#StookiSees: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
For this weeks #StookiSees movie review, the Stööki Squad reassembled to see the much anticipated second Black Panther instalment; Wakanda Forever. Keep reading to see what we thought! ⬇️
🛑 If you haven't seen it yet, be aware of SPOILERS below ⚠️
@stookijewellery The Stööki crew assembled to watch #blackpantherwakandaforever in 3D and we gave it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ do you agree with our rating? Let us know ⬇️ #StookiSees #MovieReview #3D #imax #Cinema #Art #Music #Fashion #ChadwickBoseman #BlackPanther #BlackPanther2 #lupitanyongo #angelabassett #namor #Talokan #rihanna #stormzy #rema #burnaboy #fireboydml ♬ original sound - 💎Stööki Jewellery💎
Since the announcement of the late Chadwick Boseman's death in August 2020, we think it is fair to say that fans of the Black Panther franchise were intrigued at how the story of the second Black Panther movie would pan out now that the leading star had passed. Ryan Cooglar was back to co-write and direct this film and had the unthinkable challenge to impress the Marvel fans and live up to their high expectations of after such an unfortunate circumstance.
Even before the movie begins, Marvel Studios paid tribute to Boseman by running a new logo sequence featuring clips of T'Challa in various cameos throughout all the Marvel movies to date. The usual fanfare music had been muted to honour the late actor and as we watched the movie in a sold out screening on the opening weekend, it was obvious that the whole audience was paying respect too because you could literally hear a pin drop in the theatre - the silence was so loud.
In the opening scenes of the movie, tribute is paid to T'Challa and Chadwick Boseman alike
The whole movie appeared to cross parallels with real life because the story starts off by the family of T'Challa laying him to rest and trying to come to terms with his death after losing a battle with an illness that wasn't specified. It was also quite obvious that the cast were feeling the pain of mourning their co-star and friend in real life. Between the whole cast and crew of the movie, it was agreed amongst everyone that they didn’t want to recast Boseman and instead use this opportunity to centre the movie around loss and allow the audience to “grieve and move on and show that there is still room for hope and joy, even past that”.
After the celebration of T’Challa’s life, it came down to the women of Wakanda to step forward and protect their country. We are reunited with a familiar face in Shuri who has up to this point been the comic relief in this franchise, who now steps into a more serious role of the leader following in the footsteps of her brother as a protector of Wakanda.
The focus of the whole movie now comes down to all the attention being on Wakanda again, as it is the richest resource of vibranium so they must protect it at all costs. Angela Bassett, who is back as Queen Ramona and assumed the throne since the passing of her son, is in talks with the UN who are trying to convince her to share the strongest material know to man, but refuses in fear of it getting into the wrong hands. The US government attempts to steal some but are stunned when they get caught out by undercover Dora Milaje agents which is the first introduction to some new characters including Michaela Coel’s, Aneka.
Namor, King of Talokan
We are then introduced to Namor who is leader of the Talokan Empire, the only other home to vibranium on Earth, and wants to keep his kingdom’s existence a secret. The US mining operation threatens to expose Namor’s utopia so he attempts to corner Shuri and Queen Ramonda whilst they are in the middle of a private mourning ritual for T’challa, to ask to join forces and stop America from interfering. Shuri refuses, thus spearheading their own war between the two nations.
The action and fight scenes were very fast paced and the movie doesn’t run short of the usual cinematography effects that Marvel movies have lived up to throughout all the other blockbusters released thus far. We bore witness to Taloken, a new underwater world that we imagine will be explored in the next phases of the Marvel multiverse in the future.
All the actors did a great job at portraying their characters but in particular Angela Bassett showcased Oscar worthy performances in pretty much all of her scenes. Lupita Nyong’o returned as Nakia and in a standout scene where she was talking to Shuri about losing T’Challa, it was obvious that she didn’t have to dig deep to feel that sense of emotion when speaking about her partner.
Rhianna makes a return to music after 6 years with the lead single off the official BP2 soundtrack - "Lift Me Up'
The soundtrack is very fitting throughout the film and the more melancholy tracks, such as Stormzy’s "Interlude" sent shivers down the spine when it accompanied the scenes that it overlaid. The lead single “Lift Me Up” which is Rihanna’s long awaited return to music since 2016, brings some optimism to the end of the movie. As many fans have been on the edges of their seat for Rihanna’s return to music it seems a shame that Rih dusted off her mic due to such a sad circumstance.
And finally, without giving too much away, the post credits scene was a touching moment that gives fans of the Black Panther movies a new lease of life for years to come. It was a relief to discover the well kept secret that had been hidden in plain sight throughout the main body of the film. Only afterwards when discovering the multiple Easter Eggs of the film does it make sense!
Listen to the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Soundtrack here:
Stööki Sëës Elements:
ART - The cinematography is nothing short of what we are used to seeing in other Marvel films, but the underwater discovery of the Talokan world stood out. The synchronised swimming of Talokanian civilians and revelation of the undiscovered empire was a joy to watch, especially in 3D.
MUSIC - The soundtrack has a good mix of UK (Stormzy), American (Rihanna & Future) and African musicians such as Tems, Burna Boy and Rema that tell the story through the pain of loss and joy of celebration. The standout track after giving it a few listens is Con La Brisa. The way that the music slotted into the movie was done with precision and carried the emotions of the audience through the entirety of the story.
FASHION - The costume designer from the first Black Panther movie, Ruth E. Carter was back for the second instalment and this time collaborated with adidas and members of the adidas School for Experiential Education in Design (S.E.E.D.) to design the clothing for the characters throughout the film. Adidas’ clear brand identity was spotted by the Craft Makers before even realising they collaborated with the Oscar winning designer when it came down to seeing things such as Shuri's futuristic looking footwear in the laboratory scenes.
Bönus Element - Jewellery played a big part in this movie too! Shuri wore kimoyo beads as a bracelet and a set of earrings that activated her powers. Then later on in the movie, Namor gave her another bracelet that ended up helping with the creation of the heart shaped herb that took her to the spiritual plane to visit someone she least expected.
The Stööki crew met up to watch the Wakanda Forever movie together!
Overall, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a powerful story that bridges the gap between the loss of the main protagonist whilst laying down a new path that realigns the story back to the thread of the comic books.
Stööki Sëës Rating:
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is available to watch worldwide in cinemas now
Join in on the conversation about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and let us know what you think in the comments. Does your rating match ours?
#StookiSees is a new blog series written by members of the #STOOKIMOVEMENT that will be focusing on the latest culture, entertainment releases and events that we attend and rate.
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Written by: @nadstooki
Images courtesy of Marvel & adidas