Captain America: Civil War SPOILER-FREE Review
Captain America: Civil War was bound to be one of the biggest films of the year. After Deadpool came storming out of the gate, kicking the year off for comic book movies, and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice didn't necessarily please everyone, Civil War had a lot to live up to. The Russo Brothers successfully made Captain America: The Winter Solider one of the best Marvel films, but now they had a whole different task ahead of them. They've proven to be able to do Cap right, but how do they balance all the other heroes? How do they make this still Cap's story, and not just Avengers 2.5? Can they effectively convey the ideologies of both sides in order for the audience to truly believe why both sides are fighting? Plus, they had to introduce us to Black Panther and the new Spider-Man. So needless to say, the Russos had a lot to do. And holy sh*t do they pull it off. Captain America: Civil War not only delivers on its action, but conveys the emotion needed to buy into both sides of this war.
After the destruction of New York, Washington D.C. and now Sokovia in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the government has instated the Sokovia Accords, that would place checks on the Avengers, allowing them only to operate when the United Nations deems it necessary. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) believes this is the best way to go, while Captain America (Chris Evans) has lot faith in government. When neither side can agree, they go head-to-head in a bloody civil war.
This movie is everything I wanted it to be. The action is absolutely incredible, but it is driven by an emotional story. After Bucky (Sebastian Stan) is blamed for an act of terrorism, Cap fights to defend him from the U.S. Government. These action scenes are amazing to watch. The Russos proved they could direct action in The Winter Soldier, and they show that talent again with this film. I was surprised with how many action scenes are in this film, considering they only highlighted the giant Airport battle in the trailers. But there are so many sprinkled throughout the film that you are constantly entertained. The Airport scene is without a doubt the best part of the movie, and may be one of the best action scenes in any of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. I was on the edge of my seat the entire scene, and it is long. It's probably a fifteen minute fight scene, and every character gets their moment. It's a very fulfilling scene.
But the action wouldn't have the impact it has if it wasn't for the emotional anchor of the film. The Russos present the different ideologies so perfectly that I could not pick a side. Iron Man would say something that I would completely agree with, but then Captain America could follow it with something equally agreeable. By the end of the film, I think I lean a little bit closer to Cap, but it's tough. Both sides have good points and flaws. With this being Cap's movie, I thought that the film would lean more towards his side, but it puts both sides out their equally which was ultimately the right move.
I mentioned before that this film had the possibility of just becoming Avengers 2.5, and it perfectly stayed a Captain America movie. And that was really because they focused on his relationship with Bucky, and the other Avengers became side characters. But at the same time, they were all developed and had their time to shine. It's hard to explain how the Russos balanced it, but they did it excellently. It's not even an Avengers movie, and yet it turned out to be a better Avengers movie than Avengers: Age of Ultron, which is actually kind of sad. Now let's talk about the new characters. Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) kicks ass. They set up exactly why he had a role in this war and then let him loose. I can't wait for his own film. And this Spider-Man (Tom Holland) may just be the best Spider-Man we've seen on screen yet. I'm not ready to say it's the best Peter Parker, because we saw so little of him, but he hit every mark that Spider-Man needed to. He was cracking jokes the entire time, his suit looked great in motion, his fight choreography was great. It was a little convenient how he was brought into the story, but I immediately forgave it. He was fantastic. And Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) has a great moment in this film. You'll know it when you see it.
I did have a few problems with the film, however. It's a slow burn, which is great, but there were some moments that it began to lose its momentum. But these were few and far between. The villain was my biggest problem. The movie kept cutting to Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) for these random scenes that really didn't need to be there. And when his plan is ultimately revealed at the end, it is so overly-complicated and convoluted that it just doesn't make sense. Ultimately, Zemo is a plot device to have A lead to B, and you'll see what I mean when you watch the film. There was just a much better and more effective way to have it happen than how it went down in the film. But these were all things I forgave because of just how awesome the film was as a whole.
Overall, Captain America: Civil War lives up to and exceeds expectations. It delivers on heart-pounding and memorable action, while anchoring it all with an emotional story. Everyone's motivations are effectively shown and explained, so you can understand why this leads to a civil war. The Russos clearly make this Cap's story, and avoid it becoming simply Avengers 2.5. The two sides are portrayed in equal light, allowing the audience to truly decide which was the best course of action. The newest additions, Black Panther and Spider-Man, are excellently introduced and portrayed. While some moments kind of lost the momentum, and Zemo's ultimate plan didn't make much sense, Civil War excels as being one of the best Marvel Cinematic Universe films to date, as well as maybe the best comic book film of the year when everything is all set and done.
What do you think? Have you seen Captain America: Civil War yet? Did you like it? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Written by: Nate
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