CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR:
WHILE THE TITLE IS A BIT MISLEADING, THE FILM CRANKS UP THE MARVEL AVENGERS STYLE ACTION TO INFINITY!
By Nico Beland
Movie Review: A+ (4 stars)
Captain America (left) VS Iron Man (right) in Captain America: Civil War
The “Marvelous” fireworks continue as Marvel kicks off Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a big way, Captain America: Civil War, the third Captain America film with Chris Evans (Fantastic 4, Scott Pilgrim VS The World, Snowpiercer) returning as the “Man out of Time” Steve Rogers/Captain America and Winter Soldier directors, Anthony and Joe Russo returning to direct. But that’s not all, they also brought in billionaire Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.-Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Tropic Thunder, Sherlock Holmes), S.H.I.E.L.D. assassins, Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson-Lost in Translation, Her, Under the Skin) and Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner-Mission: Impossible 4 and 5, The Bourne Legacy, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters) and fellow Avengers, Vision (Paul Bettany-A Knight’s Tale, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Margin Call), James Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle-Traffic, Hotel Rwanda, Flight), Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie-The Hurt Locker, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Night Before), and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen-Martha Marcy May Marceline, Oldboy, Godzilla), tons of fan-service, and the return of the badass dude with a metal arm, Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan-Rachel Getting Married, Black Swan, The Martian), honestly it’s another Avengers movie one year after last year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Obviously this was one of the most hyped up comic book movies of all time and the second superhero smack-down of 2016 following March’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. But unlike that movie where they tried to cram in as much fan service as possible, this film adds lots of fan service and it doesn’t lose its focus, the characters brought in spend just the right amount of time in the movie and they don’t overstay their welcome.
Captain America: The First Avenger was good, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was awesome, Captain America: Civil War however is without a doubt one of the best comic book movies I’ve ever seen, yeah I’m talking Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Dark Knight, Iron Man, Spider-Man 2 material. Captain America is also the first superhero where all of his movies get better with each sequel without any downfalls.
After the battles in New York (The Avengers), Washington D.C. (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), and Sokovia (Avengers: Age of Ultron) we find Steve Rogers/Captain America slowly getting his best friend’s Bucky Barnes’ memory back after being brainwashed by Hydra, but unfortunately his Winter Soldier mind gets triggered after a series of words is said. But that’s only the least of Rogers’ problems, in comes Tony Stark/Iron Man and General Ross (William Hurt-Kiss of the Spider Woman, A History of Violence, The Incredible Hulk) trying to convince his Avengers teammates to sign a law allowing the Avengers to be associated with the government.
Rogers does not approve the law and what starts off as a debate between why the Avengers should and shouldn’t sign the law turns into a Marvel free-for-all between Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, The Winter Soldier, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Vision, War Machine, Falcon, Ant-Man (Paul Rudd-Anchorman 1 and 2, Dinner for Schmucks, The Perks of Being a Wallflower), and newcomers, Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman-The Express, 42, Get On Up) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland-The Secret World of Arrietty, The Impossible, In the Heart of the Sea) to decide what is right for the world. Also there’s a secret plan involving Sokovian terrorist, Zemo (Daniel Bruhl-The Bourne Ultimatum, Inglourious Basterds, Rush) as his plot unfolds by having the Avengers turn against each other and eventually destroy each other.
Overall, Captain America: Civil War is everything I look for in a Marvel movie times infinity, exciting action sequences that leave me on the edge of my seat, strong character development, humor, and surprisingly effective drama, even for something as silly as a man dressed in red, white, and blue battling a man in an armored suit. That’s an accomplishment, the film is thoroughly popcorn fun but at the same time it takes itself seriously and none of it makes the movie go downhill.
This is what Zack Snyder missed when he directed Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, he focused too much on fan service and developing his cinematic universe where this movie has a strong balance between fan service and telling the story that’s given to them. Yeah I’m open to the DC Extended Universe but the Marvel Cinematic Universe will always be miles ahead of it.
The film brings in Ant-Man, Black Panther, and Spider-Man and they all have the right amount of screen-time they should have with this film, none of them overstay their welcome and it doesn’t distract from the Captain America VS Iron Man plot element. I already discussed Ant-Man in great detail in my review of the film, however the take on Black Panther is pretty awesome and Chadwick Boseman is such a fantastic actor he makes a man dressed as a cat hunting down the man that killed his son just as serious as a Batman story, I’m excited for Marvel’s Black Panther movie coming out by the way.
Okay, let’s talk about Tom Holland as Spider-Man, for a supporting role in this movie, he plays Spider-Man very well, he’s not wide-eyed like Tobey Maguire in the Sam Raimi trilogy or as cocky as Andrew Garfield in the AmazingSpider-Man movies, he’s got a retro new costume with Deadpool style eyes, armed with web shooters, and several one-liners. I can’t wait to see more of him in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
This is a Marvel movie that delivers all the goods and doesn’t carry the Avengers name, if you love the previous films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’ll be in heaven with Captain America: Civil War, it’s everything I want in a superhero movie multiplied by infinity.