Loss, Grieving, and Acceptance: A “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” Spoiler Review



This film will end “Phase Four” of the “MCU” franchise.

Luke Chipley, Copy Editor

It has been an interesting journey for the “MCU” when it comes to “Black Panther.” The movie had come out in 2018, and was a ginormous hit, its box office having nearly $1,347,280,838. According to “Wikipedia,” it is the 14th highest grossing film of all time, standing near other movies such as “Frozen 2” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

The character known as Black Panther was featured in a few more “Marvel” movies, all until the year of 2020. On August 28th, 2020, the actor for Black Panther, also known as Chadwick Boseman, had unfortunately passed away due to stage four colon cancer.

Chadwick’s tragic passing left “Black Panther” up in the air. (StyleCaster)

With this tragedy in mind, the “Black Panther” franchise was thrown up in the air. However, in 2021, A new batch of “Marvel” movies and television shows were announced, culminating into a collection of “Marvel” media known as “Phase Four.”

One of the titles announced was a sequel to the first “Black Panther” movie, called “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”  A year and a half later, on November 11th, 2022, it was finally released. As of writing this article, the movie has scored an astounding box office rating.

According to Variety, “Disney’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” will steamroll the box office again in its second weekend. The 30th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe aims to add $72 million to $80 million between Friday and Sunday.”

A lot of speculation has floated around about this film, and with it finally out, we can finally see what has been brewing.

Please know that this is an opinionated review.

“Wakanda Forever” is an quite an interesting movie. For me, it is a bit difficult to pin down and review, as there is a lot about it. It is quite a long movie, running at two hours and 41 minutes, which is nearly as long as “Avengers Endgame.”

The most important thing about this film, of course, would be how it handles the death of Chadwick Boseman. He’s a very important piece of the “Black Panther” franchise. I think that the film handled his death as best as they could. There are lots of emotionally resonant moments throughout the film that give respect to the original “Black Panther,” and Chadwick himself.

“Wakanda Forever” has lots of themes of loss and grieving. Every important character seems like they feel the loss of King T’Challa, and the acting shows. While the acting is great at lots of points, there are a few dull points where the dialogue becomes a bit cringeworthy, taking out of the experience a little bit.

Shuri has a very captivating character arc concerning her reaction to T’Challa’s death. She goes through a cycle of grief throughout the film that is interesting to watch. Others deal with the tragedy as well in their own ways, giving the film a lot more substance.

Moving away from the characters for a moment, the cinematography of this film from the get-go is a lot better than the first movie. It is more detailed, higher quality, and in general a lot more breathtaking than its predecessor. One of my biggest complaints of the first film was of the final act, specifically the final battle between T’Challa and Killmonger. The entire fight was filled with janky CGI that took out of the intense experience.

Luckily, the CGI scenes in this movie are acceptable, and at some points wonderful to look at, like some of the underwater scenes.

The concept of the underwater tribe is a very good one, and is a great way to combat the politics in Wakanda. The entire premise of the underwater tribe, mixing in with the world government was very well fleshed out. Namor provides a wonderful villain with interesting motives and an overwhelmingly menacing feel. I would not say he is better than Killmonger from the first film, but Namor proves he is still an intriguing addition to the “Black Panther” franchise.

In fact, the entire water tribe concept is phenomenally executed. We get a huge in depth look at their societal doings, environments, and cultural lore about them that brings lots of entertainment and substance.

However, the pacing of some of these scenes do go on a bit too long, making for a slow second act of the entire film.

Another reason for the slower act are two certain characters, who have way too many scenes pertaining to them. They would be Everett Ross and his new boss. These two have about four or five scenes, each one being more of a filler scene than the other. If their roles were cut down to one or two scenes, more important characters could get highlighted, or the entire film’s run time could be a bit more tightened.

An important character who seemed to get sidelined was Ironheart. She had a big role in the first half of the film, and still very much does in the second. However, in the second half, she is heavily sidelined, not getting much dialogue until the final battle. But even when she does get those dialogue moments, they are often cringeworthy one-liners that do not amplify the action or intensity.

Despite these flaws, it does lead to a satisfying, although rushed final battle. Everyone has been upgraded to their best possible ability, and we see Shuri able to cope with her feelings of grief and vengeance. It would’ve been a bit better to see the after effects of the final battle, but for what we have, this is not terrible.

The ending is a great emotional payoff to Shuri’s character arc, and a good payoff to this film.

Overall, “Wakanda Forever” has lots of merits on its side, and it deals with Chadwick Boseman’s death very respectfully and with full care. While it does have its flaws, it is not the worst that Marvel could have done. I would give this film a seven out of 10.