Rest in peace, Chadwick Boseman.
This next entry in the MCU takes place back in Wakanda in fa post-blip (after the events of Avengers: Infinity War/Avengers: End Game.) Main characters Queen Ramonda, Shuri, M’Baku, Okoye and the Dora Milaje take the position of protector of the nation of Wakanda after the death of King T’Challa. With the introduction of Namor, played by , the arch nemesis rival of Black Panther. New troubles arises from the sea as the fate of Wakanda and the world itself is at stake from totalitarian conquering mindset of Namor, the “Avenging Son” Atlantean.
The movie begins with a funeral for King T’Challa and his sister Shuris (played by Letitia Wright) futile attempt to create a synthetic version of the “The Heart-Shaped Herb” for the unnamed illness inflicting her brother. With this death, Shuri throws herself into her technological research working to make technology that would be used to protect Wakanda that wasn’t the Black Panther. Namor is introduced in a truly unique and terrifying way. His appearance is explained because a new piece of tech was invented that acted as a vibranium metal detector; which threatened Namors and his people in terms of the world knowing of their existence. The scientist responsible for the device becomes a target as she is the only one capable of replicating the machine. Namor asks Wakanda to go and find the scientist and bring them back to him. This conflicts the morals of the cast as they must decide whether to protect the life of one and cause a war or to bring someone to their death.
A villain finally done right.
Namor played by Tenoch Huerta did an excellent job when it came to portraying a villain that could be understood and emphasized for their intentions and goals. Coming as the ruler of a group of people hidden underwater for over four hundred years, it is understandable why he would do anything to protect his people and their lack of exposure to the rest of the world. The backstory provided really compelling connects to real world history that he experienced which shaped the way he viewed the surface world.
With the death of Chadwick Bosemen, the script for this movie had to be rewritten from the ground up. Still, with all set backs considered, this film came together beautifully and the performances of every character hit the nail on the head for what you could come to expect from the character. Shuri, T’Challa’s sister and how she handles grief from beginning to end does justice to the characters from the last movie and make sense with her role as princess of Wakanda. She was never meant to be casted as a main character for the film but to say she stepped up to plate would be an understatement. The best performance goes to Queen Ramonda as she has to deal not only with losing her family but losing grip on her kingdom under threat of invasion by Namor and his people. There was a plot hole that stumped me on my first viewing of the film that had to due with the first interaction between Namor and Shuri and Queen Ramonda; where instead of waiting for them to complete their mission he attacks them before finding out about their hesistance to do what Namor asked. Other than that, the film was done gracefully and was very impressive for all of the things holding it back.