If you haven't already streamed the spectacular Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever on Disney+, you're missing out: not only has the film broken streaming records, but it's also a really good action adventure with spectacular visuals and some stunning acrobatics.
According to Disney, the film is the most-streamed Marvel film premiere on Disney+ to date, and while Disney+ doesn't share the actual numbers – it's like Apple TV+ in that respect, preferring not to dwell on mere details – it achieved the feat in just five days.
It looks like viewers loved what they saw. The film has a very impressive 94% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Here's the trailer.
A spectacular sequel with a hint of sadness
The sequel to the original Black Panther comes shot through with sadness: the titular character was played in the first film by the incredible Chadwick Boseman, who died of cancer in 2020. Rather than replace him, the filmmakers chose instead to focus on the other residents of Wakanda and their battle to protect their nation in the shadow of King T'Challa's death, and while the film is a great story in its own right the spirit of Boseman/T'Challa is there throughout.
The film was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, and Angela Bassett – who plays Queen Ramonda – made history as the first woman, the first person of colour and the first Marvel Studios actor to be nominated for an Academy Award for their performance in a comic book adaptation. It was Bassett's second nomination: she was also nominated for her starring role in the 1993 Tina Turner bio, What's Love Got to With It?
While the fans loved the film, critics were more divided: their tomatometer rating is a more cautious 84%. In Decider, John Serba said that "The tribute here is heartfelt, but the spirit of the man [Boseman/King T'Challa] and the character sometimes get lost in all the bric-a-brac of the Marvel machine" while Aaron White of Feelin' Film Podcast said that while it was "a beautiful tribute... they meant so well, but as a film there are a lot of misses here."
For many critics the issue wasn't so much that Black Panther 2 wasn't a good film, because it is a good film. But the original was a great film, setting such a high bar and featuring such a magnetic performance by Boseman that even its own sequel can't quite match it. However, if you loved the original you'll love this – and if you haven't seen either, you're in for a double treat. The original's on Disney+ too.