Marvel's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Is An Almost Perfect Tribute

"T'Challa is dead, but that doesn’t mean he’s gone."

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever official poster

Even for those who may not know the Marvel Universe and everything it has built from movies to tv series, the passing of Chadwick Boseman left a dent in Hollywood.

His performance as T'Challa/Black Panther within the MCU can be considered a peak as he absolutely made the character synonymous with his authentic self. The first film was a massive success and without the leading actor to fill the role of the Black Panther, Marvel Studios had no other option than to make a completely new script after the passing of the late Chadwick Boseman.

Paying respect to a legendary actor

The general and the queen having a discussion

One of the most respectful that the film has done for the passing of its previous lead actor is that they did not use a CGI corpse to continue using the late actor's face to catch the audience's attention for an easy cash grab for the MCU.

The only moment where the actor's face was used was during a powerful emotional moment during the climax of the film as they rerun his most memorable scenes from the first installment of Black Panther.  

Another respectful decision they took to hone in on the death of the King of Wakanda is by starting the film with his in-universe funeral scene which was depicted beautifully with the help of Ryan Coogler's vision for the film.

There was not a single moment where the film felt disrespectful towards what Chadwick Boseman had built within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Make the one-note character the most evolved

Shuri as the new Black Panther

The character of Shuri, the sarcastic smart teenager stereotype, who evolved into the main character of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was one of the best decisions the story writers could have made for how they directed the future of the Black Panther lore to move forward with the only royal member to be the sister of the late King of Wakanda.

As Shuri did not play much of an important role in the first film, she was one of the most optimal characters to get the most development as her role can be manipulated in virtually any direction the writers wanted to as she was basically a blank canvas which the story can make anything out of.

Making the plot revolve around the passing of the character

Wakandans commemorating the King's passing

Another reason why Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a near-perfect tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman is how they made the plot of the film revolves around the passing of T'Challa which gives the viewing experience a sense of the chronology matching with real life.

Wakanda Forever steers clear of Marvel clichés and tropes, in contrast to the MCU's current overzealous concern with comedy. There are, of course, some humorous one-liners, but they do not lessen the seriousness of the scenario or the emotional tension. No substance is compromised for commercial viability, and frivolous is never confused with enjoyable. Along with serving up some heart-pounding action scenes, the movie also dares to go deeper.

Keeping a villain alive

Namor and his soldiers poster

With the rare occurrence of keeping a villain alive within the MCU, Namor has now become a new addition to the sinister villains including Agatha Harkness, Abomination, Baron Zemo (and perhaps Darren Cross who may or may not make an appearance in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania)

Having Namor be the antagonist for this film was another great decision by the filmmakers as he is another king to a kingdom that does not wish to be accessed by the rest of the world. Not to mention the fact that Namor and Shuri's morality is almost mirrored to one another at the beginning of the film and completely clashes by the climax of it.

The Marvel polish does not feel right at all

Ironheart suit

However, the one drawback that really pulls away the serious tones and the emotional toll of the film is its infamous Marvel trope of including more humor and cameos than needed for its film to be good.

The same formula can be seen being applied to as soon as the character of Riri Williams gets introduced in the film as not only her role but her overall character feels like a separate tribute for the late Tony Stark.

She builds her own suit within the film that not only feels greatly unnecessary but also feels completely out of place seeming as if it was made out of plastic and giving the look of a flying power ranger among the soldiers of Wakanda.