‘Wakanda Forever’ does justice to first ‘Black Panther’ movie


“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” releases in theaters around the world Photo by: Marvel and Disney Studios

Kate Oller, Staff Writer

On Nov. 11, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” was released as a sequel to the hit 2018 movie, “Black Panther.” The first movie captivated audiences around the world, doing great in box offices worldwide. The sequel was no exception– it broke the original opening night box office earnings, making $330 million worldwide.

With the unexpected death of actor Chadwick Boseman— T’Challa/Black Panther– on Aug. 28, 2020, devastation was felt among Marvel fans, and the actors and crew he worked alongside. When “Wakanda Forever” was said to be released, many fans speculated on how Marvel would handle the loss of THE Black Panther.

Director Ryan Coogler openly talked about the fact that they would never replace Boseman as T’Challa or use CGI to add him into the film.

After watching the film, I am so glad that they didn’t. T’Challa’s death fit into the movie at the beginning perfectly, but what really struck me was the acting. Shuri, sister of T’Challa, (Letitia Wright) and their mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) had really moved me. Their acting was full of pure emotion throughout the whole film. They hadn’t seemed to only be mourning the loss of their ‘family’ in the film, but of actually Boseman himself.

Wakanda forever follows the leaders of Wakanda as they try to protect their supply of vibranium from being taken by oversea world powers, after the mourning of T’Challa. However, their biggest issue is an underwater kingdom called the Talokans who eventually find themselves at odds with Wakanda. 

At first, I was uncertain about how the Talokans would play into the movie, but I was pleasantly surprised. These ‘antagonists’ had a really well-written backstory, and I loved how they weren’t really the villains of this story. You grew to sympathize with the Talokans, especially the leader, Namor, played by Tenoch Huerta

The rest of the plot won’t be spoiled, but if you want to know more, do watch the movie.

One of the most impressive things in the movie was definitely the action scenes, which were shot beautifully. Okoye (Danai Gurira) is the general of Wakanda’s main military, and her best scenes were definitely the action shots. When watching her fight, I couldn’t take my eyes off  the screen.

The whole cast was truly phenomenal.

The costumes, designed by Ruth Carter, in this movie were also breathtaking. Carter really put her whole heart in the designs. Each costume was used to move important scenes along, and I’d say my favorite outfits were the funeral outfits that the Wakandans wear during some of the scenes. They were beautifully created, and were important throughout the film. Carter won an Oscar for Best Costume Design in 2019 for the first Black Panther film, and she definitely deserves a second.

Queen Ramonda and Princess Shuri in traditional Wakandan grieving wear.
Photo by: Marvel and Disney Studios

Lastly, the soundtrack of the movie was truly inspirational. The different songs of various tones and languages were each paired perfectly with every scene. 

One of the best songs from the film was performed by Rihanna– who came out of her 6 year hiatus for “Wakanda Forever”. Her new song “Lift Me Up” was written as a tribute to the late Bosemen. There wasn’t a dry eye in the theater, including my own. 

“After speaking with Ryan and hearing his direction for the film and the song, I wanted to write something that portrays a warm embrace from all the people that I’ve lost in my life,” Tems, one of the co-writers for “Lift Me Up,” said in an interview with Complex. “I tried to imagine what it would feel like if I could sing to them now and express how much I miss them.”

Her image was portrayed perfectly through the song, the tone and lyrics truly sounded like they were sung from the soul.

The movie was truly beautiful and inspirational, and I 100 percent recommend watching it in theaters now.