‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ falls short of expectations (*SPOILER WARNING*)


Photo by Samantha Sandrew ’25

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever debuts in theaters across the World. The movie has already generated $367.6 million at the box office.

Sequels are never better than the original, with the exception of “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.” ‘Blank Panthers: Wakanda Forever’ aligned with the original cliche. With Marvel’s “Blank Panther” grossing $1.382 billion, fans demanded another action-packed, empowering film, but, sadly, it did not meet expectations.

The sequel, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” was released Nov. 11, starring actress Letita Wright as Shuri, after the original Black Panther, T’Challa played by Chad Boseman, recently passed. 

The movie revolves around Wakanda fighting off the world powers that are after their valuable resource, Vibranium, while also trying to recover from the death of their king and Black Panther, T’Challa. A secret underwater empire is introduced, Talokan, led by Kukulkan, a.k.a. Namor. The Talokan people also have their own vibranium that’s under attack. This leads Namor to want to conquer the surface world, with Wakanda as its ally. Wakanda refuses, causing an adrenaline-rushing battle. While the artistic elements and character development lived up to the audience’s expectations, the plot was drawn out and too long. 

The scene opens with a grieving Shuri at the funeral of her brother and king, T’Challa. She struggles to accept her brother’s passing and her rise to queen with the death of her mother. Eventually, Shuri rises to the challenge, becoming the new Black Panther and saving Wakanda from the Talokan people. Her empowerment is inspiring. Shuri was able to overcome devastating loss to protect her home and people. Her transformation also gives her more screen time, which is what viewers wanted after her role in the first movie. The costumes add to the characters like Romanda and Shuri’s overall screen presence. 

I rate ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ a four out of 10.  I would recommend this movie to people who are heavily invested Marvel fans and committed to ingesting the entire MCU.

— Samantha Sandrew ’25

When the funeral comes, Wakandian wear breathtaking costumes of white being an interesting contrast from the traditional black. The costumes were intricate and full of Wakandian culture. Ramonda, Shuri’s mother and ex Queen of Wakanda, dress at the UN meeting has intricate gold and purple displaying her strength, power and regality among the world. The accents of gold in Shuri’s black panther suit reflects her modernity. The landscape in particular was also renowned. Wakanda beauty and culture was on display, leaving viewers in awe. Director Ryan Coogler and set creator Hannah Beachler utilized the introduction of an underwater city to experiment with set design. The landscapes under the sea rivaled Wakandas own sunsets. Its beautiful architecture was fascinating.

 The use of language was also unique. The Wakandian language, Xhosa, is intermixed with the dialogue in many characters. Mayan language is spoken by the Talokan people and Haitian French is even mixed in in other scenes. This is the most amount of different languages spoken in an MCU film before according to HITC. The collection represents the diversity displayed in the film. They also provide representation as all these languages are real and accurate for the locations they are spoken in the film. While the artistic aspects of the movie were on point, the actual plot lessened the quality of the film.

The film lasted two hours and 40 minutes. This is an absurd amount of time for a movie in general. That is 22 minutes shorter than Endgame, a movie that involved the entire Marvel franchise, showing the final battle between Thanos and the Avengers. Wakanda Forever did not have nearly as much ground to cover in terms of characters and plot. This led the film to become drawn out and a bit boring at times. There were some unnecessary interactions between the Americans and the Wakandians that were never tied up. The first half of the film was very detailed which wore people out, leaving the viewer tired when it came to the fighting scenes. This amount of detail was also unnecessary and made the plot feel unfocused. 

I give credit to Ruth Carter, costume designer and Beacher, but their work goes underappreciated and overshadowed by the poor storyline the writers provided. In general, this movie felt a bit manufactured for audience approval. It certainly did not live up to the soaring high standards the first one set. When the movie ended, there were plot holes which set the MCU up for another Black Panther movie. This leads me to believe that Wakanda Forever was more of a cash grab than actual entertainment. I rate ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ a four out of 10.  I would recommend this movie to people who are heavily invested Marvel fans and committed to ingesting the entire MCU. If you’re a casual moviegoer, I’d suggest another film.