The Russo’s once again create onscreen comic-book greatness.
“CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR” kicks off the summer movie season with pure awesomeness as this movie truly feels like the grand result, of a massive promotional campaign. Many have dubbed this as Avenger’s 2.5 and rightfully so as the scope and scale of the story and the cast has reached unprecedented levels as the Russo Brothers are once again strategically great with their direction.
All the familiar faces are back in their roles, Ruffalo and Hemsworth get the day off, and in comes Chadwick Boseman as the Black Panther, and Tom Holland as Spider-Man.
This script revolves around the worlds reaction and feelings towards the Avenger’s. They have saved many lives over the years but with the massive damage that has resulted from these conflicts there has been a lot of collateral damage, and many innocent lives lost. The population has grown to fear the actions of super-heroes and as a result the countries of the world have decided to create the Anti-hero Registration Act, something that will put a great deal of limitations over the Avenger’s freedom to operate.
This system of accountability will basically put the Avenger’s at the fingertips of someone else’s control and after being confronted first-hand with the damage and pain he has caused innocent people, Tony Stark see’s the Sokovia Accords as a means to save lives and establish accountability. While Steve Rogers doesn’t see it as an answer. This causes a rift in the group and when a bombing at a United Nations meeting kills many innocent people and Rogers old friend the Winter Soldier is the prime suspect, the rift turns into an outright fracture as the Avenger’s split into two groups of opposing beliefs.
Where does one even start when trying to review this movie with all the great things it delivers. First the story, it was excellent. It was extremely well layered, tightly organized, and with all the things going on throughout the script, there was a seamless flow from one scene and scenario to the next. The first-act opens with Captain America, Falcon, Black Widow and Scarlet Witch tracking down the dangerous Crossbones to Nigeria where they try and stop him from stealing a highly infectious virus. When the confrontation leads to innocent people losing their lives, the public turns to fear the results that come from superheroes trying to help.
After Tony Stark is confronted by a woman claiming her son’s life was lost as a result of the battles in Sokovia during the climactic ending of “Avenger’s: Age of Ultron” the group meets up with the Secretary of State who gives the Avenger’s the ultimatum of signing the Sokovia Accords a dense book of rules that will be implemented on the heroes as well as putting their control under a panel’s supervision. With the only option being sign the Sokovia Accords or retire, there is a decisive mixed reaction among them thus causing a fracture in the group.
This was an excellently structured foundation for this Civil War story, and only 20-minutes into this one it was already better than “Batman V Superman” – with a level of quality that made the ‘BvS’ script look like elementary level fan-fiction and not something with a multi-million-dollar budget. This story reeled me in from the start and never let my attention go through the course of the run-time. It was intriguing to see the always powerful Avenger’s come to grips with the ramifications of their actions.
The story also excellently framed out the differences in opinions of the new stipulations looming over their heads and was about as compelling as I can remember for a comic-book film. There was a balanced expression of the views on each side which made it tough to solely align with one sides beliefs, which only added to the enjoyment. This one had everything going for it; drama, moments of suspense, action that can only make you sit back in awe over its quality and orchestration, great moments of hilarity, the power of revenge, it had doses of political thriller, and it had the intrigue of friendships being held together and broken, as well as the compelling expression of loyalty being tested.
From the second this movie starts you are pulled into an adventure that doesn’t let you go until the credits roll and for that this was film an astounding success. There was a little something for everyone in this movie and the moments of comedy that were littered throughout were all perfectly placed, and it was shocking to me that none of the laughs this script implemented to swing the emotional tone. ever felt forced. Also despite many of these lines being subtle, there was still a handful of laugh-out-loud moments to break the emotional tension.
All of the characters looked fantastic and all the performances were top-notch, as they have been throughout the MCU films. Captain America and Iron Man delivered all you would expect from them, and Evans and Downey Jr. continue to build on their chemistry with one another. But for me it was easily Black Panther, Spider-Man and Ant-Man, that stole the show for me. Not knowing what form or lengths their character-arcs would have added a great surprise-factor that made their moments land with the most impact.
I found some enjoyment in the extremely kid-friendly “Ant-Man” but despite much less screen time in this film I think he was much better in this movie than he was in his own stand-alone. Paul Rudd is an excellent comedic actor, he pulls off the physical acting as well, and brought this movie a great balance with his lighthearted comedic delivery, and it will be great to watch his character grow in the MCU.
Tom Holland was fantastic as Spider-Man and perfectly cast to bring the character back to its comic-roots. The writing for his character was great and it was awesome to see what Marvel could do with the Spider-Man character after prying it loose from the grip Sony had over the property. I did enjoy the first Spider-Man film with Tobey Maguire, but the other films were less than impressive thus making this interpretation of the web slinging character my favorite and I cannot wait to see what Tom Holland can do in his upcoming “Spider-Man Homecoming” film which is confirmed to have some implementation of Downey Jr. in the script.
I also loved what they did with the character of T’Challa (a.k.a. the Black Panther) played perfectly by Chadwick Boseman. His character was injected into the story at a stage where there left a lot of unanswered questions and curiosity and it was a nice difference to the somewhat mini origins-esque story Spider-Man got in this film. With his abilities already set, the Black Panther delivered a kick-ass character that looked freakin’ cool to be honest. Boseman was excellent in his delivery and I cannot wait to see what his solo film will do to fill in the blanks on how he became to be the skilled warrior he already was in this movie.
The action was top-notch as were the special-effects and other than a couple moments of slight shaky-cam the rest of the sequences were extremely well-choreographed and skillfully captured on camera. The locations were all well selected and take the viewer around the world for a wide array of action styles, from solo-combat, dangerous missions, and hero-to-hero confrontations, that result in some of the most climactic moments thus far in the MCU in my opinion.
The airport scene will go down in cinema history as one of the all-time great moments, and for me this epic battle was more spectacular than the ‘Battle of New York’ in the first “Avenger’s” film. I was just sitting there with my chin dropped like a 15-year-old kid taking in the massive scope and tight editing of the battle as I popped one Reece’s Pieces after the other in my mouth because I was so pulled into – quite frankly the coolest looking action I have ever seen in a comic-book film.
This was just a fantastic film on many levels and overall “Captain America: Civil War” gets an (A+). The Russo Brothers have once again created a brilliant comic-book film that is fluid, crisp and tightly polished. The 3D was excellent as well, and immerse you into the action and it is a must-see in theaters.
The level of quality this movie pulls off makes “Batman V Superman” look like a comic-book film from the 1990’s in many ways and Marvel Studios continues to show why they are the best in the game. They made magic with Spider-Man in a simple cameo, the story implements characters into the film at the right time, and the script shows a great balance with all that was going on in this story-line and overall this was the best film so far in the MCU and I can’t wait to go see it again.
Time: 147 min
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (For extended sequences of violence, action and mayhem)