After years of waiting, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has finally arrived and the first reactions are mostly positive. It’s a truly beautiful, moving film that’s also a fun, action packed spectacle. Initial critics reviews are great, with the film currently holding an 85 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
A common thread for those who’ve seen the film is the strength of its cast, with The Root Senior Editor Jay Connor writing, “While there isn’t an instruction manual on how to follow up a $1.3 billion juggernaut in the absence of its lead character…Black Panther: Wakanda Forever provides the blueprint on how to excel in doing exactly that, thanks to a masterfully-constructed ensemble cast and an underlying theme brimming with emotion and relatability.”
As brilliant as the cast is, Chadwick Boseman’s absence is felt throughout the movie. But it’s in the same way that you remember a loved one, with Moira Macdonald of the Seattle Times writing, “Boseman’s T’Challa is a spirit that lovingly haunts the film.”
Even with all the emotional weight involved in the project, no visit to Wakanda would be complete without highlighting the extraordinary work of Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter and production designer Hannah Beachler. This time around, we get a completely different look at Wakanda’s capital and its people, with the duo once again effortlessly blending the grounded traditions of the country with its technological advances.
“Their shared vision of Afro-futurism feels lush and joyful and beautifully specific set against the usual white noise of Marvel fanfare, even (or almost especially) in darker moments, like the pristine rituals of a funeral scene,” Entertainment Weekly’s Leah Greenblatt writes.
Following the film’s Thursday night previews, fans flocked to social media to praise the cast and crew, share their thoughts and process their feelings as a community.
The emotional impact of the movie led to unexpected audience reactions, with one person tweeting, “there was a moment when the crowd of 300 fell completely silent. No music, dialogue, popcorn bags, drinks, talking...Never experienced anything like that before in a theater where everyone was 100 [percent] respecting the moment. Chills..”
Another moviegoer appreciated the film’s special place in the franchise, writing, “I don’t know I can rank #BlackPantherWakandaForever in a hierarchy. But this movie is definitely a top tier movie, standing on its own legs.”
One fan celebrated how surprising the movie’s plot is and how well done the story beats are, tweeting, “#BlackPantherWakandaForever is truly one of marvels best movies, I came into the movie not really knowing what to expect and it threw me into a emotional rollercoaster, the plot line was definitely something I was not expecting at all in the best way possible, you can see all. Very well done!”
Meanwhile, another movie fan noted that the film works on every level, writing, “#BlackPantherWakandaForever... Slow and steadily building storyline with a few surprises and a satisfying ending. For fellow sentimental fans of Chadwick Boseman, be prepared to feel all the feels and take some Kleenex. Excited for what this sets up! #MCU”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever not only lives up to its extremely high expectations, it exceeds them with how it meets an impossible, unprecedented moment.