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Ryan Coogler
Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira
Writing Credits:
Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole

The people of Wakanda fight to protect their home from intervening world powers as they mourn the death of King T'Challa.

Box Office:
$250 million.
Opening Weekend:
$181,339,761 on 4396 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 2.0
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 161 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 2/7/2023

• Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Ryan Coogler, Co-Writer Joe Robert Cole and Cinematographer Autumn Durald Arkapaw
• “Envisioning Two Worlds” Featurette
• “Passing the Mantle” Featurette
• Gag Reel
• 4 Deleted Scenes


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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 15, 2023)

Back in 2018, Black Panther delivered a major success, as it turned into a cultural touchstone. Fans needed to more than four and a half years due to a tragic circumstance: the untimely death of lead actor Chadwick Boseman.

Which the film addresses in its own way, as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever begins with the loss of the title character, King T’Challa. This shatters the kingdom of Wakanda and leaves his mother Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), genius sister Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright) and others to recoup.

They find challenges before long. Outside parties actively attempt to infiltrate Wakanda so they can obtain Vibranium, a miraculous metal that only exists in that country.

Or maybe not, as the Wakandans learn of the existence of Talokan, an underwater realm led by Prince Namor (Tenoch Huerta Mejía). This leads to a mix of conflicts, especially between Wakanda and Talokan, all while a new person takes over the mantle as Black Panther.

Eventually. A massive chunk of Forever passes before the title character actually materializes on screen.

This seems like a ballsy move, as one expects a Black Panther movie to actually feature Black Panther. However, the filmmakers found themselves in an intensely difficult position, as they encountered a massive challenge when it came to how they could explain the absence of T’Challa.

I give those involved credit for their willingness to confront the ghost in the room. They couldn’t recast another actor as T’Challa, for that would seem like an insult to Bosewick’s memory to too many people.

They could’ve come up with some contrived way to keep T’Challa alive but simply no longer Black Panther. That probably would’ve been the safe route, but they decided to integrate real-life tragedy with fictional trauma.

As such, Forever comes with much more gravity and sorrow than one expects from a supposedly frivolous genre like superhero movies. One doesn’t expect a $250 million tentpole film to open with the demise of its title character, so that becomes a positive here.

After this dramatic and emotional beginning, however, Forever offers less impressive pleasures. It becomes a reasonably entertaining adventure but never anything scintillating.

Which echoes how I felt about the first movie, honestly. The 2018 film earned major praise – and became the first-ever superhero movie to earn an Oscar Best Picture nomination – but it didn’t click with me at a level above “pretty good”.

That remains the case here. Would I like Forever more if I loved the 2018 flick?

Almost certainly. I just don't have a strong enough connection to any of the characters for them to thrill me.

That said, Forever comes with issues that don’t connect to my semi-lukewarm view of the first flick. For one, the film seems too long and can feel redundant at times.

An entire subplot that involves American agencies goes next to nowhere - for now, at least. Maybe this'll pay off in another movie - or a TV show - but in terms of Forever, it largely seems irrelevant to me.

In general, Forever just feels overstuffed and like it could become simplified. The movie runs a whopping 161 minutes, which makes it the longest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie after 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.

That one offered an epic wrap-up to more than a decade’s worth of “backstory”, however, so it needed its length. Forever doesn’t present nearly as “large” a tale and thus comes across as bloated.

Of course, Forever presents a rare sequel that also needs to act as an origin story since it must introduce a new Black Panther. However, because the first movie got all the basics out of the way, this one doesn't require much in that regard beyond the introduction of a handful of new characters.

While I do think Forever runs too long, it does move at a pretty good pace, at least. It doesn't feel like a 161-minute movie, as it pushes along well.

Still, the end product leaves me vaguely underwhelmed. Forever feels moderately engaging and hits most of the right notes but as with the 2018 film, it ends without a lot of real emotion in any direction. This becomes a good sequel but not one among the MCU’s best.

Footnote: as usual, we find a tag scene during the end credits. Nothing appears post-credits, however.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A-/ Bonus B-

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, the movie came with excellent visuals.

Overall sharpness seemed strong. Softness failed to become a problem, so the film remained tight and concise.

I saw no shimmering or jaggies. Both edge haloes and print flaws remained absent.

Like every other modern action movie, Forever opted for an orange and teal orientation. These choices didn’t overwhelm, and we found other hues like purples and red as well. The disc depicted them in an appropriate manner.

Blacks showed good depth, and shadows offered largely nice clarity and smoothness. A few low-light sequences came across as slightly opaque, but these weren’t a major issue. In the end, the movie provided pleasing visuals.

In addition, Forever brought us a stellar Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack. As one would expect, the soundscape opened up best when it indulged in its many battle sequences.

These used the various channels in a vivid, immersive manner that placed the elements in logical spots and meshed together well. The track gave us a strong sense of place and action.

Audio quality also pleased. Speech remained natural and distinctive, while music was full and rich.

Effects came across as accurate and dynamic, with tight low-end. I liked this mix quite a lot.

As we shift to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from co-writer/Director Ryan Coogler, co-writer Joe Robert Cole and cinematographer Autumn Durald Arkapaw. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story and characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, editing and photography, music, stunts and action, and various effects.

All that sounds like a good array of topics. Indeed, the track touches on all the anticipated subjects.

Unfortunately, the participants cover the movie in a surprisingly dull manner. While they hit the right notes, they fail to create an engaging chat. We learn a decent amount about the film but the commentary feels like a bit of an endurance test.

Two featurettes follow, and Envisioning Two Worlds runs 10 minutes, five seconds. It provides notes from Coogler, Arkapaw, production designer Hannah Beachler, costume designer Ruth Carter, stunt coordinator Chris Denison, producer Nate Moore, and actors Lupita Nyong’o, Dania Gurira, Letitia Wright, and Tenoch Huerta Mejía.

“Worlds” examines sets and production design as well as costumes, stunts, and photography. This delivers more than a little happy talk but we get many good insights as well.

Passing the Mantle goes for five minutes, 50 seconds and offers info from Moore, Coogler, Wright, and actors Dominique Thorne and Angela Bassett. “Mantle” discusses characters and cast in this moderately informative but generally superficial piece.

A Gag Reel lasts two minutes, 28 seconds and features the usual goofs and giggles. However, we get a few improv lines and those add some spark.

Four Deleted Scenes occupy a total of 10 minutes, 11 seconds. These offer expansions for secondary characters.

As such, none of them seem crucial. However, they provide engaging material.

Faced with major challenges due to the death of lead actor Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever manages to take on some daring paths. However, it lacks a focused story and its extended running time means that it winds up as moderately enjoyable but too bloated to fully succeed. The Blu-ray comes with terrific picture and audio as well as a mix of bonus materials. Expect a good but not exceptional MCU flick.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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