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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the long-awaited sequel to one of Marvel’s biggest blockbusters, taking viewers back to Wakanda and introducing the undersea kingdom of Talokan.

T'Challa Is Dead, But That Doesn't Mean He's Gone.

In the wake of King T’Challa’s death, the Wakandans face the unknown in a volatile chapter of their existence in Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever directed by Ryan Coogler. Still in mourning a year after his passing, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), and the Dora Milaje are steadfast in protecting their nation of Wakanda.

Shuri has attempted to lose herself in her work until Namor’s arrival forces her out of her comfort zone. Her support system includes Nakia as well as Okoye (Danai Gurira), the passionate and powerful leader of the Dora Milaje; Ayo (Florence Kasumba), an elite enforcer of the Dora Milaje; and Aneka (Michaela Coel), high-ranking leader of the Dora Milaje.

Namor (Tenoch Huerta Mejía), ruler of Talokan, a hidden undersea nation, alerts the Wakandans of global efforts on gaining control of their resources – and what he intends to do to stop them. The Wakandans then seek the support of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and American CIA agent Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) to take their own approach to protecting the kingdom of Wakanda.

The casting and acting of Black Panther: Wakanda is impeccable and enjoyable, especially with the increased screen time for members of the Dora Milaje. The film also stars Dominique Thorne as Ironheart, Mabel Cadena as Namora, and Alex Livinalli as Attuma.

As impressive as the art design and architecture of Wakanda is, it’s the kingdom of Talokan that really brings the Wow factor. The underwater city couched in Mayan architecture, iconography and colors and built mostly with stone lends authenticity to its indigenous culture.

The movie's unique blend of real-life underwater filming and the visual effects techniques used to create its memorable sequences are quite stunning. Watching Namor show Shuri around his underwater kingdom seemed almost as if Shuri was in outer space. This aesthetic also helps to build the tension and suspension, as viewers can’t be sure what Namor’s motives are.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever explores the complexities of grief as a motivator and the consequences of avoiding the grieving process. The audience is provided ample time in the course of this three hour film to consider the psychological impact of loss, as well as how differently people process and direct their reaction. This focus in turn provides a fitting environment for viewers to grieve and process the death of Chadwick Boseman, a genuinely talented actor whose loss will be felt for years to come.


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