to the amount of unnecessary moments they gave us within Wakanda Forever. These were especially the ones that tied the film into the larger MCU going forward, which ultimately weighed down on the rest of the film and this is a cause for concern going forward that we get these overlong runtimes just to filter in something that will come into play 5 years down the line.
Black Panther Wakanda Forever is a fitting tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, and there is plenty of emotion and heart throughout. But there is an element of force to fit it into the MCU which cause this to be tad to long and occasionally tedious.