Wakanda Forever is the final MCU phase 4 film I think? No spoiler-free reviews for this one. This post will have a lot of unmarked spoilers.
The big question was how they were going to address Chadwick's passing. I thought the treatment was both very respectful and the worst they could do given the terrible circumstances. I mean, I was kind of worried they would have him cameo via CGI or such (like Tarkin or Leia in Star Wars), which would have felt cheap and disrespectful.
Most of the movie was pretty good. Some great fight scenes especially early on and in Cambridge. I remember about halfway through the film, I was really enjoying everything and I whispered to my brother who was watching with me: "I have no idea how this is going to be resolved", which was a good thing at that point. But the third act happened and I was kind of disappointed with the whole formulaic big set piece battle at the end (kind of reminded me of Aquaman) and while the eventual resolution was okay, I felt it was one of the most boring possible choices. Someone got away with murder there.
Speaking of Aquaman, I guess it influenced the decision to change Namor's roots and never mention "Atlantis". I also like how they explained Namor's name as being derived from Spanish, and despite introducing himself clearly to Shuri and Queen Ramonda, they still insist on mispronouncing his name with a long A.
Great performances by the actresses for Shuri, Ramonda, and Okoye. Winston Duke as MBaku was fun, but the film was carried by those women. It's actually nice because for most of the film those 3 characters kind of carried the lead role split between them, a burden imposed by Chadwick's passing. The film really narrows down and focuses on Shuri only by the end. Shuri taking the mantle was inevitable, despite how controversial the actress became over the pandemic. Shuri visiting the ancestral plane was a great scene and a great surprise.
Riri is here mainly as a mcguffin that everyone is fighting over, kind of like America in MoM. We will see more of her on D+.
Somehow I thought all the random Ross and Val scenes would be relevant and tie into the ending somehow but instead it was nothing and just obvious set up for Thunderbolts. Maybe the CIA could have done something bad causing the two warring sides to temporarily unite? Something!
The ending was fine, though they left some things ambiguous so they don't paint themselves into a corner, especially re:Letitia Wright I guess?
There is one post-credits scene, which I guess is geared towards setting up a possible future for the Black Panther franchise specifically, though one that may take years to payoff.
We watched in IMax, but I'm not sure it was necessary. Felt like I would have enjoyed it even in a normal screening.