I finally got around to seeing this now that the hustle and bustle of Christmas is out of the way.
It was aite.
Setting, costumes, world building, acting, music, and casting were great. The actual writing, story, plot, character development, and character motivations are subpar.
I understand that they want to include themes of loss, revenge, reconciliation, and self-preservation into the movie, but they way the characters need to act like idiots in order to generate enough misunderstandings that they feel like the only feasible option is to go to war with each other doesn't do them any favors. The conflict generation is ham-fisted and plot driven more than it is character driven. The point is made that the Wakandans don't trust the other nations to have power, that they are more civilized than that, yet Shuri goes "fuck it I feel like I want to burn the world" just because her brother died? Namor also has blinders on and can't see the obvious differences between the surface dwellers who killed his ancestors vs the differences between the Wakandans and chooses instead to group all the surface dwellers into the "my enemy" camp? Dumb.
Why even have the theme of "colonizers" in the movie if the modern representations of them don't even play a meaningful part in driving the plot. It does a disservice to the gravity of those historical undertones if the two "native" representations mainly fight with each other because their leaders were being stupid, and not because of institutionalized grievances or manipulation/oppression by the "colonizers". The "colonizers" have to do their own one dimensional song and dance while the Talokanil and Wakandans do their own one dimensional aggressive posturing with each other. The writers determined that we need to have X amount of flashy fight scenes in this movie and they're fine if they only way they can think of how to achieve this is for everyone to be retarded, realpolitik be damned. I might be overly critical on this point, but I feel like the writers had the potential for a lot deeper character development and thematic storytelling, but they gave it up because they needed to hit their quota of CGI battles.
Killmonger cameo was cool, but I wish they put more character development into that. Wasted opportunity.
Overall okay movie, but the first one was better.