Black Panther: Wakanda Forever review: The final film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase 4 leaves on an emotional high note that is the ultimate definition of the phrase "life imitating art." The 2018 "Black Panther" sequel honors the legacy of the dearly departed Chadwick Boseman while telling an unbelievable story about how to move on after saying goodbye to someone who meant so much to you for many years. Ryan Coogler returns to direct the sequel and crafts a story as powerful as the first film. The tribute to Chadwick Boseman at the beginning is one of the most potent scenes we have ever seen in a comic book movie. It makes the audience feel the characters' emotions having to say goodbye to an incredible actor. He had accomplished so much in a short amount of time. The production design and costumes are remarkable, the action and visuals look fantastic, and the music composed by Ludwig Göransson with songs by Rihanna is outstanding, ranging from action-packed to emotional. Many actors from the first film return to reprise their roles to great success, including Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Winston Duke as M'Baku, Florence Kasumba as Ayo, and Martin Freeman as Everett Ross. Letitia Wright returns as Princess Shuri, but unlike the last film, where she was a supporting character, Shuri serves as the film's main protagonist and delivers a fantastic performance. Angela Bassett returns as Queen Ramonda and performs phenomenally as the queen of Wakanda. The latter, not counting her daughter Shuri has lost her entire family, and the emotion that Bassett brings to this character elevates her to give one of the best performances in her career. Joining the cast delivering great performances include Mabel Cadena as Namora, Alex Livinalli as Attuma, and Michaela Coel as Aneka. Dominique Thorne gives an excellent breakout performance as Riri Williams, who serves as the audience character embarking on a journey that will change her life forever. It should also be worth mentioning that Dominique Thorne will be returning as Riri Williams in the Disney Plus series "Ironheart" next year. After seeing her in this movie, I'm beyond excited to see where her story goes next in the series. Tenoch Huerta gives an incredible performance as the villain Namor, who has a significant history with Marvel because he was the first character Marvel created, debuting in 1939. Huerta portrays Namor as a villain who doesn't see himself as a villain but instead as a person that is trying to protect his people, but his methods come off as more harm than good, making him one of the best villains we have seen in the MCU. Thanks to Ryan Coogler's fantastic screenplay and direction, emotional tribute to the late great Chadwick Boseman, excellent music by Ludwig Göransson and Rihanna, and phenomenal performances by Wright, Bassett, Thorne, and Huerta, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" is an absolute masterpiece that is on par with the original film. The film is not only one of the best films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but this is, without question, their most emotional film to date.
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