Previously on Black Panther
Black Panther came out in 2018 to rave reviews, making several best film of the year lists and became the first MCU movie to be nominated at the Oscars, winning three out of the seven awards it was nominated for. It took over 1.3 billion at the box office, becoming only the second Non-Avengers MCU film to pass the billion mark at the box office.
It was a cultural phenomenon that was a historic moment not just for the MCU but in pop culture in general and now the MCU is finally releasing a sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever which follows up on the people of Wakanda after the death of T’Challa as they not only deal with the grief of such a serious loss but with a serious threat coming from a newly discovered people living deep in the Atlantic ocean.
Here are the ten best moments from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, so tread carefully if you haven’t seen it as MAJOR SPOILERS LIE AHEAD!
1. Rest In Peace T’Challa
The loss of Chadwick Boseman was an undeniable blow to not just the MCU, but to fans of cinema in general. He left an indelible mark with his undeniable talent and commanding presence, which was exemplified by his career-defining performance as T’Challa. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever had the impossible task of sending him off with honour and to this film’s limitless credit, they do.
From putting images of Chadwick all over the Marvel logo at the beginning of the film to the funeral for T’Challa to just straight up doing a montage of clips of T’Challa during the emotional climax, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever does everything it can to honour the legacy of the man that made the first film so powerful. It gives him a send-off worthy of a legend, followed by dealing with the very real consequences brought on by his passing.
2. Attack at Sea
A boat full of CIA and FBI are in the middle of the ocean hunting for vibranium that they’ve found underneath the ocean floor, but in doing so they get the attention of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s main antagonist Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and his people who lay waste to the entire crew.
The scene is terrifying, like it belongs in an aquatic horror movie with people either just bring brutally slaughtered or walking off the boat to a watery death after being seduced by the song of the siren-esque creatures that surround the ship. Because of it, we are given an intense display of the power of the new characters that makes it clear the threat that our heroes will have to deal with.
3. The History of Namor
The introduction to Namor may be intense, but the moment we learn about his past is when he turns from a generic villain into one of the most interesting antagonists in the MCU (though still undeniably an antagonist). The situation surrounding his birth and how his people wound up underwater using a plant that’s eerily similar to the heart-shaped herb that gives the Black Panther their powers is fascinating.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever continues on one of the big themes of Black Panther and addresses more of the evils of colonialism through the backstory of Namor when Namor returns to land to discover a thriving slave trade, which he promptly lays waste to. It’s a powerful sequence, another visual stunner and an emotional kick in the guts that’ll have you second-guessing how you might feel about Namor… for a moment, at least.
4. Namor’s World
The scenes spent underwater among Namor and his people are absolutely gorgeous in every way and the first time that we tour the Kingdom of Talokan, along with Namor and a recently kidnapped Shuri (Letitia Wright), are visual treats. Some of the most jaw-dropping visuals in this entire film happen under the sea with glorious set design and intricate details that make it feel like a real place you could actually find.
5. Riri Williams AKA Ironheart’s Introduction
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever introduces us to the character of Riri Williams, who we will be getting to know further in the Ironheart series that’s meant to arrive in late 2023, and she is a welcome addition to the franchise. Intelligent, witty and chock full of charisma, Riri is a character who elevates the mood of every scene she’s in and makes you love her unabashedly within seconds of meeting her (her introduction scene is genuinely the funniest scene in the film, largely because of her).
She gets the best jokes, great action scenes and is just generally an absolute badass. She’s a character that you just know is going to be beloved by everyone and if someone doesn’t like her… well, that’s their problem.
6. Destruction Of Wakanda
Some of the most intense action scenes in recent MCU history have happened inside the walls of Wakanda, from the iconic waterfall fight in the original Black Panther to basically the entire climactic finale of Infinity War. It’s a land that just seems to invite some incredible action sequences and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is no exception.
When Namor has finally had enough of messing around he brings his army and the literal ocean itself to devastate Wakanda, in particular a small village area where children are playing and even the throne room where the council tend to be found. It’s devastating watching the citizens of Wakanda losing everything, from their homes to the lives of some of the most beloved characters in the franchise.
7. Bow Down To Your Queen
While every performance in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is spectacular, to the shock of nearly no one Angela Bassett far and away delivers the greatest performance in the entire film. It’s truly a sight to behold watching her portray a queen trying to keep her people together while also dealing with the outside world and going through the stages of grief.
If you’ve seen the trailer you’ve seen a taste of what she delivers, but in the actual film she just goes from iconic moment to iconic moment with the kind of graceful ease that Angela Bassett is known for. It’s a great showing for her, one of the best performances of the year (I would say Oscar worthy but the Academy sleeps on this genre so badly and they’ve slept on Angela even more so I’m not holding my breath… but I won’t be shocked if her name comes up at some award ceremony in the next year)
8. Okoye’s Mistake
During one of the many intense emotional moments of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Okoye (Danai Gurira) has to tell Queen Ramonda that she’s not only lost Riri but also Shuri while out on a mission. In response, Queen Ramonda strips Okoye of her rank as part of the Dora Milaje in a scene that’s absolutely heartbreaking, giving Danai a chance to really steal the show right up until the second Angela Bassett delivers the line “And my entire family is gone” and then everyone goes back to preparing to demand she get a goddamn Oscar for this one scene alone.
9. The New Black Panther
For almost the entire first 2 acts of the film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever doesn’t even try to address the idea of a new Black Panther. It’s only after Wakanda has been decimated by the flooding that Namor brought them that Shuri even really starts trying to figure out how to bring back the Black Panther in some form. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever builds up to this moment, teasing it with little glimpses of new outfits and talks of who can even fill the whole that T’Challa left so that when the Black Panther finally returns it’s not only well earned but it’s a powerful iconic moment
10. End Credits
There’s only one mid-credits scene for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, it’s world-building in nature so stay for it if you’re truly invested in the grander story of Wakanda but once that’s done then there are no more scenes so you don’t need to stay (unless you want to honour Rihanna’s music contribution and read the credits of the insanely talented people who made this, which you totally should)
In general, Black Panther – Wakanda Forever might not be as good as Black Panther was but a large part of that is just because Black Panther was basically perfect and it’s hard to do that twice. While a little long and uneven in parts, Black Panther – Wakanda Forever has a lot of important things it needed to deal with and it does them wonderfully.
Did you see Wakanda Forever?
What were your favorite moments in the second Black Panther film?
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