“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” Reviews Call Ryan Coogler’s Sequel a Soulful, Rousing Epic

The reviews are pouring in for co-writer/director Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Foreverand while they’re not surprising, it’s still heartening and amazing that the Black Panther team pulled this off. Marvel Cinematic Universe fans and movie fans, in general, are still brokenhearted over the loss of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who passed away at 43 in August 2020. A sequel without him seemed unthinkable until it was a reality, and even given the immense talent involved, it was still hard to imagine how Coogler and his team were going to pull this off. Even Coogler himself admitted that he struggled initially with how they might move on without their North Star.

Coogler had to completely re-tool the script for Wakanda Forever after the tragic loss of Boseman, and the result is a powerful, soulful, riveting sequel that pays its proper respect to its lost star. Boseman’s portrayal of T’Challa in Coogler’s 2018 Black Panther meant the world to millions of people, especially young Black boys and Black men the world over. That film changed the landscape not only of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but arguably for the broader film community. Wakanda Forever offers an MCU film that deals directly with the grief over Boseman’s absence.

Rolling Stone‘s K. Austin Collins, for example, writes in his review that viewers should both be “prepared to weep” in the theater. The headline of his review calls the film a “grief-stricken tribute.” Coogler has created a “messier movie trying to reckon with a messier range of feelings.” This is not, it goes without saying, typical for a superhero film.

Among many facets of the film that critics are applauding are the performances Coogler got from his cast, specifically returning star Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda and newcomer Tenoch Huerta as the film’s villain Namor. The cast, which includes returning stars Letitia Wright as Shuri, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, and Winston Duke as M’Baku, had to bring their everything to a shoot that must have felt very much like an extended, painful tribute to the memory of their colleague and friend.

Now, with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever mere days away from its premiere (November 11), critics are telling the world what Coogler and his cast and crew have known for a while now—they gave it everything they have.

Without further ado, let’s take a brief, spoiler-free look at what the critics are saying:

Featured image: (L-R): Dorothy Steel as Merchant Tribe Elder, Florence Kasumba as Ayo, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Danai Gurira as Okoye in Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.


The Credits

The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.