“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is an action-packed film about the fictional nation Wakanda and its fight with outside world powers. As Wakanda mourns the loss of its King T’Challa, also known as Black Panther, another world power, Talokan, rises and becomes a potential threat. The underwater city is full of Vibranium, once known to only be found in Wakanda. It is also home to the film’s antagonist and Marvel’s first mutant, Namor. The leaders of Wakanda and Talokan struggle to find a peaceful solution to their issues which soon causes war before eventually identifying their true common enemy.
The two-hour, 41-minute film is the second-longest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Still, time flew by as it brilliantly found a way to engage viewers. Ryan Coogler was the film’s director and the first Black director to make a billion-dollar-grossing movie when he directed the first Black Panther. This new film also performed very well in its box office debut weekend, bringing in roughly $188 million in ticket revenue. It was the best film opening in November ever. In an interview with IMDB, Coogler stated that he “nearly stepped back from the movie and filmmaking as a whole after Chadwick Boseman’s death due to how emotionally painful it was losing his friend/hero.”
The cast of the film did an amazing job, as well. Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Dania Gurira, Letitia Wright and Florence Kasumba portrayed remarkable women leaders and warriors for Wakanda’s army. Dominique Thorne, who plays Ironheart, shows that while she is a student, she is also an inventor who can be just as ingenious as other Marvel characters, like Ironman. In an interview with IMDB, Dana Gurira, who plays Okoye, general of the Dora Milaje, the elite group of all-female warriors for Wakanda’s special forces, highlighted, “the realization of how you can put women in these roles on these big platforms and they transfer to everybody. We don’t have to worry about you not being the right race or gender to play a heroic role.”
There was also a lot of representation of the Mesoamerican culture in the film. The Talokan cast had to learn Mayan for their roles. Mabel Cadenda, who plays Namor’s cousin Namora, explained to Gizmodo, “To me, it’s crazy because I can find in the movie the little things from my Mexican culture. And if you hear the Mayan language, it’s like, ‘Oh my God, can you believe we have representation for the first time in a movie like this.'”
Since a large part of the Black Panther 2 was filmed underwater, the cast had to take swimming lessons to prepare for their roles. Tenoch Huerta, who plays Namor, didn’t even know how to swim when he was offered the role. Also, Mabel Cadena explains that she learned to hold her breath for up to six minutes compared to her thirty-second max before preparing for her role.
I was a fan of the original Black Panther movie, but this is my top film. I enjoyed the special effects, the character costumes, and the storyline. The music was also very entertaining. I am looking forward to getting the soundtrack that includes artists like Rihanna, Tems, Burna Boy, Fireboy DML, Tobi Nwigwe, E-40, and others. Even though Chadwick Boseman’s character will be greatly missed, the film did a great job of keeping me fully engaged in the new story. If you are a fan of the original movie, I believe you will also become a fan of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”