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Why Wakanda Forever Is The Final Triumph Of Marvel Phase 4?

Wakanda Forever served as a fitting tribute to Boseman’s legacy as well as ended the highly divisive Phase 4 on a more positive, hopeful note.

By Mohit Srivastava
November 17,2022

Marvel Studios has officially released its final theatrical offering of MCU’s Phase 4 – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Fans have been having mixed emotional responses to Marvel’s offering so far. Every movie of Phase 4, except Shang Chi and No Way Home, has received a divisive and mixed response from the fans. Critics have also submitted to the fact that the MCU is slowly losing its charm by focusing more on quantity than on the quality of its content. Among all this, however, Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is being appreciated worldwide. So, what went right? Let’s see.

Spoilers Ahead for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Strong Direction

Ryan Coogler

When the original Black Panther was released, it was a cultural phenomenon. Who knew that a superhero movie could unite a specific community to such an extent? It even won an Academy Award. All thanks to Chadwick Boseman’s performance and Ryan Coogler’s direction. So, when the talks were locked about a sequel, expectations automatically soared high. However, the production of the movie faced many challenges – the passing of its lead actor – Chadwick Boseman, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the injury of Letitia Wright (Shuri). Despite all of this, however, when audiences saw the final product, they were left overwhelmed.

It was the most fitting tribute to the memory of the late actor and boasted of some really strong performances from its cast. The direction was strong and the performances were on point. Even the background score and the music was triumphant. It had just the right mix of action, drama, thrill, and humor. None too much, none too less. Coogler indeed, did a fantastic job of honoring Boseman’s legacy, both in real life as well as on screen. 

Reintroducing the Beloved Story-tone

Wakanda Forever official poster

As said above the movie had a right mix of almost everything. Fans were getting disappointed with the kind of content that Marvel was releasing these few months. Some are too comedic – Thor 4, She-Hulk while some are too dramatic – Moon Knight, Eternals. Marvel’s projects struggled with their identity in the vastness of the complicated universe that it itself was set. However, Wakanda Forever begins and ends on a tight note. With the death of Chadwick Boseman, the characters in the film are also grieving the death of his character T’Challa. Boseman died in August 2020 from colon cancer at 43.

It opens with a big loss and ends with new hope. T’Challa dies in the beginning, Shuri accepts the mantle of Black Panther to save Wakanda from Namor and finally, T’Challa’s son is introduced at the end of the movie for his legacy to be carried forward. It followed the right mix of Marvel-signature humor with action. Climax felt heavy and well-earned. Audiences instantly connected with the world and its emotions. Even Talocan, the underwater kingdom of Namor, felt fresh and amazing. 

No burden of franchise establishment

The Kingdom of Talocan

Wakanda Forever broke itself from the burden of establishing a grander cinematic universe – multiverse, multiple dimensions, timelines, etc., etc. It stood on its own. And, it stood tall. It featured a standalone plot and stuck to it and tried everything it could to bring justice to it. Instead of establishing a cinematic universe, it instead expanded upon its own world. A new underwater kingdom of Talocan was introduced. Talocanians possessed exciting new abilities and were a significant plot point in the movie. 

Above everything, it successfully introduced Namor – a whole new Mutant, whom the audience loved. It introduced another new character – Ironheart aka Riri Williams, and the audience loved her too. Coogler was able to handle all of these perfectly because he did not allow any strings or baggage of a cinematic universe to affect his work. He just focused on making a good movie, a fitting tribute to his late friend, and left the world with a new hope for the things to come. 

Strong women characters

The Women of Wakanda Forever

Wakanda Forever featured strong women leaders taking the protection of Wakanda into their own hands, after the passing of their King T’Challa. The Wakanda women and men fight to protect their kingdom from intervening world powers including Namor’s underwater Kingdom of Talocan.

T’Challa surrounded himself with powerful women. We see these women in this film step into another level of leadership, together. – Letitia Wright (Shuri)

The women in Wakanda Forever are exceptionally smart and powerful, and all-around badass. Danai Gurira (Okoye), Letitia Wright (Shuri), Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Dominique Thorne (Ironheart), and Angela Bassett (Ramonda), all of them delivered an exceptional performances. They formed the backbone of the story and shone in every scene that they were into.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is playing in the theatres.

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