The long wait is over and the first reviews are finally in, and it seems that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the much-anticipated sequel to 2018’s Black Panther lives up to the high standards of the original film, with critics describing it as emotional and as fulfilling as the first movie.
Austin Chronicle film critic Richard Whitaker described the movie’s emotional nuances as “some of the deepest and most nuanced in the franchise’s history.” While the London Evening Standard‘s Charlotte O’Sullivan praised the film’s” serenely political and spectacularly cathartic” qualities. Though some found the film’s multiple plotlines to be messy, the majority of critics praised the deep emotional resonance of the picture.
Bleeding Cool‘s Kaitlyn Booth called the movie a “bit of a mess in the story and pacing department”, but noted that it was “bookended by gut-punch memorial scenes and excellent performances from the entire cast.” The Los Angeles Times‘ Justin Chang felt the sequel was messier than the original but was “seldom less engrossing” and that both films “are at their strongest when they resist or even flat-out ignore their franchise obligations.”
Fan expectations of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever are almost certainly some of the highest for any film in the MCU since the release of Avengers: Endgame. Not only does the film serve as a linchpin for the fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and introduce the characters of Namor and Ironheart, the film finally informs fans of the ultimate fate of T’Challa, who was played by the late Chadwick Boseman. The question of who will assume the mantle of the Black Panther, the traditional protector of Wakanda, has hovered over the movie since Boseman’s tragic death from cancer in 2020.
Indeed, many critics felt Boseman’s absence sharply. “You watch it wondering about the movie that never got made,” Moira MacDonald from the Seattle Times wrote, “the story that never got finished, the life cut short too soon.”
Now that fans and critics alike have finally found the answers to their long-held questions the verdict seems to be overwhelmingly positive. The film currently holds a Tomatometer score of 94 percent on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. Audience reviews are certain to follow soon with the film hitting movie screens as early as Thursday in some regions.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens in theaters nationwide this Friday, Nov. 11. You can read our review of the movie here.