At a hefty 161 minutes, there’s a lot of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to go around, even if the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe does tend to feel overstuffed to near-breaking point on occasion.
To be fair, that’s to be expected when Ryan Coogler’s sequel needs to pay tribute to the passing and legacy of Chadwick Boseman, further the in-canon narrative that picks up after T’Challa’s death, introduce a key new player in Tenoch Huerta’s Namor, debut Dominique Thorne’s Riri Williams and lay the foundations for Disney Plus series Ironheart, as well as delivering a worthy successor to a Best Picture-nominated opening chapter that captured the imagination of fans around the world.
The consensus is that Wakanda Forever ticks off most of those boxes in suitably spectacular fashion, but there’s one element of the movie that’s already shaping up to go down in the history books as its least popular element, with a large number of viewers having shared the exact same sentiment.
It was a surprise to discover that Martin Freeman’s Everett Ross and Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Val used to be married, even if it also felt completely unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. Then again, the freshly-introduced dynamic could be revisited in everything from Secret Invasion to Thunderbolts, so we’re interested to see if there’s a plan in place looking at where Ross ended up by the time the credits rolled on Wakanda Forever.
However, it’s clear that the next stage of the pair’s intertwined journey has some work to do in order to win everybody over.