SPOILERS O PLENTY
Well, the second big superhero against superhero movie has just been released. Captain America: Civil War, will most definitely trounce Batman v Superman at the box office handily and for two good reasons. First, well planned and ensconced universe that nearly has universal praise with every entry and second highly praised and loved storyline utilizing almost every character currently in the Marvel universe. Add to that that the two Marvel favorites, who have had some differences and irritations with each other finally going full on fisticuffs. Will the wait and promised payoff work though in the end?
After the events in Sokovia, which left a country in ruins due to the cyborg known as Ultron, the Avengers are fewer in number, but are still trying to help the world. During one such occasion, a mishandling of a terrorist leaves several dead and a world scared of what the Avengers could do next. The world’s nations come up with a set of standards, known as the Sokovia Accords that they wish the Avengers to sign up for. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is anxious to do so as the team seems to have begun to be seen as uncaring of the aftermath of their actions while Captain America (Chris Evans) doesn’t believe those who would watch them would have moral agendas. Meanwhile, another terrorist attack happens at the Accords signing, killing even more people and evidence points to Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). Believing he is innocent, Captain America and others try to protect him while trying to find the real perpetrator, while Stark is trying to keep with the new rules of engagement and bring Bucky in. As the tension mounts, sides are taken and a bigger fight looms ahead for everyone.
The Russo brothers continue to show that they have a tremendous talent for storytelling while also serving up some great fan service. Each and every action scene they have set up for the film is top notch and will bring smiles to every fans face. And believe you me, these action scenes are some of the best in recent years and they will not disappoint. While their story may not be as tight as The Winter Soldier was, they have proven that they will continue to not only bring even more fun and excitement to the Marvel universe, but any other movie they decide to make.
Robert Downey Jr. continues to grow the character he has played for nearly a decade to become better with each installment. His character has so much development here and Downey brings it forth flawlessly. You see and believe his conviction in what he is doing, unlike other characters (more on that later). This is most likely the most in depth he has been as Tony Stark and the audience is connected to him wholeheartedly throughout the film.
The two new characters for this universe, Black Panther and Spider-man are some of the best things about this movie. Boseman did a great job in creating this character as a tough, yet calculating and calm hero who struggles with his thoughts of vengeance. His solo film should be great and if not, that would be a huge letdown for what we were given here. Spider-man/Peter Parker was incredible and has the promise of being the best onscreen version yet. Tom Holland is great and he brings innocence, humor and confidence to this character that we haven’t seen before.
The last of the good here would be the character of Vision. I haven’t really read or heard much about Paul Bettany character which is unfortunate because I think it is also another great aspect of the film. His character continues to try to be the voice of reason and logic, while also trying to understand who he is and how he fits into the world. Bettany’s gentle presence and softer tone gives the character gravitas as well as a welcoming presence to a team of people mostly built of those who act on emotion.
There was one too many times where I felt bored with the film. From start to finish even there were these moments where I thought the film was dragging. Thankfully though it wasn’t anything that is a put off and could have been multiplied my being tired from lack of sleep the night before. The pacing seemed off a bit, big fight, exposition and plot moving, big fight and repeats. This isn’t always bad; it’s just really noticeable here.
I like the Black Widow character, especially in the Winter Soldier and the first Avengers. Scarlet Johansson is also the pitch perfect choice for the role, but there is an instance in the film that just seemed weird to me. She makes a pivotal decision that betrays her team and it really didn’t make sense. She didn’t seem to have a real reason to do so other than to move the plot along and when she is confronted by the decision, she gets pissy and walks off. A real weak point for the character.
Lastly here, just as the complaint that the Batman v Superman title bout could have been resolved if Superman just quickly told Batman the situation and Batman actually listened had some merit, it’s the same thing here. In the airport scene, if Cap would have just said what he found out instead of acting like a holier than though punk and Tony took a second to listen, boom, end of movie. But in both movies, that can’t happen and both set up reason that made sense as to why, both movies characters were in a time crunch and actual were scared about possible outcomes. (this is mostly here because of all the mind boggling hatred of Batman v Superman)
I had read a few reviews before seeing the film that all stated that the brilliance of the film belonged to the notion that each side seemed justified in their stances. I couldn’t disagree more. Mostly it has to do with the way Chris Evans played Captain America this time around. He is played as unapologetically arrogant with zero humility or passion for his stance. It’s hard to connect to a character when this is the case. In the final fight, we understand why Tony is angry and we feel for him, but Cap seems to have that same anger, anger we haven’t really seen before in him and is unrelenting in his attack on Stark. It doesn’t seem justified and even before the credits role, he doesn’t seem to be bothered by the way he has acted the entire film. That makes his character very hard to like and or root for here. As I left the theater, I heard many people express the same feelings, multiple times I even heard people say they didn’t like Captain America anymore.
Also, Captain America breaking everyone out of a in the middle of the ocean prison all by his lonesome…okay?
So, the film has its flaws and some are very noticeable, but the good does outweigh the bad and in the end the fan in you will like it. It may not be the best Marvel movie, but it comes close and just continues their tradition of not only trying to give fan service, but making quality movies with good stories and compelling characters.
3 stars out of 4