Captain America: Civil War
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo
Starting: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Tom Holland, and William Hurt
The third installment of the amazing Captain America franchise, was just as fantastic as the previous two films, and that is the simplest review we can give such a movie.
I’ve been excited for this film to come out since I first heard about it, as the comic it is very loosely based off of was one of the best event series to have ever come out of Marvel that I’ve ever read. And this is where I was confounded, because I loved where they took the movie and I hated where they took the movie. A lot of the original ideals why the war was fought was abandoned for the sentimentality of being friends, and I loved it. In preparation for this movie, I finally saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Avengers: Age of Ultron, while re-watching The Avengers, and it was the best decision I ever made, since it kept the events that transpired fresh enough in my mind to put them as a backdrop to what is going on here.
Now what exactly lead Iron Man and Captain America to be on opposite sides after having fought together alongside many heroes? The Superhuman Registration Act of course! This act dictated that if you were a person with superpowers, you were to be registered and trained by other superheroes owing allegiance to the USA as soldiers, if not complying with this, you were to be imprisoned or your powers were to be “taken away.” While Iron Man saw this as a helpful way to keep people from going rogue and putting a stop to superheroes versus villains, Captain America saw it as an infringement on people’s rights, particularly those that had secret identities as a way to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. One of the strongest scenes comes from when the act is first being introduced, and Captain explains that although they will be under the rule of the governments, governments are still run by people, and people’s agendas change. What if they are sent on a mission they don’t want to? What if they are not sent on a mission that they should have? What if they are forced to take the lesser of two evils instead of both? The biggest “pro” the government and Tony Stark saw, was that this would make the hero accountable for collateral damage done while they were, you know, trying to save humanity. But of course, the Act is not as great as previously thought, as Tony discovers later on, and war ensues. THE COMIC IS WAY BETTER! BUT THE FILM MIGHT BE MY FAVOURITE MARVEL MOVIE!
The fight scenes were my favourite thing to see. The choreography and stunt work was done so well that it looked like they were truly going at each other, CGI or not, the form of fighting was beautiful. The hand-to-hand combat and the chase scenes were wonderful, particularly the beginning fight against the Hydra members. Black Widow is always kicking butt, and on that scene, and all others, she kills it.
The deeper side of the story, which I quite loved, was the emotional side. Like I previously mentioned, this does not take the more social and political aspect the comic does, it instead chooses to build upon the relationship from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Above all, this movie is about the friendship aspect of the two sides and what it does when those friendships are put to the test. Steve wants to help his friend, Bucky, who has been manipulated, brainwashed, and all and all destroyed, in doing so, he must go against his other friends, and the emotional toll it takes on the sides, is devastating. In the third act, one of the scenes shows something that deeply affects Stark that Steven knew about but never told him, and we see Tony act in such a brash manner that for a second you think all he has in mind is revenge and hatred. I was very glad that the last scene after the big finale fight dealt with the consequences in such a fantastic manner. I might have teared up a little bit.
I’ve liked the previous actors that have portrayed Spider-Man, they were good at what they were given, and tried their hardest to bring a beloved character to the screen, but Tom Holland had the best portrayal of the character ever, even though it did not get as much time as it predecessors to show much. I am very excited to see his solo films. He was the kid character that we all fell in love with in the comics, this everyday kid that fights for those that cannot do it themselves. His most outstanding scene is when he is talking to Tony, who asks him why he is doing what he is doing, his reasoning is one of the many reasons to love him. He was also extra-hilarious in the fight scenes, he is talkative, and even as he confronts those he has deemed heroes, it was laugh out loud funny.
We all know that in the comics Wanda/Scarlett Witch and Vision are together and have kids right? Well, in here they added some small scenes that developed the friendship and possible love between these two characters, and I was extra happy for it. I am not sure how well this will play out later, since they have her be extra young, but I want it to continue to grow. The other relationship to contrast this was Spider-Man and Iron Man’s hilarious scenes. Their chemistry was obvious from the first moment they were together on screen. From the mannerism to the dialogue, it was lovable and interesting. Plus, Falcon and Bucky’s relationship is the type best-friends have but not in the sense we think.
Another characters that got a spotlight were Falcon and Ant-Man. These two truly shined here (even Scott Lang even though he barely got any scenes), Falcon was more developed than in the previous Captain America films and Ant-Man continued to be a hilarious delight. Clint and Natasha don’t get the same development, but that might just be my super fan of these characters judging it too harshly.
Black “I am going to murder James Buchanan Barnes with my own to hands and see the life fade from his eyes as he takes his last breath” Panther had me smiling. Not because he was funny, but because they got his characteristics and attributes accurately. It was a nice short origin story for him, with parts of his dialogue showing the conflicts he will have to face in his solo movies. Again, I am excited to see where they take this character.
My one issues came from the horribly-written villain. I like Daniel Brühl, he is a good actor, but the character he was given could’ve simply not been there and nothing would have changed from the story. They would still be on opposite sides and they still would have been hunting Bucky down, and the Black Panther subplot would have been changed a bit but that could have been arranged. He just seemed weak and I was not compelled to feel sorry for him, I did not even shed a tear on his revealing scenes. he did have a good quote about governments crumbling form within and from outside.
All in all, this movie is fantastic, and although I am disappointed they did not adapt it exactly like the comic, this version makes more sense for the audience it is trying to reach. After seeing the first of Marvel’s Phase 3 films, I can say with extreme confidence, this is going to be an amazing journey.