Black Panther is good. Is it one of the best Marvel movies? No, but it slots comfortably amongst the good ones, and confirms that Marvel is on a winning streak when it comes to quality outings. What Black Panther does well, it does very well. The story, while formulaic and fairly predictable, is weighty and dramatic enough to feel invested in. The acting is all-around excellent, with standout performances from Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan and a very solid supporting cast. Wakanda\'s design is gorgeous when it is allowed some time to sink in and shine, with particular attention to the costume and makeup work, which consistently remain vibrant and striking without merely feeling like a hodgepodge of awkwardly-digested influences. The music is surprisingly good when it\'s allowed to do its own thing. Erik Killmonger is one of the most compelling antagonists in recent superhero movie memory, and Ulysses Klaue makes for a very entertaining, hammy and quirky villain while he\'s on-screen. Ryan Coogler manages to put some of his usual directorial flourishes on screen, giving the movie more of a visual identity. That said, the film does have a few flaws that add up and hold it back from greatness. The special effects can get outright bad at times, with very noticeable and distracting CGI; the supporting cast, while well-acted, can feel somewhat bland and lacking in quirks compared to the main characters; the dialogue has a tendency to overexplain and feels more concerned with delivering big, meaningful speeches than creating enjoyable and organic exchanges between characters; the humor is very hit-or-miss, with some jokes coming in at fairly inappropriate moments (Thor:Ragnarok had the same problem, but it feels stranger here, due to the movie moving away from comedy); finally, the film\'s much-touted politics come across as very safe and don\'t truly offer any intelligent insights into real-world problems. Overall? One more solid stone to the Marvel edifice. PS: To anyone pretending that this is the first Marvel movie with a \"directorial voice\": no it\'s not. The two GOT Gs are *very clearly* Sean Gunn movies. Iron Man 3 is *very clearly* a Shane Black film.
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