Since Marvel Universe movies operate with a formula, I developed a review template that applies for features like (insert name here): Black Panther: Wakanda Forever! A. Some action proves ridiculously unbelievable even for fantasy (insert action here: a spear runs through a body into a rock, but the character then jumps around and fights back); B. the movie benefits from great casting and dynamic performances including good work by at least one Oscar winner (insert name here: Lupita Nyong’o supporting along with standout star turns from Letitia Wright and Angela Basset; C. special effects look spectacular (no examples needed). D. The chases go on forever and the movie runs at least 20 minutes longer than I appreciate. Well, that suits the basics of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but like all Marvel entries it boasts some distinguishing traits. For one, it risks letting women handle all the heroics, not a favorite idea among many fanboys—but an approach that succeeds. Two, its 2:40 hour run time (at least twenty minutes too long) provides consideration of leadership strategies, grief, revenge, and the public’s good. Three, it tackles the difficult challenge of moving forward despite the loss of its charismatic, beloved lead character and actor, Chadwick Boseman. Just replace him or try CGI movie magic? No, the story addresses the loss millions of fans feel, letting the actor Rest in Peace. But the choice does not condemn the franchise to RIP, for Wakanda, forever includes well-considered loose ends that mean at least one more sequel.
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