The entertainment industry was left in a state of shock when Chadwick Boseman’s death was announced in August 2020. News that the actor was privately battling cancer for four years hit audiences like a ton of bricks. However, Marvel also faced the dilemma of having to chart the future of its Black Panther franchise without its charismatic headliner leading the way. The success of the original film in 2018 came with its own set of pressures to deliver a sequel that was as good as (or, dare we say, better than) what came before. But fortunately, director Ryan Coogler and his collaborators seem to have another home run on their hands. Last night, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever had its world premiere in Hollywood, and critics have begun sharing their thoughts online.
Early social media reactions don’t always match up with what critics have to say in their full-length reviews. Regardless, the majority of those who attended last night’s premiere have nothing but good things to say about Marvel’s latest trip to Wakanda. Based on these first impressions, it sounds like the film’s new and returning cast members brought their A-game to the sequel, with the ensuing emotional thrill ride closing out Phase 4 on the highest of notes. Check out a few highlights below.
The sequel was always going to be a tough watch given the real-life loss of Boseman and the onscreen death of his character, T’Challa. But the filmmakers use his absence as a vehicle to explore themes like grief and perseverance. And the resulting tribute is one of the most mature MCU installments in recent memory.
RELATED: Namor Questions Wakanda’s Allegiance in a New Black Panther 2 Spot
I know you don’t believe when people come out of a world premiere and say a movie is awesome….but #BlackPantherWakandaForever is a fantastic sequel and a great movie. I knew it’d be emotional and it was. Expect your eyes to leak. Great job #RyanCoogler pic.twitter.com/unJDi8VGRt
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) October 27, 2022
Black Panther: #WakandaForever is as epic as Marvel sequels get. The story is hugely ambitious & thematically rewarding with gut-wrenching twists and turns throughout. You feel the length but it’s fun, wildly beautiful and has the best credits scene in Marvel history, no contest. pic.twitter.com/zD8nYIFKXC
— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) October 27, 2022
#WakandaForever is fantastic! Coogler delivers a soulful, wondrous sequel that packs an emotional punch & effectively explores relevant world themes. A beautiful tribute to Boseman’s legacy. Letitia & Tenoch are great, & the mid-credits scene is really moving. #BlackPanther pic.twitter.com/dqoSSfnTR9
— Fico (@FicoCangiano) October 27, 2022
Additionally, many of the reviews single out Letitia Wright and Tenoch Huerta’s performances as Shuri and Namor, respectively. In fact, some argue that Huerta plays one of the MCU’s strongest villains to date. Other cast members like Danai Gurira (Okoye) and Angela Bassett (Queen Ramonda) shine as well. Plus, Dominique Thorne is a welcome addition to franchise as Riri Williams, who will soon appear in Marvel’s Ironheart series.
#BlackPanther #WakandaForever is epic, especially in scope.
Namor is one of the better villains the MCU has had to offer. Tenoch Huerta just kills it!
Emotions are heavy. Ryan Coogler ups his game on the action. It’s a lot to take in, balance so much, and is powerfully good. pic.twitter.com/NYxk1UvTYz
— BD (@BrandonDavisBD) October 27, 2022
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#WakandaForever is outstanding. It handles loss, grief and revenge with a maturity and seriousness rarely seen in the MCU. Black Panther continues to be their crown jewel. Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett and Tenoch Huerta all bring some of the best acting I’ve seen all year. pic.twitter.com/ECqGxfEyFi
— Lando (@orlandoenelcine) October 27, 2022
WAKANDA FOREVER is a beautifully cathartic tribute to the legacy of Chadwick Boseman. Reminds us of his monumental impact & that he’s truly still here with us. Great performances from Gurira, Bassett, Wright & Thorne. Huerta was INCREDIBLE. Loved Rihanna’s song & Ludwig’s score. pic.twitter.com/9eW6uFwP3S
— Kevin McCarthy (@KevinMcCarthyTV) October 27, 2022
Some of the movie’s technical aspects are also earning top marks. Critics are heaping praise on Oscar winner Ludwig Göransson’s score and Coogler’s direction. Naturally, the sequel features the MCU’s usual helping of VFX-heavy action scenes. But just like he did with the first film, Coogler succeeds in making the story feel personal. Many critics are lauding his ability to balance spectacle with intimacy, including Star Wars: The Last Jedi helmer Rian Johnson.
Takes real artistry to make something as huge & expansive as Wakanda Forever feel intimate and heartfelt. All hail the mighty Coogler. Loved it.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) October 27, 2022
RELATED: Lupita Nyong’o Supports Marvel’s Decision to Not Recast T’Challa
#WakandaForever is blockbuster filmmaking on another level. It surpasses the incredible first film with high stakes and and thrilling world-building.
It’s an emotional, dark journey, leading to a full-scale war, but always feels personal.
This may be the best Marvel movie yet. pic.twitter.com/ZMPMBaJ6In
— Daniel Howat (@howatdk) October 27, 2022
Black Panther: #WakandaForever is Marvel’s most poignant and powerful film to date. It’s heavy and dark in the way that it needed to be, and mostly abandons the studio’s trademark tone. The craft work levels up in every conceivable way, and the performances rise to the occasion. pic.twitter.com/aAK7jjRMra
— Brian Davids (@PickYourBrian) October 27, 2022
RELATED: Ryan Coogler Sheds Some Light on His Original Black Panther 2 Script
Not everyone was thoroughly impressed by what the sequel had to offer. Although he had kind words for Shuri and Namor’s character arcs, Matt Ramos says the film isn’t quite as good as its predecessor (which is a very high bar to clear). Still, in another tweet, he suggested that Namor and his fellow Talocanians could carry their own movie at some point in the MCU’s future.
#WakandaForever is a definitely a step down from the first film. It has great qualities in Letitia’s performance, NAMOR & the action but there’s a lot that just didn’t sit right with me that I can’t explain without getting into spoilers. I’ll explain more once the film comes out.
— Matt Ramos (@therealsupes) October 27, 2022
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters next Friday, November 11.
What do you make of these early reactions to the film? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1
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