Bureau 42 Movie Review – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)

Everyone knows that Chadwick Boseman was Black Panther’s T’Challa.  Everyone following the MCU also knows that he passed away.  How do you make a sequel to Black Panther without Black Panther?  This movie has decided to answer that question by showing you how the rest of the world of Wakanda carries on without their Black Panther.  Meanwhile, Namor decides that this is the time to attack.

 

Cast and Crew

Written and Directed by Ryan Coogler

Letitia Wright as Shuri
Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia
Danai Gurira as Okoye
Winston Duke as M’Baku
Angela Bassett as Ramonda
Tenoch Huerta as Namor (as Tenoch Huerta Mejía)
Martin Freeman as Everett Ross
Dominique Thorne as Riri
Florence Kasumba as Ayo
Michaela Coel as Aneka
Alex Livinalli as Attuma
Mabel Cadena as Namora
Isaach De Bankolé as River Tribe Elder
Danny Sapani as Border Tribe Elder
Dorothy Steel as Merchant Tribe Elder
Zainab Jah as Mining Tribe Elder
Sope Aluko as Sope the Shaman
Connie Chiume as Zawavari
Trevor Noah as Griot
Gerardo Aldana as Assembly Chairperson
Richard Schiff as U.S. Secretary of State
Gigi Bermingham as French Secretary of State

Premise

The people of Wakanda fight to protect their home from intervening world powers as they mourn the death of King T’Challa. (From IMDB)

High Point

Within our own world, there are two depictions of two fantastic, sci-fi worlds that are both very distinct, very fleshed out, and believable.  Both Wakanda and Atlantis Talokan would make awesome vacation getaways.

Low Point

Namor was well depicted.  While he wasn’t Mesoamerican in the comics, that part felt fresh and interesting, but trying to make him feel “real” did not land.  The characterization as a proud, flirty, egotist was spot on.  The parts that made him a low point was when they tried to justify parts from the comics, like his name, the poor use of his catch phrase, and the flapping of his ankle-wings.

The Scores:

Originality: 4/6  Obviously this is an adaptation of the comics, but they’ve made some changes.  Additionally, allowing a blockbuster, ten-pole character to die off-screen to honor the actor is not something you see from a billion dollar franchise.

Effects: 6/6 It’s a big budget movie.  If the effects were anything less than this it probably would be unacceptable.

Acting: 5/6 Everyone delivers.  The grief everyone displays over the loss of the king shows, and many characters have internalized it.  This casts a pall over the acting, since depicting a someone hiding what they are feeling is the opposite of acting.  That said, everyone does it really well.

Emotional Response: 5/6  The feeling of loss is conveyed well, and there were more than a few moist eyes at the theaters.

Story: 4/6 The story has a few hiccups.  The script seems to have been planned for a more traditional sequel, but then had the main character subtracted, his parts moved around to other characters, and then had the studio tell them to add some other characters to support the larger narrative.  I enjoyed the appearance of those characters, but every American could have been cut out and not missed.

Production: 5/6 Keeping the franchise going without the lead takes some real production talent.  That said, the suspected studio meddling listed above cost it a point.

Overall: 4/6  The movie is good.  It isn’t as good as the first, and in the pile of MCU movies, doesn’t feel distinctive enough to warrant special attention.

In total, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) receive 33/42

2 replies on “Bureau 42 Movie Review – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)”

  1. My wife had an interesting point that I’d love to hear other viewpoints on:

    Shuri becomes the Black Panther, which wasn’t much of a surprise, but my wife noted that Shuri seemed to be depicted as a lot less feminine. As though they didn’t want a female Black Panther, so they made her as androgynous as they could. Even out of the costume, she was put in outfits to hide her figure and generally depicting her without any gendered details. For the record, neither of us have any issues with the androgyny, but she would have liked to see a female Black Panther.

    I think she’s right, after she pointed it out I can see that. My counter observation was that expect it was Letitia Wright just being more androgynous rather than a directorial/studio decision, but I do think it was noticeable.

  2. JD DeLuzio says:

    The androgynous things didn’t strike me as being a real change from her character. I liked this movie– it’s better than the last Thor excursion– but it’s rather long and tries to do perhaps one thing too many. Still, not a bad sequel to one of the more interesting Marvel movies.

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