After months of anticipation, countless trailer watchings and re-watchings, and two viewings in the span of two days, I am finally ready to write my Captain America: Civil War review. After seeing it Thursday night I had tons of thoughts running through my head but I wanted to wait and process the film. Plus I wanted the second viewing so I could see it as a movie and less as an event. I’ve done that now and I’ve got plenty of thoughts. It’s time to switch to bullet points and break down the truly awesome epicness that was Civil War. Fear not very few spoilers ahead so you should be good.
- First things first, Civil War is the anti-BvS in just about every way imaginable. The Russo Brothers, who I want to direct every Marvel movie from here on out, understand not only these characters but the universe that they inhabit. While the tone and themes of the movie are a bit serious and heavy the use of humor and light heartedness help to break that up which was something that was sorely missing from BvS. Knowing your characters and how they’re supposed to act in relation to previous movies and the source material also helps tremendously. Not once did I feel that Cap or Iron Man were poorly misrepresented. Their voices and actions were contestant with what we’ve come to expect from them. Which allows the story to have impact as things fall apart around them.
- As a comic book fan Civil War the movie is very different from it’s comic counter part, and I was okay with that. As a matter of fact it was expected considering the landscape of the MCU, but I was super pumped to see them work in the event that changes Tony into full guilt mode. The inclusion of the child who died out in Strakova mirrored perfectly the child that died in the Civil War comic and really catapulted Tony into action here. Plus I think this was Robert Downey Jr’s best performance as Tony Stark in quite some time. Not saying that he’s been bad, quite the contrary, but he seemed rejuvenated and deeply rooted in the conflict. Don’t get it wrong, this movie is a Tony Stark movie not an Iron Man movie.
- Civil War has a ton of moving parts but while it sort of plays like Avengers 2.5 it never loses the fact that it’s a Captain America movie, and while all these conflicts are going down Steve Rogers is always present and always rooted in the center of the plot. Another thing that was missing from BvS which was supposed to be a sequel to Man of Steel but tried too hard to be everything else.
- That airport battle will go down as one of the greatest action sequences in super hero movie history. This is not a debate only fact.
- When Chris Evans was casted as Cap I had my doubts. I didn’t think he would be able to pull it off. For that I’m sorry. He owns this role and is not only the Steve Rogers we need but the one we deserve. Never stop being Captain America, Chris Evans. Never.
- I love how Marvel uses the Captain America movies as a way to change the landscape of the MCU. I’m curious to how they move forward from here (I won’t get too into it because of spoilers) but things end up a lot different for our heroes once the credits roll.
- The story telling here was crisp and by the time everything is connected you’re left with that “oh, shit” feeling. That I should have seen this coming but it still shocks and hurts. Everything BvS wanted with the “Martha” moment but didn’t get. The “Martha” moment in Civil War actually holds weight, makes sense, and is fantastically orchestrated.
- I want to take some time to focus on some of the characters that aren’t Tony Stark or Steve Rogers because there are tons of them and a handful of them straight up steal the show. I’ll start with Black Panther because if Civil War leaves you with anything it’s the want for more Black Panther. The character is introduced smoothly and in a way that makes sense. Immediately he carries a sense of importance and badassery, and then jumps into action (literally). The costume is like a cos-players dream and his action scenes are tremendous. I’m disappointed that his movie has been pushed back to 2018 and hope Marvel is looking to incorporate him into other movies in the mean time. But speaking of the reason why Black Panther was pushed back…
- Spider-Man!!!! As soon as he came on screen I knew that this was it. This was the Spider-Man I’ve been waiting my whole life to see on the big screen. Not only does this kid have the Peter Parker down, but he his voice is what I’ve been hearing every time I’ve read a Spider-Man comic since I was a kid. His scenes with Tony are fantastic and his ability to play off the other characters is charming and re-freshing. It seems that finally we have the Spider-Man we’ve been asking for since they started making movies about him. Thank you Marvel for talking Sony into this and bringing ole Web Head back home.
- Ant-Man also is tremendous here and shouldn’t be overlooked (how can he be?) but for me Black Widow… if there was ever a time to make a Black Widow movie it’s now. I am not the biggest Scarlett Johansson fan but she straight up owns this role. Each movie delves deeper into the character and has me wanting more. Not to mention I’ve been reading her solo series and this character is all types of awesome. The good news is that Marvel announced this week that they are seriously pursuing a Black Widow movie which is a win for all of us. It’s waaaaaay over due that she had her chance to shine by herself.
- Make sure you stay for two post credit scenes.
- I loved how the final battle/sequence helps tie in all three of the Captain America movies. All it takes is Steve saying “I can do this all day” and it just shows how much the Russo brothers get and respect this character and his story.
- Speaking of the Russo brothers and respecting they are clearly fans of Ed Brubaker’s Captian America run, which are some of the best Captain America comics you’ll ever read. No bullshit. Plus they love to capture important imagery from the comics. That scene of Iron Man blasting Cap’s shield is quite the homage to the panel. I geek out hard for things like that.
The long and the short of it is if you haven’t seen Captain America: Civil War you should literally stop what you’re doing right now and go. Right now. Because it is worth every penny. It is easily in the top three movies Marvel has done and could very well be sitting on the top of the list once the smoke settles. Very rarely does a movie come along with this much hype and still manage to stick the landing. Some might argue that it benefits from BvS being what it is, but I would disagree. Civil War was always going to be good but it probably shines even brighter because BvS did not. It comes across as the “this is how you’re supposed to do a super hero movie”, and we’re all winners because of it. As I said to my sister half way through the film, “I can’t wait to watch this a million times when it comes out on DVD”. Bravo Marvel. Bravo