The passing of Black Panther's Chadwick Boseman shocked the world back in 2020. The loss of the legendary actor was a heavy weight on the world's shoulders. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler even recently admitted that he thought about "walking away from this business" altogether.
Thankfully, he didn't, and the creatives behind the scenes pulled together to continue Wakanda's legacy in hopes of honoring the late actor. Now, the world is being gifted with a movie that is a celebration of Boseman, and his unforgettable character, T'Challa.
There's no doubt that the movie will be an emotional ride for anyone who watches, and potentially one of the hardest watches the MCU will ever have.
While fans will have to wait a little bit longer, select members of the press have now had the opportunity to see the entirety of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
So what did they think?
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever First Reviews
Select press have finished their screenings of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and their social media reactions are starting to flood the internet.
Orlando Maldonado from Rotten Tomatoes proclaimed the film to be "outstanding," and "handles loss, grief and revenge with a maturity and seriousness rarely seen in the MCU:"
"Wakanda Forever is outstanding. It handles loss, grief and revenge with a maturity and seriousness rarely seen in the MCU. Black Panther continues to be their crown jewel. Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett and Tenoch Huerta all bring some of the best acting I've seen all year."
Press member Kevin McCarthy made it clear that the film "is a beautifully cathartic tribute to the legacy of Chadwick Boseman:"
"WAKANDA FOREVER is a beautifully cathartic tribute to the legacy of Chadwick Boseman. Reminds us of his monumental impact & that he's truly still here with is. Great performances from Gurira, Bassett, Wright & Thorne. Huerta was INCREDIBLE. Loved Rihanna's song & Ludwig's score."
Charles Pulliam from Verge praised it for "[centering] grief and the grieving process rather than superheroics:"
"Wakanda Forever's bigger in scope and scale than Black Panther, but its story is also one of Marvel's most intimate and heartfelt. It's definitely a Comic Book Movie, but it's one that centers grief and the grieving process rather than superheroics and spectacle. Full review soon."
Ryden Scarnato from Heroic Hollywood strongly believes that "there's never been a CBM like it:"
"Black Panther: WakandaForever is a powerful film and a great tribute to Chadwick Boseman. There's never been a CBM like it. Really strong performances all around too. Namor's motivations were a little weak and I felt the runtime, but it's still towards the top of Phase 4 for me."
The Hollywood Reporter's Brian Davids revealed that the movie "mostly abandons the studio's trademark tone:"
"Black Panther: WakandaForever is Marvel's most poignant and powerful film to date. 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."
Film Critic Fico Cangiano from CineXpressPR specifically praises Letitia Wright and Tenoch Huerta, while also noting that "the mid-credits scene is really moving:"
Wakanda Forever is fantastic! Coogler delivers a soulful, wondrous sequel that packs an emotional punch & effectively explores relevant world themes. A beautiful tribute to Boseman’s legacy. Letitia & Tenoch are great, & the mid-credits scene is really moving."
Travis Hopson from Punch Drunk Critics pointed out how "the intro of Namor was incredible," and the film's overall plot was "packed with emotionally charged twists:"
"Wakanda Forever is exactly the cathartic experience I hoped it would be, helping us move past our grief while watching the Wakandans fight to do the same. The intro of Namor was incredible, the story bittersweet and packed with emotionally charged twists."
The Direct's own Jack McBryan declared that Wakanda Forever is "easily the best MCU project of Phase 4," while also strongly praising the movie's score:
"Wakanda Forever is phenomenal. Easily the best MCU project of Phase 4. I can not understate how masterful the score is from start to finish. There are no weak links in the cast, but I have to give a special shoutout to Angela Basset and Letitia Wright who really blew me away."
Sean O' Connell, of Cinema Blend, called Tenoch Huerta's Namor "a FORCE," and "better than [he had] hoped:"
"Ryan Coogler's Black Panther: WakandaForever, above all else, is cathartic. An emotional movie about loss, legacy and healing. The story is intimate, but vast with global power struggles and palace intrigue. Tenoch Huerta's Namor is a FORCE, better than I hoped. So much to discuss."
Critic Samuel Leggett Jr. mentioned how "the raw emotions on and off screen can be felt throughout:"
"Wakanda Forever is easily the best Marvel film since Avengers: Endgame. The scope, the camera work, the acting, and the raw emotions on and off screen can be felt throughout! This is the Marvel I’ve missed! I had one word in my heart all night; “WOW…”
Collider's Steven Weintraub noted that he's aware many won't believe the hype coming out of a world premiere, but hammered down on how "[the] movie is awesome:"
"I know you don’t believe when people come out of a world premiere and say a movie is awesome….but Black Panther: WakandaForever is a fantastic sequel and a great movie. I knew it’d be emotional and it was. Expect your eyes to leak. Great job Ryan Coogler"
Perri Nemiroff, also from Collider, called it "an immensely powerful story of forging forward:"
"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is excellent. An immensely powerful story of forging forward—shattering at times, but also beautifully cathartic and heartening. Cannot get over how well the film earns that title."
She continued in a second tweet, pointing out that Marvel "couldn't have found a better Namor:"
"Continues to be one of my favorite ensembles out there. M'Baku is still my #1, but Letitia Wright's Shuri is quite the beating heart of this film. And Tenoch Huerta? They couldn't have found a better Namor."
It certainly seems like Wakanda Forever will be just as emotional as expected.
Somehow Ryan Coogler seems to have pulled it off and delivered a fantastic movie—possibly even one of Marvel Studios' best if these reactions are to be believed.
It sounds like there's also a shift in tone away from the usual Marvel Studios that'll make Wakanda Forever a particularly special journey. If there was ever an MCU project that shouldn't be brought down by an overly comedic tone, this would be the one.
Tenoch Huerta’s Namor seems to have gone over fantastically, with not a negative word on his character's introduction in sight. The character is a massive part of the Marvel world in the comics, so to hear that he was done justice will undoubtedly please many.
The acting, in general, seems to be a highlight of the project—which isn't surprising given how personal the film was for nearly everyone involved.
With the level of quality that this movie seems to be, maybe Marvel Studios will start considering Ryan Coogler to direct Avengers: Secret Wars.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters worldwide on November 11.