Reviews: Captain America: Civil War (Spoiler Free)

Posted: May 9, 2016 in Reviews
Tags: , , , , , ,

What can be said about Civil War that hasn’t been said already? This movie is exactly like what all the reviews would have you believe: it’s fun, clearly the best Marvel film developed so far, and is an excellent culmination of events Marvel has been dealing with since Iron Man first came out in 2008. But does it truly deserve all the hype its been getting, or are there secretly cracks beginning to form in Marvel’s movie making machine? (spoilers: there aren’t)

The Plot

After the Avengers try and fail to stop a bombing in Lagos, the team is brought under fire by the new Secretary of State, former military general “Thunderbolt” Ross, who hands them a document known as “The Sokovia Accords,” the film’s version of the Superhuman Registration Act. As you’d expect, some members of the team agree to the Accords, while others do not, leading to fights and damaged relationships.

My Thoughts

First off, the writing is spectacular. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo definitely show a great understanding of all the Marvel characters, from Tony Stark/Iron Man to newcomers like Peter Parker/Spider-Man and T’Challa/Black Panther. The dialog feels real and earned, to the point where you can almost feel the history behind each of the characters and see how someone like Steve Rogers, a soldier and a die hard patriot in The First Avenger, would refuse to sign something like the Sokovia Accords and give in to governmental supervision. This plays into how amazingly deep and emotional the story is. It carries both a weighty, worldly feel, while at the same time keeping to the theme of a torn apart family, making all the events seem more personal and at home. It’s an emotional punch to see these people, who we’ve seen fight and save the world together, coming apart at the seams over essentially a large disagreement (sure, it’s a disagreement motivated by numerous deaths, but still).

However, don’t expect the film to be overly dark and complicated. There certainly are lighter moments in the film, especially when Tom Holland’s Spider-Man arrives on the scene. Spider-Man is clearly one of the best parts of this film, and I’m sure audiences everywhere will love every second the character is on screen. I can certainly see why many people say he steals the show from Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, but at the same time, I’m glad Spidey got as much screen time as he did. Like with the Punisher and Daredevil, Marvel’s Spider-Man is clearly superior to the other versions of the character we’ve seen thus far, and I cannot wait to see his future solo film.

 

The action is, without a doubt, spectacular. It’s big when it needs to be (that airport scene is incredible!), but also proves, especially during the battle between Captain America and Iron Man, that it can come down to a more personal place when the story demands it. It’s been said that the fight coordinators that handled John Wick were involved in this film’s fight scenes, and I’d completely agree with that. Every punch and kick feels powerful and real, exactly what a film with this depth and tone needed. To put it simply, if you’re an action fan, you’ll love this film.

Now, we can’t talk about this film without talking about this year’s other big team up film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeCivil War ended up doing what Dawn of Justice should have been committed to doing from the start; rather than trying to be something dramatic and briefly about a fight between two titans, Dawn of Justice should have made the story way more personal, with more of a focus on character motivations and an interesting story. There’s clearly more to say about this, but Mr. Sunday Movies has a video,which you can check out below, that essentially sums up everything very well.

All that having been said, let’s talk about some of the negatives in this film (they’re a bit on the nitpick side, but they’re still there). For instance, Spider-Man looks incredibly like full CGI, as if he’s never truly part of the scene. Even when his mask is up and you can see Holland’s face, the red and blue tights seemed a bit off from the surroundings. Maybe it’s just one of those things you have to see more than once to figure it out, but during my first viewing, the character seemed a little fake.

Another problem is Zemo, or rather Zemo’s plot. While his plan is ultimately a good one, it’s the way he gets to where he wants to be that’s a tad bit odd. It seems as if he runs entirely on chance and coincidence, with some actual planning here and there to help smooth things out when needed. Again though, this might be another one of those things that becomes clearer the more times you see the film. I also feel that, contrary to statements made by the Russo brothers, the film clearly gave a “right” and “wrong” side to the argument over the Sokovia Accords, rather than leave it open to audience debate. It’s hard to say without spoiling anything, but hopefully you’ll understand what I’m talking about when you see the film for yourself.

All in all, Captain America: Civil War is currently the best Marvel movie by far. If you want action, it’s there. If you want complex and interesting character arcs, it’s there. If you’re looking for another knock out film by the Russo brothers, you’ll find it here. Whenever you can, go see this film.

FILM GRADE: 10/10

For those of you who have seen it, what did you think about Captain America: Civil War? Let me know in the comments below, or with a tweet through that widget on the left. While you’re at it, like the Comic Books vs The World Facebook page, subscribe to the official YouTube and Twitch channels, and follow the official Comic Books vs The World Instagram to keep up with all the latest on Comic Books vs The World.

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