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SYFY WIRE Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

First 'Wakanda Forever' reactions hail emotional, poignant sequel that honors Chadwick Boseman

Wakanda Forever has officially played for its first audience.

By Matthew Jackson
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Though most of us will still have to wait until next month to see it, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever played before its first large audience Wednesday night at a massive world premiere celebration in Los Angeles. That means that, in addition to the film's stars, a lucky few journalists and fans also got their first peek at the film this week, and they've begun posting their reactions online.

The follow-up to 2018's Black Panther, one of the most impactful films Marvel Studios has ever produced, Wakanda Forever was always going to have high expectations attached. But things got more complicated and much more emotional in the summer of 2020 when Chadwick Boseman, who played T'Challa, aka Black Panther, passed away after a battle with cancer. That meant writer/director Ryan Coogler, producer Kevin Feige, and the entire cast and crew had to reimagine the world of Black Panther without its intended star and centerpiece, changing the focus of the film that would become Wakanda Forever significantly. 

That's a lot to take in even before you consider the plot of the new film, which follows the nation of Wakanda as it both mourns the passing of its king and deals with new threats from outside its borders, including the rise of Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and the Atlanteans. Needless to say, there's a high bar to clear, so how did Wakanda Forever fare?

Well, according to most of the people who walked out of the world premiere Wednesday night, the film emerged as an emotional, worthy follow-up to a Marvel classic. 

"Black Panther: #WakandaForever is as epic as Marvel sequels get," Germain Lussier of io9 tweeted. "The story is hugely ambitious & thematically rewarding with gut-wrenching twists and turns throughout. You feel the length but it’s fun, wildly beautiful and has the best credits scene in Marvel history, no contest."

"Black Panther: #WakandaForever is Marvel's most poignant and powerful film to date," Brian Davids of The Hollywood Reporter said. "It's heavy and dark in the way that it needed to be, and mostly abandons the studio's trademark tone. The craft work levels up in every conceivable way, and the performances rise to the occasion."

"I know you don’t believe when people come out of a world premiere and say a movie is awesome….but #BlackPantherWakandaForever is a fantastic sequel and a great movie," Steven Weintraub of Collider said. "I knew it’d be emotional and it was. Expect your eyes to leak. Great job #RyanCoogler"

"#WakandaForever's bigger in scope and scale than #BlackPanther, but its story is also one of Marvel's most intimate and heartfelt," Charles Pulliam-Moore of The Verge said. "It's definitely a Comic Book Movie, but it’s one that centers grief and the grieving process rather than superheroics and spectacle."

"Wakanda Forever had so many emotions!!! It was creepy and BRU-TAL in parts," actor and writer Dani Fernandez said. "Heartbreaking and beautiful. And the fight scenes were WILD. I’m in awe of the care put into representing these cultures."

Oh, and in case you needed even more praise for Wakanda Forever, a fellow blockbuster filmmaker was also in the theater Wednesday night, and offered his thoughts.

See for yourself when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters Nov. 11.

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