Wakanda Forever- Black Panther 2 movie review


Natalie-Olivia Corn, Staff Writer


After the sudden death of Chadwick Boseman in 2020, who was the first on-screen Black Panther, the Marvel Universe was at a loss for how to move forward. The first Black Panther movie premiered in 2018 and was a huge hit worldwide. The movie was about T’Challa, a prince in the technologically advanced African nation Wakanda. The movie shows him becoming king and Black Panther after the death of his father T’Chaka. The first weekend, the movie generated a box office of $426 million and was nominated for 7 awards at the 91st Academy Awards. This movie mainly made such a huge impact, because most of the Black community felt represented for the first time in a while after seeing a superhero that was a representation of them. 

 Boseman silently fought stage 3 colon cancer since 2016 and passed away 4 years after the diagnosis. He fought cancer privately, which is why his passing was so unexpected and left a void in the new Black Panther franchise right after a sequel to the first movie was announced. His death led to many questions about what direction the Marvel Universe would take to continue the Black Panther series. Some Marvel fans thought that the Marvel Universe would use CGI and bring him back for the whole film, while others believed that the Marvel Universe would follow a similar direction to the comic books where Shuri becomes the new panther. I asked Wayne Corn, a middle age enthusiastic marvel fan, about how he thought the series would continue, he stated,” I was not sure what path they would take but I knew from the comic books that Shuri would become the Black Panther for a period. I don’t think the fans would appreciate a new Black Panther this soon. As for a CGI version, the technology isn’t there yet, so it would not have been good.” Ryan Cooger, the director of both Black Panther movies, confirmed that those ideas were all in consideration when figuring out a new path for the sequel to take. Cooger said, “You consider everything, when something like that happens, it’s like ‘I don’t think I can come back and make another one, I don’t think I can do this. I don’t think there should be another one.’ You go through all of the extremes.” The sequel was promised after seeing the mass amount of support for the character and after seeing how well it did at the box office. The sequel was originally supposed to be about T’Challa dealing with coming back from the blip and focusing on all of the time he lost when Thanos snapped half of the world out of existence.

In the end, Marvel ended up listening to its fans about their concerns about the future of the series, by releasing the trailer for the new movie with Shuri as the new Black Panther. The second movie starts with T’Challa passing from an unknown illness and depicts a grieving nation, recovering from the loss of its king, and protector while trying to protect itself from other threats. The main antagonist of the film is Namor, a son of a human sea captain and princess of the kingdom of Atlantis. He possesses super strength, aquatic abilities, as well as other superhuman powers. The movie gives a look at how Shuri deals with the loss of her brother and her mother, while initially refusing to take on the role of the Black Panther and Queen of Wakanda by making rash decisions when dealing with the main villain in the movie. When Shuri takes on the role of the Black Panther, she has to take a step back and reevaluate herself when she is greeted by her cousin Kilmonger in the ancestral plane. Kilmonger fuels her anger and her sadness and makes her question herself when thinking about what type of leader she wants to become. Shuri ends up confronting her grief and not becoming a leader driven by anger and guilt, by forming an alliance with Namor. The movie closes with Shuri visiting Nakia, who was the romantic partner of T’Challa and ends up meeting T’Challa’s son, Toussaint. I asked Jahani Joseph, who is a freshman at Bronx Preparatory High School, her opinion on Marvel passing the Black Panther  mantle to Toussaint and she stated, “I think the decision to make Shuri the black panther and Toussaint the next black panther was wise in terms of plot and for the longevity of the series.”

Overall the movie did a great job of honoring its former Black Panther, while still providing an engaging, action-packed movie for the fans to enjoy.