All Hail to ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

All Hail to 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' belatina latine
Credit: Instagram/ Marvel Studios

Last night, I had the pleasure of watching Marvel’s newest film installment, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”  with a group of friends – a tradition we’ve held for nearly seven years. 

Here’s a spoiler-free review of this much-anticipated film and its newest character Namor, played by Mexican actor José Tenoch Huerta Mejía.

Before we dive into the plot, the acting, and all the juicy details, we must acknowledge what the last “Black Panther” film meant for the entire Black community in the United States. Children and adults everywhere were giving the “WAKANDA FOREVER!” salute in celebration of the film. And continue to do so. This is why representation matters.

The culture Black Panther represents was groundbreaking for Hollywood. Director Ryan Coogler is a master of character identity and brought such a unique story to an otherwise consistent MCU. So much so, the film became the first comic book and superhero film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Black Panther is a historical achievement in cinema. 

In this installment, all fans, especially Latine MCU fans, have been biting their nails to see the new Aztec protagonist, Namor – the king of Talocan. Ryan Coogler thought that redefining Namor as a more mythical character from Mexican legends was more interesting and kept the character unique from Jason Momoa’s “Aquaman”. And we couldn’t agree more! 

This is a perfect example of being “woke” without impacting the roots of your story and taking away from your character’s personality, which Disney has struggled with in recent years. Huerta is very imposing and keeps you on your toes playing Namor. His origin story is one of the best villain origins in the MCU.

What to expect in the future

Could Talocan be the next Wakanda? YES! Ryan Coogler did it again. Everything about the underwater city was fascinating. Fans will be anticipating a return to Talocan in the future. 

Coogler creates a very beautiful picture with every shot in the film and captures the mythical aspects of Namor that he envisioned. I expect “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” to get an Oscar nomination for visual effects and cinematography. 

This is the story of Wakanda. A story of family. 

Overall, the film is solid. It’s carried by its acting and has beautiful moments. I am so happy to say that it does NOT suffer from recent quirky MCU “trends,” which take the viewer out of the film. It is not as great as the original  “Black Panther” (which was a tough act to follow), but is definitely a step up from recent MCU projects and is a nice breath of fresh air. 

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is giving us what we want

Aside from the ultra-talented Tenoch giving us a mind-blowing portrayal of his character, the Kenyan- Mexican actress Lupita Nyong’o was breathtaking in “Wakanda Forever” too. Well, these two Latino actors brought their flavor both on the movie set and beyond. Did you see them dancing to Elvis Crespo’s “Suavemente” recently? 

Speaking of music, Rihanna has blessed the world with TWO new songs. Will the world start to heal thanks to this incredible film? Let’s hope it does. 

Will you be seeing “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever?”