Going to the Movies with Jeff & Drew: “Captain America: Civil War”
Divided they fall.
This movie, while imperfect, is worth any Marvel, superhero or action film fan’s theater-going money. Captain America: Civil War is a continuation of both Captain America: Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron. While the characters are balanced better onscreen than Age of Ultron, the overall story isn’t as compelling as the far-superior Winter Soldier.
World leaders are demanding oversight of the Avengers as a result of the deadly events that took place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe previous Avengers films. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is glad to sign the Sokovia Accords, which put some limits on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, while Captain America (Chris Evans) is very much against it. After a deadly attack at the UN summit is blamed on Bucky, Cap’s childhood friend, Steve Rodgers goes rogue to find his pal. Tony and the heroes who side with him are given a ticking clock to stop Steve and Bucky before more tragic measures are taken. New and old heroes join both sides, and the cold and calculating new villain Zemo plays the role of puppeteer.
“I love the fact that the massive collateral damage is being addressed. Superhero movies have massive damage that no one seems to acknowledge. Though, the police are being a bit hypocritical when they cause their own damage after condemning what the Avengers do. Granted, it is nowhere near the scale that the Avengers can accomplish.” – Jeff
“Where Batman v Superman failed, Civil War shines. They have very similar themes; the only differences I see is that Civil War address the real questions it presents.” – Drew
This is a Captain America movie at its core, but we still get so many other story lines and characters coming and going that it feels like you’re reading a comic book. The plots are so well woven together that nothing feels out of place. The story flows while never getting stale or confusing. For the rare few that have somehow missed the past decade of MCU movies, there are points during the film that might not make sense. Characters have been developed and relationships grown over numerous movies that audience goers are expected to already know. Even with all of the setup from previous films, this movie still stands well on its own. You can go into it fresh and still enjoy yourself. With more going on than in any other Marvel movie to date, this telling feels more like an Avengers movie than Age of Ultron did and less like a single-character movie. The MCU is getting its second wind with Civil War. The stagnation worries that arose after Ultron are put to rest.
Side characters seem to have more purpose than other MCU movies. The Bucky (Sebastian Stan) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) relationship is played mostly for comic relief to help offset the dark and serious tone of the movie. Vision (Paul Bettany) trying to be human adds to the hilarity. The sight of him in a button-down and khakis or trying to cook in the kitchen is hilarious. His fatherly affection for Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) is sweet and adds to the depth of his character and the movie.
We are also introduced to new characters, Black Panther and the highly anticipated Spider-Man. Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) is a certifiable badass who can stand toe-to-toe with any hero or villain in this universe. He is well deserving of his own stand-alone movie. Tom Holland captures the soul of Peter Parker so well that his performance will leave any audience wanting more. Sadly, Spidey is expendable in this story. He could be cut out of it without making much of a difference to the outcome.
“Spider-Man has had five movies since 2002, and this is my favorite adaptation of the character by far. It made me overjoyed to see my favorite wall crawler on screen portrayed as I have seen him in the comic books.” – Drew
“Action fans will like this movie. Comic fans will love this movie. Everyone else will enjoy it. The introduction of the new Spider-Man made me excited for the third reboot of the franchise.” – Jeff
This movie personifies what fanboys expect out of a comic book film: lots of characters, a well-crafted story and plenty of action. The production does not disappoint with big-budget effects and design.
Captain America: Civil War jumps right into the action from the top of the movie and provides so much action that it actually climaxes before the final fight. The big fight between all of the Avengers would be hard to top, and they didn’t even try.
“The hero battle at the airport is amazing and will make the most jaded comic-book fan nerd-gasm. But, it leaves you exhausted for the last 45 minutes and makes the final fight feel lackluster.” – Drew
“I disagree. The airport fight was definitely the highlight of the film and more than I had expected. It wrapped up what it needed; The end of the film was still enjoyable with plenty of action and didn’t try to out do the big fight which would have detracted from the ending over all. It was a good wrap up as it stands” – Jeff
A powerhouse like Marvel Studios knows how make a movie look amazing, which makes the few flaws stand out even more. There are points where dialogue is drowned out by music and battle sounds. This makes for important parts that the audience might miss. There are also a few CGI characters that look rubbery and out of place.
Captain America: Civil War makes you think about the side each characters take and will put you at odds with your favorite hero. It leaves you breathless, laughing constantly and cheering like your team just scored the winning point with no time left on the clock.
Stars: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Daniel Brühl, Frank Grillo
Score 4 out of 5