At a pivotal moment in Wakanda Forever, the new Black Panther (not spoiling who) told Namor, “Vengeance has consumed us. We can not let it consumed our people.” The statement pretty sums up what this sequel to the highly successful Black Panther is all about: loss, grief, greed, anger, vengeance and the many ways to deal with them.
The film fully embraced the loss of its charismatic lead, Chadwick Boseman. Instead of recasting the role, the film weaved the story of Wakanda Forever into it. The story begins with the women in T’Challa’s life grappling with his death and trying to fill the void he left at the same time. To make matter worse, the humans (but who else) were trying to take advantage of the situation as they tried to get hold of Vibranium, of which Wakanda has plenty of, leading to a dramatic confrontation at the UN. Angella Bassett was a standout as Queen Ramonda, practically stealing the scene. This led the humans to try to look for vibranium in other places, in this case under the ocean, only to run afoul with another civilization, the Talokan lead by the first mutant himself, Namor.
Namor is one of the oldest character in the Marvel universe, predating DC’s Aquaman by 2 years. Unlike Aquaman and other superheroes like Captain America, Superman, etc who are heroes through and through, Namor is an anti-hero. His thirst for vengeance and hatred for humans consumes him. We may not agree with his actions but we understood where he is coming from. He is more akin to Killmonger or Magneto with his intent to wipe the world clean and start over. This is the exact opposite of what the Wakandans and the legacy of the noble T’challa believed in, resulting in a frenetic, violent showdown between the two civilizations.
The film is long, clocking at 2 hours and 41 minutes bookened by tributes to Chadwick Boseman. Aside from Bessett, Tenoch Huerta as Namor is also a standout and there’s Winston Duke as M’baku who steals every scene he is at (hey, can we get a spinoff for this guy? Should be fun). Leticia Wright as Shuri is also up to the task. There were new characters introduced here, chief among them is Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams who will turn out to be Ironheart in future Marvel films.
If you are expecting a slam bang action film right from the get go, this isn’t it. What it is is a slow burn engrossing geo political drama/thriller that is a worthy sequel to the original groundbreaking film, Black Panther.
And yes, there is a mid-credit sequence. One of the bests in all Marvel movies so don’t miss it.
My score? 4/5
Wakanda Forever is now showing at Ayala Malls Legazpi cinema at these hours:
11:30 am, 2:45 pm
12 pm, 3:15 pm, 6:30 pm
See you at the movies I via Renato Jao