Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiered in theaters last friday. This is a sequel to Black Panther, one of the most groundbreaking and important movies that the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) has ever created. Chadwick Boseman, the actor who played Black Panther in the first film, tragically passed away from stage 3 colon cancer in 2020. For the entire world, this meant a period of mourning for and celebration of incredible actor and human being, Chadwick Boseman. For director Ryan Coogler, he now needed to rewrite the completed script. There was talk of scrapping the movie, or recasting Black Panther, but Coogler and Marvel Studios decided that the best way to proceed was a script rewrite. The film is the 7th of Phase 4 of the MCU, and follows a very hit or miss group of a chaotic 6 movies. Leading into the film, the biggest questions on MCU fans minds were how would they handle Boseman’s passing, and would this movie set the MCU back on the right track? 

What is Black Panther without King T’challa? Coogler and the rest of the team working on Wakanda Forever had to answer this question. The solution they came up with paid significant homage to Boseman’s character while allowing the story to move forwards. While they allowed the story to move on, King T’challa will be a part of the MCU forever as his legacy will continually affect characters for decades to come. As a person and professional, Chadwick Boseman was beloved by all. His impacts on the world and the MCU are still prevalent, and this movie cemented that they will be for years to come. 

This movie came at a key time in the MCU calendar as it is the conclusion of Phase 4 of MCU films. This is the first phase following the infinity saga, and has had a very turbulent journey all the way to its conclusion with Wakanda Forever. In phase 4, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Spider-Man: No Way Home were both received with overwhelming positivity by marvel fans. The other four, however, were met with criticism. This left many Marvel fans confused and concerned for the future of the MCU, hoping that Marvel would find its footing and produce films with the quality we have taken for granted for the last decade. Strict deadlines and trying to push out 3 movies a year showed a lack of care and craftsmanship in many movies throughout phase 4. Marvel released four movies in 2021, and Wakanda Forever was their third of 2022. It seems impossible to produce high quality movies going at the rate of one every 3 months, but that is the timeline that marvel chose to follow. Phase 4 has been a mess, but Wakanda Forever ended it on a high note.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has all the elements of a classic marvel film that we have all grown to love. A complex and exciting antagonist drives the story forwards, we get to see our hero’s use their powers and especially their brains and hearts to overcome said antagonist, and there are plenty of powerful, emotional, and meaningful scenes that fans can leave the theater thinking about. The movie is not only entertaining, but it also reflects the real world and has themes that everyone can relate to. The cinematography is another standout aspect of the movie as it provided some truly breathtaking shots. Wakanda, as always, was a sight to behold, but a new civilization was also introduced in this movie, further adding complexity and depth to the MCU. This film also does not require significant knowledge from previous movies, making it a must watch for marvel fans and non-marvel fans alike.