Ryan Rodrigues’s review published on Letterboxd:
I for one do not envy Ryan Coogler and the task that he had in redesigning the script for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. He did the best that he could considering the circumstances and difficulties surrounding the film.
Though Chadwick Boseman wasn't in the film, his character T'Challa was definitely felt immensely throughout the story. The story largely focuses on grief from those from Wakanda and honours the character whilst also saying the final goodbyes. Coogler handles the tragic death of Boseman with care that he should be praised.
For this film to work, every character has their own sequence of highlights and the film though largely focuses on Letitia Wright as Shuri, everyone does play a larger role to get it across the line. I for one was pleasantly surprised with how likeable Riri Williams (Iron Heart) was and the character was written to have a level of maturity that is sometimes missing with younger heroes. There is a lot of character progression in this one, Nakia has an extended role, more comic book lore regarding the Midnight Angels. Namor had an interesting yet confusing background, I don't think the underwater scenes were as spectacular as they could have been. Surprisingly for a Marvel film those scenes had such muted colours.
Now, I can give minor passes on the script for obvious reasons but the plot just seemed to get lost about half way into the film, it's a slow build up which is very much tied to Shuri and the heart shaped plant (which makes sense). However by the time the final battle happens, you really just want the film to end, it was probably about 10-20 minutes too long by the time it finished. I did the introduction of the underwater kingdom of Talokan, yet by the time the film finished, I knew they would go back there in later installments so maybe it wasn't necessary to spend so much time down there.
I largely thought the film did a decent job as a follow up, however due to outside issues, it seemed more like a bridging movie than anything. I don't even think Shuri will be the Black Panther moving forward considering that the film ended with two other options. Marvel fatigue is well and truly here to stay.