A spoiler review of “Wakanda Forever” and what the end means

Omoleye Omoruyi
Black Panther- Wakanda Forever
Black Panther- Wakanda Forever

If you have been looking for an interesting blend of African culture and modern technology, look no further than “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”, Except that you may find a representation of the ‘Gen Z’ group who would chastise tradition because tech is believed to be able to solve all problems, and tradition is perceived to be mostly diabolical.

For the story itself, we expected T-Challa, the Black Panther, to die in some way (because he passed realistically), only that we were not told how. Also, if you are looking for spoilers, you came to the wrong page (We don’t do piracy here). But, at the end of this, we will leave the floor open for you to decide if the 2 hours, 41 minutes film is worth your precious time.

The 2022 film, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”, is a sequel to “Black Panther” released in 2018 and the 30th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is a story told and directed by Ryan Coogler, who is also on the screenplay list.

Most of the characters spilt from the first instalment, naturally, including:

Letitia Wright – Shuri
Lupita Nyong’o – Nakia
Angela Bassett – Ramonda
Danai Gurira – Okoye
Winston Duke – M’Baku
Tenoch Huerta – Namor (not in Black Panther 1)
Martin Freeman – Everett Ross
Dominique Thorne. – Riri
Characters in Wakanda “Forever”

Read also: “Elesin Oba” is a reminder of the Yoruba culture but we can have more

The Plot: “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Pretty suspect plot – one superhero tries to save the world from a supervillain, then he is killed or defeated in the end…happily ever after. In “Wakanda Forever”, this only changes when the perceived villain is ignored, an alliance falls through, and another villain emerges from the deepest blue sea.

As expected, the story starts with Black Panther’s death, even though we do not see him in a glass tube struggling to stay alive or in the coffin. That question is answered because Chadwick Boseman naturally died, and we would not have expected much. I mean…some other screenwriter would have said he was exiled.

The story develops into the realisation that vibranium exists in some other world in the deepest blue sea, and there is even an empire there who are as powerful and wants to destroy the world before the world destroys them.

The climax is the display of the familiar, except that Steven Seagal is not the Black Panther, so the villain shows some level of strength. Also, the FX is amazing, as usual.

The ending is the most surprising part of the story, but let’s talk about the characters first.

Shuri – If you have seen “Enola Holmes 2”, you will recall a statement by Grail that younger people always want to ask questions when they can just flow with the trend, which is how they get into trouble. Shuri is one of those people, but that is how she saved the world. In her, we see a hint that she was nurtured well, in the African way, except that she will not respect tradition as much as she should.

Show them who you are.

Ramonda to Shuri
Shuri-Wakanda-Forever
Shuri in “Wakanda Forever”

Shuri is an interesting illustration of how we should react when we lose all our loved ones: attempt revenge, but remember, the world has to be saved. Also, remember to reach out while navigating that phase.

Namor – we were not expecting another Thanos-like character who thinks killing all humans – except his race – is the only way to stay alive. But why not? What makes it more interesting when we don’t have an ambitious villain like that? Namor has love in him, but that love is quite restricted, and it is fear driving that.

Namor - "Wakanda Forever"
Namor – “Wakanda Forever”

Nakia – we all love Nakia because she is the perfect spy. And she is the one who introduces the ultimate surprise at the end. Though you would have to see it to know what it is. Nakia teaches us that moving on is greater than brooding over spilt milk. And, yes, she is quite the reliable one.

Nakia-Wakanda-Forever
Nakia – “Wakanda Forever”

Okoye – the favourite warrior whose humour will make you like her more. She is loyal to any course that projects good for the greater number and will not start a revolution because she was rejected or cast away. Okoye completely rubbishes the foolish idea that women cannot lead armies or are meant to follow societal constructs.

Okoye- "Wakanda-Forever"
Okoye- “Wakanda-Forever”

Any issues raised?

Africa’s resources must be stolen and shared: As colonisation did – still doing – “Wakanda Forever” reminds us of how merchants and supposed missionaries, through the seas, waltzed into Africa, pillaged the continent and taught its leaders to stay greedy. The writer was kind enough to add a scene where countries sat and tried to force Wakanda to share its resources. You would immediately remember the partitioning of Africa, which began with the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885. Thank the heavens Ramonda was there to say no and warn them to steer clear. Her reasons are most gracious.

The world is anxious when Africa is thriving: “Wakanda Forever” reminds us that Africa’s success seems like a threat to the rest of the world. The continent may not have peace until destruction happens, reason there was an attempt to invade Wakanda, and European leaders wanted the kid who created the vibranium tracker.

Culture is not dead because tech is now a reality: Africa has its culture. The language, the style of dressing, the religion, the leadership systems, and so on tell the story of the continent’s culture perfectly. Tech is great, but the traditions should not be trashed. Interestingly, the current and next generation may kill all that even before the boomers are all gone. Case in point: Africa has to preserve its cultures and traditions.

What do we think?

Sigh!

If you are not tired of one-pathway stories, we are. Villain rises-villain causes trouble-superhero comes out-villain dies-the world is saved. Even climate change stories say the world is coming to an end.

However, “Wakanda Forever” is not your typical Marvel movie.

It was a priority for us that we make the film something that could work for audiences as a piece of film-making, as a piece of cinema, as a piece of entertainment.

Coogler told Complex.

What makes this instalment of the Black Panther series quite interesting is the overwhelming existence of grief and how it beautifully portrays capable and caring Black women who would ‘leverage’ grief and achieve the unimaginable. You could see how Queen Ramonda balanced her bereavement against her duty to her people.

Wakanda Forever

On her part, Shuri evolves as a character, from a playful prodigy to a woman who has been shaped by her sadness and loss. In her place, Riri takes over as the teen science girl who is also playful but builds machines that can wow the audience.

However, one of the great drawbacks of “Wakanda Forever” is that we don’t get to see much of the underwater city and get insight into its people and their culture.

The ending is quite magnificent for sprinkling surprise and suspense for subsequent instalments. It comes as a post-credit scene, but we are then told that T’Challa‘s spirit will continue to be with us because you cannot kill the legend.

In that scene, Shuri finds closure to the painful death of her brother, and Nakia comes out with what may become our next Black Panther.

Skip or visit the cinema?

You ask too many questions.


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