Review Round Up: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Discover what critics have had to say about this sequel with our review round up….

The Guardian: *** “As with the last film, there are bold extravagant gestures of spectacle, while Wright, Coel, Bassett, Gurira and Thorne all supply fierce performances; each of them ups the onscreen voltage simply by appearing. And first among equals here is Wright.’

The Observer: *** “The aching absence of Chadwick Boseman, who played King T’Challa in the first Black Panther film and who died, aged 43, in 2020, is not something that can be filled in a sequel. And wisely, returning director Ryan Coogler doesn’t try to do so. While other Marvel pictures can multiverse themselves out of questions of mortality should they so wish, Coogler leans into the pain shared by Boseman’s colleagues and fans alike and crafts an unexpectedly sober picture that explores the grieving process.”

Den of Geek: **** 1/2 “It’s a moving tribute to one of our brightest fallen stars, and a successful continuation of what made the first film such a groundbreaker. Let’s say it: Chadwick. Wakanda. Forever.”

Wired: “The central aspect that makes Wakanda Forever a unique Marvel movie—grief as its centerpiece—is also the aspect I find least satisfying about it. Of course, you can’t ignore it in a film like this. You can’t avoid the fog that arises and the pain that feels like it might never leave. You have to circle it. You have to face it head on.”

The Independent: **** “The key to Wakanda Forever, it turns out, is silence. Sometimes that silence is literal. Other times, Coogler intentionally slows the pace so that his characters are given room to process. Bassett, Wright, Gurira, perpetual scene-stealer Winston Duke, and any number of the cast, live authentically inside their characters. It’s in stark opposition to how these films (see: Andrew Garfield in Spider-Man: No Way Home) tend to work, where an actor’s part only feels impressive if they can shout – sometimes metaphorically, sometimes not – above all the noise.”

Variety: “what Coogler has done instead in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” carries its own high-wire audacity. Teaming up again with co-screenwriter Joe Robert Cole, the filmmaker has woven the demise of his leading man into the very firmament of his story. As the characters, led by Letitia Wright’s Shuri, the princess of Wakanda who is T’Challa’s younger sister, proceed to mourn T’Challa’s death, they tap deeply into our collective feelings about Boseman. That sounds like a standard thing for a movie in this predicament to do, except that where Coogler goes further is in building his entire drama — the drive, power and passion of it — around the wounding hole in Wakanda left by T’Challa’s death.”

Digital Spy: ***** “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is masterfully and delicately handled. It doesn’t sink under the weight of its uphill challenges, rather it rises to and exceeds expectations.” *** “One issue is that, after a couple of scenes set on US soil in the first half, the world as we know it is largely forgotten. Everything leads to a battle between Wakanda and Talokan – and as both countries are invented, and both seem like wonderful places to be, it’s hard to root for a victory on either side. You can sit back and admire the tremendous craftsmanship involved, but don’t expect to be drawn into the story. The hole left by Boseman hasn’t quite been filled.”

Hollywood Reporter: “Even if the length feels overextended, Coogler and his editors deserve credit for allowing breathing space between the action scenes for character and relationship development, with Ludwig Göransson’s African-inflected score enhancing both those quieter moments and the big smackdowns. It’s impossible for Wakanda Forever to match the breakthrough impact of its predecessor, but in terms of continuing the saga while paving the way for future installments, it’s amply satisfying.”

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is out in cinemas now.

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