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“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” really felt like forever

Marvel’s latest movie “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” leaves viewers with mixed feelings of mild enjoyment and boredom. 

The main character, Shuri (Letitia Wright) lives in a fictional country named Wakanda. The movie starts with Wakandan King T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) emotional death. He dies because of an unspecified illness that T’Challa’s sister, Shuri thought she could have cured. This leaves his mother, Ramonda (Angela Bassett), and Shuri to protect Wakanda without a Black Panther. 

Although the movie was named Black Panther, there was no Black Panther until the last 20 minutes of the movie. I expected to see more scenes of the Black Panther, so the title seemed misleading.

An important part of Wakanda is vibranium, a metal that gives people extraordinary powers and it has limitless technological potential and is only native to Wakanda. 

To retrieve vibranium, other nations made a quest to retrieve it from underwater, where it has been detected.  This motivated these nations to mine vibranium. 

Suddenly, the humans are attacked and killed by blue-skinned creatures that emerged from underwater, and the Wakandans are blamed for these deaths. The queen and princess of Wakanda meet Namor, the leader of these abnormal, water-breathing creatures. Namor asks the queen to bring back the scientist who made the device that detected the vibranium. The scientist turned out to be a college student attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on scholarship, Riri Williams. Shuri decides to protect Riri, which puts Wakanda in danger against their newly found enemies, Namor and his army. 

The beginning of the movie got me hooked because that’s where all the intense action occurred. 

After Namor showed Shuri his home that he created with vibranium, the movie starts to slow down. 

There was no more action, just backstories. 

Backstories are important because they reveal important information about the main characters and help display a story about their past to help the viewers understand the character. This movie’s backstories were well-portrayed and kept the viewers’ attention. When they showed Namor’s backstory, they revealed how his mother and her innocent people were being killed by other countries for no reason. After Namor consumed vibranium from underwater, he took his rightfully earned revenge. 

However, I expected more action scenes, especially since this is a Marvel movie.

This movie has only two major action scenes. The first occurs when Shuri tries to save Riri at the bridge. However, even this wasn’t an extremely engaging scene. It sputtered to an end after a simple compromise was reached, denying the viewer any true satisfaction.

The second major fight scene occurred at the movie’s climax, on a ship in the middle of the ocean. It was a visually appealing scene because of the background and special effects. The visual effects and lighting made the scenes look real and the viewers felt like they were in the movie itself. However, it only occurred at the end of the movie.

Along with fewer fight scenes,  Marvel has been incorporating more female leads in their movies. Although showing more gender representation is a good addition, they have been going over the top by including few male leads. The only man who could serve as a worthy opponent in this movie was Namor, who was the villain. Even then, Namor was easily defeated by a plan created by a young female adult. 

The idea of including more female leads is smart, but they should still include a few male main characters to show gender equality. 

As much as I was excited for more women leads and the introduction of another powerful nation, the movie felt very lengthy. Two hours and 45 minutes is too long to keep people’s attention, especially with fewer of the gripping action scenes Marvel is famous for. The movie could’ve been condensed and still kept the audience interested. 

“Wakanda Forever” is too long and lacks enough action scenes to make it enjoyable for viewers.

By Anisha Mondal

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