Marvel Movie: Action and farewell: “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

After the death of Chadwick Boseman, there were doubts whether the Marvel series should continue without its star. Director Ryan Coogler has pulled off a good sequel that pays tribute to Boseman.

With “Black Panther” succeeded Marvel Studios 2018 one of their biggest successes. The blockbuster about the African king and superhero T’Challa with a predominantly black cast not only made the box office ring, but also received three Oscars and is considered a milestone in black pop culture.

Lead actor Chadwick died just two years later bose man of cancer. Aside from the human loss, this presented the creators with a serious challenge to continue the series without its star.

A touching farewell

“It was hard, there were a lot of doubts as to whether we should even go ahead,” said the writer-director Ryan Coogler the German Press Agency in London. The fact that Boseman continued to make films despite his cancer, which he kept to himself until the end, was an incentive. “Chadwick was a great leader who set an example. We drew on his tenacity, his strength and how he prioritized work.”

“Black Panthers: wakanda Forever” is all about the deceased. In the Marvel intro, which is usually a collage of numerous superheroes, only Boseman’s T’Challa can be seen. He also succumbed to an (unspecified) disease in the film. His mother, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and his sister, Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright), struggle to come to terms with their loss when they receive an unexpected visitor during a farewell ritual in the fictional African country of Wakanda.

Dominique Thorne as a smart scientist

Also known as K’uk’ulkan, the powerful Namor (Tenoch Huerta) is the ruler of an undersea kingdom unknown to the world called Talocan, which is in possession of Vibranium. So far, Wakanda was considered the only country with resources of the almost indestructible metal. But special teams from other world powers are already searching for the vibranium deposits on the seabed. Namor demands of Ramonda and Shuri that Wakanda ally with Talocan against the rest of the world – otherwise he threatens the destruction of Wakanda.

General Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Princess Shuri make their way to the United States in search of a young, highly talented scientist Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne), who has developed technology to detect vibranium and is now in grave danger. Shortly after the first encounter with Riri, there is a clash with the CIA and the powerful Talocan.

Marvel fans know Riri from the comics as Iron Heart. In 2023, Thorne will start his own TV series on the Disney+ streaming service. However, Coogler makes it clear that this is not why she appears in the film. “That has nothing to do with it,” emphasized the 36-year-old. “We thought it would make sense to have another character presenting (African-American) culture and perspective. And we thought it would be interesting if she was a scientist.”

A modern Atlantis called Talocan

The 30th film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) takes a long time to break away from its hero and emancipate itself. Before “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” gets going and offers the usual Marvel spectacle, the film pays tribute to Boseman with mourning scenes and farewell ceremonies. That’s appropriate. The end of the film is really poignant and touching.

The lengthy scenes in Shuri’s laboratory, where she develops new suits and searches for the “Black Panther” formula, while chart-winning songs from the soundtrack album pound, are tiresome. Given the running time of 161 minutes, that could have been tighter.

Due to the tragic circumstances, Coogler had to design the sequel as an origin story after the first “Black Panther” film. Considering that “Wakanda Forever” is a kind of transitional film for future “Black Panther” stories, it works very well. And when the climax is reached after two hours, a gripping finale with a few surprises awaits.

Oscar winner Göransson makes the music

The comic spectacle looks great and sounds good thanks to the epic film music of the Swedish composer genius Ludwig Göransson. With the modern-day Atlantis named Talocan, the film opens up an exciting new world in the MCU. There is something repetitive about fight scenes in Marvel movies and series. Thanks to the Talocan, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” offers a change from this routine, because a lot takes place in, on and with water. The computer-generated whales are particularly visually spectacular.

Ryan Coogler made a virtue out of necessity. After the loss of Boseman, the strong women of Wakanda from the first film come to the fore. Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong’o as T’Challa’s surviving lover Nakia shine in their roles and ensure that the “Black Panther” saga has a promising future even after the death of Chadwick Boseman – without a king T’Challa, but not without a Black Panther of course.

Black Panthers. Wakanda Forever, USA 2022, 161 min, FSK 12, by Ryan Coogler, with Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o


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