Black Panther: Wakanda Forever salvages the pride of MCU’s underwhelming phase four
Speculation had been rampant about Black Panther's future since the unfortunate death of Chadwick Boseman. Therefore, it's no surprise that the announcement of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever got fans excited. Going to watch in theatre myself, the suspense was stark among the sellout crowd.
To the cast and crew's credit, the movie delivered empathically. In terms of quality, Wakanda Forever has gone toe-to-toe with its predecessor, giving fans a worthy sequel to one of the most important superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Paying tribute to Boseman was a theme throughout the movie. Its poignancy made sure fans could realize how immense Boseman was not only to the cast and crew members, but also in developing the Black Panther franchise as well. It isn't any stretch to say that without Boseman's in-depth and emotional performance in the prequel, Black Panther won't be where it is today.
The fate of T'Challa, the original Black Panther played by Boseman, was a big source of debate among fans prior to Wakanda Forever's release. The producers handled T'Challa's death with respect and sensitivity. His death played a crucial role in the movie, especially in the psychological development of his sister, Princess Shuri. Her decisions over the course of the movie reflected the essence of T'Challa, making sure his legacy lived on.
The screenwriters, for their part, provided an engaging storyline, exploring the politics and challenges Wakanda faced after it was revealed to be a superpower rich in vibranium metal reserves. Being the only known country with an abundance of vibranium, Wakanda faced intense international pressure and even unprovoked acts of aggression, with all blame unfairly falling on them.
In many ways, the screenwriters captured the many issues facing the world today. The way Western superpowers presented themselves in the movie subtly portrays the aura of self-entitlement which the West possesses in real life. The culture of blaming racial minorities without any proof, a theme in Wakanda Forever's international diplomacy, is something which unfortunately rots away our society as well.
The suspenseful story was further amplified with a host of (un)expected appearances, which includes the K'uk'ulkan underwater tribe, Killmonger, Ironheart, and others. In their own way, they affected the story in empathic fashion, which often proved to be the turning points in the movie.
One of the prime criticisms of superhero movies is how directors put more emphasis in action sequences over building character arcs. Wakanda Forever is a clear exception. It was clearly evident the writers placed the characters over the action in the script, making sure important characters and tribes are properly introduced in the context of the story.
The cast's passionate and in-depth portrayals added an extra dimension to the movie. It made sure fans could feel the characters' traumas, depth, and emotions which made them sympathetic to the characters' doings.
The uniqueness of Wakanda Forever lies in how they mastered the comic-relief scenes and their action scenes. The consistent use of comic-relief brought out the humane side of the characters. Additionally, the action sequences were well-executed, too. Thanks to the amazing job of the cinematographers, graphics and VFX teams, the action was captured in all its haphazard glory.
The battles between King Namore's tribe and the Wakandans happened on the back of well-written and acted scenes. The feelings displayed during the battles, including the final showdown between Black Panther (Princess Shuri) and Namore, captured the superheroes humane emotions in the rawest form, making sure fans could 'live' those scenes.
MCU's phase four has been underwhelming, but Wakanda Forever has truly saved their day at the last hurrah. If its ending is anything to go by, especially King Namore's scheming and the post-credit scene, the future is certainly bright for Black Panther fans.
Inqiad is a passionate Bucks fan and a certified Giannis stan. Contact him at [email protected]