(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Captain America: Civil War is a well-structured, funny, dramatic and fun movie, even though the fanboy in me can’t see it as perfect, it almost is!!!
Rating: 4.5 Stars
This may come off as a sin to a lot of my fanboy and nerd friends, but I would rather watch a comic book superhero movie or television show than read comic books. Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I enjoyed comic book movies and never really cared to read any type of comic book. Then one day, my college roommate brought in a copy of the Civil War comic book. I started reading it for myself and I was hooked. I read the whole series and I enjoyed every single word of it. From then on, little by little, I started to read more comics and learned more about characters that I love so much. I still enjoy the movies more, but I get my research from reading these comics. Now when I heard about Marvel’s Civil War adaptation, I had my doubts since the film rights to many major Marvel characters were split between multiple studios including a couple that were crucial to this comic event. However, I knew that the MCU would find a way to make it its own and make it a good movie to watch. Once the MCU had the rights to the character Spider-Man, it strengthened my faith that this movie would be spectacular. Gosh, did they deliver.
What I Like: Anthony and Joe Russo really know how to make a great action movie. They made their presence known after directing the amazing Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In this movie, they upped the ante. Not only was the action great, but they structured the film effectively. It isn’t confusing and it the story and action flowed clearly. (Something DC Studios should learn after the structural travesty in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.) There were two action scenes I enjoyed, the first one is the early scene in Lagos, Nigeria where Captain America (Chris Evans) and his team try to stop Crossbones (Frank Grillo) from stealing a biological weapon. I enjoyed seeing the team work together on this mission. The other action scene was the battle between Captain America’s team and Iron Man’s (Robert Downey, Jr.) The fight between all these different characters is a lot of fun to watch. They introduce some new characters for this movie and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first one was Black Panther, played by Chadwick Boseman. He had a major role in this movie; he believes The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) was responsible for killing his father and is set on revenge. His character has fully developed arc leading him to forgive his father’s assassin. He fought on Iron Man’s side for his own motives to regain his country and family’s honor while he’s grappling with his own internal conflict of vengeance and responsibility. Boseman really captured his African accent and made his character authentic. The other new character I was really looking forward to was Spider-Man (Tom Holland). I love Spider-Man and it was about time he got his due justice as part of the MCU. I thought Holland got the quirkiness and wittiness of Peter Parker and was really close to Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of Spider-Man. Spider-Man’s action scenes were a lot of fun to watch and I liked that he talks a lot during the battle and annoys some of the other characters. When he fought against Captain America and held his own against him, I was getting excited and told myself, “This is the true Spider-Man.” I also enjoyed his conversation with Iron Man and its comedic genius. I’m really looking forward to his first solo film in the MCU. The movie it had its light hearted moments with some funny dialogue. You expected it with Iron Man, but did not with Winter Soldier and Falcon (Anthony Mackie). When Iron Man called The Winter Soldier the Manchurian Candidate and Falcon asked Black Panther why he is a cat, I was rolling with laughter. In the end, the movie was about Captain America vs Iron Man. They were fighting over the political issue of being controlled by the government. Adding the Winter Soldier to the mix being falsely accused raised the stakes in this war against each other. At the third act of the movie, it really took a dramatic turn. Everything got real real quick with both sides realizing that they made mistakes. Seeing vulnerability in Iron Man was a side we never saw and it was a breath of fresh air for this character. With the twist of Iron Man finding out that The Winter Soldier killed his parents and then going crazy on him and Cap lead to an emotional battle with scenes that paid homage to the comics. In the end, I couldn’t pick sides, because they were both right in their stance. That kind of disagreement really changed the whole aspect of where the MCU will take us. Last, the main villain, Baron Zemo, (Daniel Bruhl), wasn’t really the strongest of villains in the MCU, but he was definitely the smartest. I enjoyed this villain a lot, and probably the best developed villain in the MCU since Loki. The way he manipulated everything so precisely and put a black spot on the Avengers was pure genius. He had strong motivation for what he did and you couldn’t blame him. I liked the fact that Black Panther saved him from committing suicide after his plan worked turning the Avengers dysfunctional and hopefully we will see him in future movies.
The So So: One of the coolest parts in the battle between the two teams of heroes was seeing Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) turn into Giant-Man. The way they set that part up was awesome. The only thing that bothered me was after he turned into Giant-Man was why he was moving at such a slow pace. It was almost like he was being filmed in slow motion. Regardless, seeing him in a team was awesome, especially the classic move of his small self on Hawkeye’s arrow (Jeremy Renner) and using that to get into Iron Man’s suit and creating havoc and hilariously doing it. I thought this movie we will see more of the Scarlet Witch’s true power (Elizabeth Olsen). We really didn’t get a glimpse of that anywhere. The only time you did see, and it was cool to see, is when she crushed Vision, (Paul Bettany) down all the floors of the Avengers building. I guess they’re still saving her true power in a future movie.
What I Didn’t Like: I really thought some big character was going to die and change the MCU landscape tremendously. I really thought it was either Captain America or The Winter Soldier, but ends up nobody died. I’m glad the story did find a way to change everything with the Avengers, but it was a little underwhelming. I also thought Crossbones was weak and added to the list of weak MCU villains. The way he went out was a little dumb, but it did create a Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice moment where he mentioned The Winter Soldier’s name, Bucky and distracted Captain America. When I saw that, all I had to do was shake my head. As usual with MCU movies, the ending was very open ended without a true conclusion. I understand it is part of the universe to look forward to the next movie, but I believe they can get a better ending. (Thought the mid credit scenes did make up for it a little bit.) I’m also disappointed we didn’t get to see Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. Not even for a second, the only major character that was missing in this movie.
Overall: You can add this movie to the top of the MCU movies. Right now, I believe it is the second best after The Avengers. This movie has been written to be one of the best stories in the MCU. Once again Marvel proves once again they reign supreme in comic book movies and I really don’t see them stopping making great movies (and TV shows) anytime soon. Now on to Doctor Strange to see what he is all about!!!
Rating: 4.5 Stars