After “Black Panther” 2018 had such a huge box office success, Ryan Coogler already had a lot of work to continue the story of Wakanda and its king. However, the shocking death of Chadwick Bozeman from colon cancer in 2020 made this task truly herculean. To say that waiting for a sequel to “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” without T’Challa was an exaggeration would be an understatement, but when the release date finally arrived, reviews should give fans of Marvel cinematic universe films a taste of what to expect.
In the latest MCU Phase 4 movie, the leaders of Wakanda fight to protect their nation after the death of King T’Challa. The sequel stars Letitia Wright as Shuri, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Tenoch Huerta as Namor, Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda, Martin Freeman as Agent Everett K. Ross and Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia. Initial reactions to the new MCU blockbuster have been promising, so let’s see what critics are saying about the film and how it honors Chadwick Bozeman, starting with CinemaBlend’s review of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Eric Eisenberg rates the film 4.5 stars out of 5, calling it an “absolutely beautiful” expression of mourning, not inferior to its predecessor:
To say goodbye to Chadwick Boseman and T’Challa, this is a special achievement. The film made a reasonable decision not to turn the death of the Black Panther into a storyline about continuity or political destabilization, which could easily seem exploitative. Instead, the heavy emotions of loss are primarily expressed through the arches of the main characters, and individual journeys are unusual.
In his video review of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” without spoilers, CinemaBlend editor-in-chief Sean O’Connell says that Ryan Coogler deals with a lot of plot, but copes well with all this. He rates it 4 out of 5 stars, explaining why he calls it a “cathartic” drama:
Charles Pulliam-Moore of The Verge also uses the word “cathartic” to describe the film, saying that while it is “a touching farewell to Chadwick Bozeman,” it does not stop in the past, continuing the story of Wakanda with grace and care. uncharacteristic for comic book movies. The critic says:
One of the most impressive things about the history of Wakanda Forever is how its plot, involving lines of succession and traditions in the context of mourning, could itself turn into an exciting, compelling Marvel movie. But instead of resting on its laurels, Wakanda Forever simultaneously amplifies events and listens to some of the most powerful and complex ideas of Black Panther, presenting the MCU’s views on Riri Williams (Dominic Thorne) and Namor (Tenoch Huerta).
In the absence of King T’Challa, Entertainment Weekly’s Lea Greenblatt says she’s been blown away by the powerful kingdom that rules Wakanda from top to bottom, and notes that Ryan Coogler also has talented women working behind the scenes. The critic gave the sequel of “Black Panther” an A plus:
Wakanda is still clearly a Marvel property, with all the plot twists for fans and minor characters that its ever-expanding universe demands, but it also feels different from anything that has gone before. And while “Black Panther” without Bozeman certainly doesn’t look like what the filmmakers or any of its actors wanted, the film they created seems like something extraordinarily elegant and profound for a multiplex: a little eternity for a star who left too soon.
Brian Truitt of USA TODAY (opens in new tab) rates it 3.5 out of 4 stars for the fact that the film was able to glorify and honor the memory of Chadwick Bozeman, while proving that Wakanda and its history are in safe hands in the future. More from the review:
Wakanda Forever doesn’t quite match its predecessor, a remarkable effort that combined Bozeman’s seriousness and skill with Coogler’s gift for mundane storytelling. But the sequel offers the same technical achievement — the costumes and staging are simply amazing — and the plot points in the original film pay off and have consequences in the latest film, which also describes T’Challa’s death in a very real and authentic way.
Critics seem to agree that this Marvel sequel strikes a good balance between paying homage to Chadwick Boseman and T’Challa, as well as providing a compelling story. You can watch “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” in theaters starting Friday, November 11. In the meantime, check out CinemaBlend’s interviews with the directors and stars of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” including Ryan Coogler, Danai Gurira and others, and find out what upcoming Marvel movies are lying about. ahead in stages 5 and 6.