MOVIE REVIEW: Black Panther : Wakanda Forever

By | November 14, 2022

If 2018’s “Black Panther” was not enough to expose the incompetencies of The Panther Tribe after the death of King T’Chaka in 2016’s “Civil War”, then Coogler’s second offering in the land of Wakanda in 2022 brought a point home that the United Nations would love to deliver : that countries they deem third world do not deserve to handle their resources.

Film has always been a tool of propaganda for the consumption of the masses, and this underlying theme can be easily forgotten with the dazzling effects and action-packed sequences. As an action flick, “Black Panther : Wakanda Forever” has merit, but as a film with such a politicized narrative, the messages that are subtly conveyed are disastrous towards any country or territory that does not adhere to the conquest of the U.N.

For comic book heads, those in the casting department deserve to be reprimanded. Both Letitia Wright and Domonique Thorne were far too masculine in contrast to the source material. Which in a sense is ironic, since “Black Panther Wakanda Forever” deals with the matriarchy that is constantly pushed within the U.S. melaninated community (mostly absent of paternal influence) and shows the effects of such a ruling in Wakanda and the failures in the nation from the deviation of a long line of patriarchs.

The 3D conversion was far too sloppy for my liking at times and the 4DX experience did not offer as much water as I was expecting for a film that spent a majority of it’s time in Atlantis. Given that a large portion of the actors aren’t even from Africa, their accents were sloppy and indecipherable especially during the montage scenes where somebody in production made the ridiculous decision to have songs from the soundtrack run over the film dialogue. Plus seriously, would it have killed the costume department to have made Iron Heart’s suit pink and gold? Coogler made it to easy for the audience to sympathize with Namor and yet again made another Black Panther pale in comparison to the antagonist and his overall goals.

The soundtrack is far from what Kendrick did with the previous film, and from starting the film with the throne being filled by a Queen and ending it with the throne being filled by a rival tribe, Wakanda – busy sending their people to die over the Royal Family against a nation (Atlantis) focused on resources and heritage – looked weaker than ever, and I don’t know how that is even possible with the first film doing such a great job of having T’Challa get his ass kicked in nearly every scene. And T’Challa’s send off for the late Chadwick Boseman. No. Just no. “42”, “Get Up” – those are Boseman’s best works and showed his range as an artist. “Black Panther”? Every glimpse of Boseman in tribute to the late actor during this film was a reminder that Coogler should have stayed far away from Chadwick. The funeral was alright, but there was so many Wakandian Royal funerals in the film – I couldn’t tell if I was watching a comedy or horror film. And the audience did not need to relive Chadwick’s death. The character and the actor are separate. No one saw Bryan Singer try to get Brandon Routh to recreate Chris Reeve’s death or horse riding accident for “Superman Returns”.

Ta Nehesi-Coates wrote a perfect out for T’Challa’s character by creating the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda in the comics, which would have negated murdering a rare melaninated male symbol of strength in media. Coogler should be ashamed that he did not take that bone that (he could have realized) was easily thrown to him, if he would have been more familiar with the source material. I did love walking through the theater halls and seeing so many “Black Panther” titles placed on the marquee. I cheered when I heard Namor claim “Mutant” and yell “Imperius Rex”, even seeing some of the Dora Milage designs faithful to Coates’ run and Iron Heart’s suit during the final battle which had some redeeming qualities closely following designs in lieu of Bendis’ “Iron Man” got a few pops from me … but I can’t lie that I was hurt when I saw so many melanated people fill those seats and be behind the counter when I went to the same movie theater I saw “Black Panther : Wakanda Forever” in for two weeks and never saw those token employees there once, or a fraction of that audience of people who share my genetic makeup appreciating the art of cinema until the Panther premiere.

Yes, Wakanda is a fictional nation, but the representation it shows for nations filled with melanated people local and abroad does not do many favors as we are continuously tokenized, exploited, and dehumanized for capital gain and Coogler’s franchise is sadly a piece in that game.

Score : 1.5/5