I recently watched the latest MARVEL extravaganza, BLACK PANTHER 2: WAKANDA FOREVER. My expectations for this film were non-existent. Marvel films and many of the Disney Plus TV shows have been disappointing. The films seem to be trying to regain the luster that was lost after Thanos was thwarted in the process of trying to implement the WEF/United Nations Agenda of depopulation. Other than the nostalgic impact brought about by SPIDERMAN: NO WAY HOME, the quality of the films during Stage 4 have been mostly mediocre. So going into watching the latest BLACK PANTHER movie, I prepared for the worst. So after completing this over 160-minute marathon, let me tell you what I think. BLACK PANTHER 2: WAKANDA FOREVER is one of my favorite Marvel films.
Before diving into this evaluation, I have to make two key points. First, I was not a fan of the first BLACK PANTHER film. Despite being told that it was the first movie to reflect African culture, it felt more like a bastardized Hollywood version of it. The movie had an interesting premise and the villain, Killmonger played by Michael B. Jordan, was a complex and fascinating character. But despite getting a Best Picture nomination (Which the second BLACK PANTHER movie actually deserves), the film was flawed. Unlike many of the elitists writing about this film and the revolutionaries on Reddit using the film as an example for a future rebellion, the villain was a terribly flawed character because the basis of his motivation was revenge. It made the Wakandans sympathetic because their philosophy on how to evolve the world was through technology and education, not force. Hence Killmonger dying at the end was a fitting resolution for that character. Besides this, the movie also had a terrible final section that ruined anything good that occurred during its initial two-thirds. Second, you have to accept the universe that was created by Disney and Marvel for these films. Killmonger believed that black people were being repressed and forced into second class citizenship. This led to his motivation for violence to “balance’ the scales. For most of history, I would agree with aspects of this thought. But you would also have to overlook the slavery that non-whites force onto their own populations inside their own countries. In the present day, it is much harder to make this argument in the United States. So understanding that Disney has created a universe with an advanced culture leading the world from Africa and all of world history is about oppressing minorities is the creative jump that needs to be taken to embrace the ideas of the film. In actuality, most of human history is about conquest. Every culture on this planet on every continent fought wars and created empires. The first few thousand years of human history was various different groups of people fighting over land and conquering different tribes of individuals. During the heyday of the British Empire, conquest was replaced by colonization. Canada and the United States started out as colonies of the British. There are examples of this throughout modern-day history. So understanding that the ideas behind the BLACK PANTHER universe are as fictional as the ideas behind the ongoing and real “woke” revolution is important before taking the leap into those films.
SPOILERS: IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE, STOP HERE.
BLACK PANTHER 2 starts with the Wakandans mourning T’Challa. As everyone knows, Chadwick Boseman, who played the character in four films, died at 43 years old in 2020 from colon cancer. The movie pays him a wonderful tribute during the opening funeral scene. In all honesty, I was not sure what direction they were going to take this film after this emotional opening scene. But the film ends up having a deep, vibrant story that puts the ideas from the first film into the dustbin of history. Due to the Americans’ curiosity about the element vibranium that is the key to the technological advances of Wakanda, they find an outcropping of the mineral in the middle of the ocean. After trying to obtain the mineral, the Americans are attacked and killed by a race of blue people that depend on the vibranium for their own culture. No, these are not extras from the latest AVATAR movie. This is a thriving civilization named the Talokan that has evolved from the Mayan civilizations of the 15th and 16th centuries. This is a wonderful beginning but is not even close to being the best part of the film. The leader of the Talokan, Namor (Played by the wonderful Tenoch Huerta), approaches Queen Ramonda about the American’s interference with their source of energy. This opening leads to probably the best middle section of a Marvel film ever.
Before going on, I want to make this observation. Our present-day United States is an empire. So understanding again that this film is a work of fiction, if a country like Wakanda existed which surpassed the United States technologically, our country would likely be on a war footing with it. The actions of the United States trying to clandestinely capture some vibranium is a very accurate description of a policy that we would practice. The one thing that is unbelievable is that if an American vessel was attacked and our citizens were killed (And the Americans blamed the attack on Wakanda), our country would be at war with them. The dovish response by our intelligence services does not make sense in comparison to the reality of the nation in which we live. So this leads directly into my main analysis of this film. THE VILLAIN NAMOR IS RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING. Plus, Wakanda’s own actions against him is a pre-cursor to a tragedy that they deserve.
After capturing Shuri, Namor explains to her the details of how a tribe of Mayans ended up living deep underwater in the ocean (HINT: It has to do with the vibranium they discover). His hostility towards the surface world is enforced when after his people come back onto the land to bury his mother, they are witnesses to the Spanish conquistador’s oppression of the Native Tribes of Central and South America during the 17th Century. Namor gets his revenge and wipes out the plantation but also makes a vow to his people that they will live in peace underwater separately from the humans on the surface. But once this vow of neutrality is broken, he would declare war on the surface world. So why would this philosophy lead to his antagonism towards Wakanda?
First, Namor blames Wakanda for making the world aware of their technological paradise and the innovations it has created with vibranium which would naturally lead other countries to seek out solutions to obtain the mineral and balance the geo-political scales. This led to the discovery of vibranium in the ocean which violated the peace that the Talokans were trying to maintain.
Second, after Shuri is captured, Queen Ramonda sends Nakia underwater to free her daughter and the MIT scientist from Namor’s captivity. At this point in the story, the two sides were still peaceful. During the captivity, Namor exposed Shuri to the culture that was thriving in his underwater paradise for the past 500 years. This clandestine action leads to two dead Talokan soldiers which leads to Namor swearing revenge against Wakanda. This leads to their attack on Wakanda where a good portion of the city is wiped out in a mass casualty event and Namor, who swore revenge against Queen Ramonda, ends up killing her. Every single one of his actions makes complete sense when contemplating human behavior and our psychologies when we feel under threat of attack. After this, the movie evolves into a full-scale battle film and a new Black Panther comes into existence. At the end when the Wakandans inevitably win, Namor makes a political decision with his life on the line that makes total sense and is consistent with the ideals that he has promoted throughout the movie. So as you can tell, this movie really caught me off guard with its intelligent storytelling and incredible character and world building. I highly recommend this movie. And if your kids want to learn more, teach them about the history of South America. Until next week when I publish the last section of my “conspiracy theory” posts.
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