MCU sadly moves on from Boseman’s Black Panther
BY GEORGE ESCALANTE
Black Panther Wakanda Forever is not a sequel … well, not in the typical sense of the word or concept, because how do you continue a story of a character that can never be on screen again?
How do you make a sequel that also tops the previous entry, and how do you make a movie that still has to be in a multi-billion-dollar sandbox, but all the while still trying to tell a story that isn't so formulaic as everyone says it is? Mr. Ryan Coogler was given the directorial task with such a challenging and strenuous concept, but one thing is certain -- this ain't your Daddy's sequel.
It is very tough and, in some circumstances, heartbreaking going into this continuation of the world that no longer has Chadwick Boseman. In all honesty, when you're watching this movie, this feels like the next logical step for this world, but painful when you do not have the man that was the first face of this fantastical and magical world.
Nevertheless, those feelings of longing creep up and show their face because that's precisely what you want to see. You want to see Chadwick Boseman, and in some respects, the movie tries to play off that and use it to help craft a story that was initially for another leading star. But what can you do when, in the real world, that star dies?
Coogler tries to convey a fantasy world without that man -- a brother, a son, and a king for that nation. In some regard, that's the problem because we have seen that fantasy world with Chadwick's character, and it was done masterfully.
So if there is a gripe at all with the whole revolving arc of the newfound protagonist it’s that it has been done before.
But all the while, when you are watching this movie, even with similar plot threads to previous stories within this universe, it still tells a fantastic story about what grief and pain can do to a person. Overall, this is one of the finer movies that this phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has produced.
But it's still an MCU movie, and for all it's worth, it almost escapes the formulaic concepts of this multi-billion-dollar franchise. There are still the setups for sequels, spin-offs, or just whole new characters that will show up again in later entries, along with the forced humor, plot holes, and many concepts that aren't explored fully due to being scared.
All in all, Wakanda Forever isn't a joke-filled ride or a multiverse-shattering snore fest. Wakanda Forever is a sequel that isn't a sequel to the previous work. This is a movie that is trying to find its own way without the man that was supposed to lead the charge. It's just the beginning and new beginnings for characters.