Ava Karaganis, Grade 9, Staff Writer
The first thing you need to know about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is that it is nearly three hours long–and it feels even longer. At the two-hour mark I remember turning to my dad and asking if we were really going to stay for the whole thing.
We regrettably stayed for the third dull hour filled with blue mermaids, and I wondered whether I accidentally went to see Avatar. What do blue mermaids have to do with the movie? I honestly don't remember, because I was just that bored. I do recall that their blue color only appeared out of water, but they looked human underwater, which was very confusing.
Making a sequel to the iconic first Black Panther was an inevitable challenge. After the death of Chadwick Boseman, the star of the first film, it was difficult for Marvel to bounce back with a second movie as exciting and concise. Those struggles are reflected in Wakanda Forever as they try and fail to hold up the Black Panther legacy.
Despite its flaws, there were some redeeming qualities of the film. The costume designers were evidently paid more than the writers and clearly had a lot to work with. The costumes were excellent and continued the first movie’s celebration of African traditions.
The acting was also superb. Most of the previous cast was back and Angela Bassett, in particular, brought real depth to the role of Queen Ramonda. And … I am sorry to report that that’s about it.
There is not much else I can say in the movie’s favor. The plot has problems, starting with the very real issue of how to handle the death of Boseman. Some of the movie is a memorial to the original Black Panther, T’Challa.
Some of it is an international thriller about which countries will control the supply of vibranium, the magical metal that powers Wakandan technology. Some of it is a coming of age story for Shuri, T’Challa’s sister and the eventual new Black Panther. And some of it is about the blue mermaids with legs. It was a lot. Too much.