Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has finally debuted, and the first fleet of reactions is now swarming our social media feeds like a vibranium nanite supersuit.
The embargo for a full movie review isn’t for another week (November 8), but attendees were able to tweet some spoiler-free early impressions that begin to paint a picture of how the highly-anticipated Black Panther sequel fared.
Wakanda Forever picks up the story after the end of 2018’s Black Panther, seeing Wakanda’s Afro-Futurist community at odds with the undersea nation of Talokan, led by King Namor. We know that the film also stars Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams, aka Ironheart – an MIT student who creates Iron Man-style armor – alongside returning roles for Letitia Wright (Shuri) and Lupita Nyong’o ( Nakia).
A sequel was certainly a daunting task, given the immense popularity of the first Black Panther film, as well as the glaring absence of former leader Chadwick Boseman – who tragically passed away in 2020. The sequel seems to pay homage to Boseman’s legacy, while you can. see director Ryan Coogler wearing a commemorative chain (opens in new tab) to honor the late actor on the red carpet.
So, with a truly star-studded cast, musical contributions from Rihanna, and the weight of expectations on the shoulders of this film, what was it like?
She-Hulk actress Jameela Jamil went in all capital letters in her praise of Wakanda Forever, calling it “UNBELIEVABLY GOOD […] ACTION, SCENARIOS AND COSTUMES TO DIE”.
SEE AND SEE BLACK PANTHER IS INCREDIBLY GOOD. THE PREMIERE WAS A VIBE. LETITIA WRIGHT DESERVES ALL THE GOOD SHIT. TALENT CAST AND TEAM. ACTION, SCENARIOS AND COSTUMES TO DIE. #WakandaForever pic.twitter.com/5CxppAbPrMOctober 27, 2022
Comicbook.com’s Phase Zero Marvel podcast host Brandon Davis called the film “epic, especially in scope” – adding in a later comment that Wakanda Forever and 2018’s Black Panther are “VERY different films”, making comparison difficult.
#Black Panther #WakandaForever is epic, especially in scope. Namor is one of the best villains the MCU has had to offer. Tenoch Huerta simply kills! Emotions are heavy. Ryan Coogler ups his game in action. It’s a lot to absorb, a lot to balance and it’s mightily good. pic.twitter.com/NYxk1UvTYzOctober 27, 2022
Film critic Elijah Boxhill points to the impact Letitia Wright had on the film – seeing her fill the space left by Boseman’s T’Challa is sure to give the film a different feel.
#WakandaForever is PERFECT! Even with the heartbreaking weight it had to carry on its back, Black Panther 2 manages to make one of the most memorable Marvel movies of all time. Letitia Wright’s impact on this film still leaves me a little shaken, (1/3) pic.twitter.com/Agsf041VjGOctober 27, 2022
film critic I get Cangiano calls him “a moving and wonderful sequel that packs an emotional punch and effectively explores relevant world themes.” About that, Ghanaian singer Amaarae said (opens in new tab) it is “truly an amazing film”.
film critic Orlando Enelcine Calls Black Panther (opens in new tab) the “crown jewel” of the MCU, with the sequel offering “some of the best acting I’ve seen all year”.
Actor Matt Ramos was less complimentary, calling Wakanda Forever “a step down from the first movie”, adding that “there’s a lot that just doesn’t sit well with me that I can’t explain without getting into spoilers.”
#WakandaForever is definitely a step down from the first movie. It has great qualities in Letitia’s performance, NAMOR and in the action, but there’s a lot that just didn’t sit well with me that I can’t explain without getting into spoilers. I’ll explain more when the movie comes out.October 27, 2022
There’s definitely a tendency with social media impressions to be fleeting compliments – it’s hard to justify criticizing a movie when you can’t immediately support your argument with more description, and the point of companies that allow these tweets is largely to help increase online popularity by chatting around a movie.
So hopefully a fuller picture will emerge when the movie opens to the public, and reviewers can have their say – but if there’s any common thread in these reactions so far, it’s that Wakanda Forever feels like a wildly different beast than the original. , and we’ll see if Black Panther fans feel divided over the outcome.
Certainly, the focus on emotion and soul means it can address some of James Cameron’s (fair) criticism of Marvel movies.