Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is finally here after a four year wait for a sequel.
Since the first film was released in 2018, Chadwick Boseman, who played Black Panther, tragically died of colon cancer in 2020 and Marvel decided not to recast the role.
Wakanda Forever, which is once again written and directed by Ryan Coogler and stars Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke and Martin Freeman, sees the Kingdom attempt to unite against new threats which seek to exploit the grieving nation.
After its premiere, the first reviews are now coming in with the vast majority of them putting Wakanda Forever in the upper echelon of superhero movies.
In a mostly positive three star review, The Guardian praised the themes and the performance of Wright: "This movie, like the previous one, can claim to be working with the themes of empire, oppression and even energy security.
"But I felt that there was a constraint at work, an understandable constraint given that the film is to some degree about grief and loss, but one which Wakanda Forever had not quite found a way of developing and absorbing. At all events, this is another star performance from Wright."
The "emotional depth" of Wakanda Forever was also praised in the review from the Financial Times: In the end, though, all roads lead back to Boseman. If Black Panther was one kind of watershed, Wakanda Forever can’t help being another.
"Tragedy has always been an easy win for Marvel, laying waste to worlds so that chiselled heroes can gaze damp-eyed into the middle distance. Now, real life has shocked the glib out of the operation. For the first time in the company’s history, the tears actually mean something."
Wakanda Forever also received a glowing review from Empire which also praised its emotional beats: "Wakanda Forever ultimately lands on a poignant note. In bookends, it deals head-on with the passing of both T’Challa and Boseman, moments that pull the film into a moving, surprisingly personal whole. Even in his absence, Boseman holds Black Panther together."
NME also gave Wakanda Forever a four star review: "What really makes the film stand out is its mature atmosphere. This is about grief, more so than any other Marvel movie, and the legacy one leaves behind.
"'To me – he was everything. My T’Challa,' says Nakia, in a heartfelt moment that doubtless reflects the way many felt about Chadwick Boseman. The film finishes with a dedication to him – although maybe there was no need. Wakanda Forever is, itself, a fitting tribute to him."
However in a one star pan, the Daily Telegraph said of the film: "With murky and meaningless visual effects, Marvel's turgid sequel pales in comparison to the Chadwick Boseman original."
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is in cinemas and IMAX from 11 November.
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