The spectre of Chadwick Boseman is ever-present as writer-director Ryan Coogler pays both heartfelt tribute to the late great actor and expands the universe of Wakanda. He also continues to write great parts for the kick-ass ladies of the hidden nation.
There is sadness in both remembrance and storyline but the emotional content feels respectful and expansive. Introducing an entirely new race of people and having them be both friend and foe helps to defy expectations.
This is far and away one of the most character-driven Marvel films and it challenges the audience with a thoughtful but somewhat leisurely first few reels. When it kicks into gear, there are some well-paced and expertly executed action sequences.
By the film’s end, you are left with a feeling of the tremendous respect the filmmakers had for the man that was Chadwick Boseman and they do his memory proud. They have opened up the franchise with endless possibilities and it will be fascinating to see where they go next.