Honestly, go watch the movie. The only thing you could possibly complain about is that this is really more an Avengers movie than a Captain America one.
Captain America: Civil War is the Avengers movie we’ve all been wanting but never knew we needed.
While not as fast paced as The Winter Soldier, nor as grand a scale as Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War manages to somehow be both a great Captain America movie and a great Avengers movie at the same time!
Standing as the 13th entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)Civil War has had plenty of high expectations to meet since the immense success of The Winter Soldier, which was arguably the best Marvel movie… until now. Coupled with the pressure of sharing titles with one of Marvel’s most recent status quo changing events, it is no wonder that Captain America: Civil War just might be single most awaited film within the universe.
While every Marvel movie since the very first entry of 2008’s Iron Man has had at least somewhat of a universe-building moment be it Nick Fury at the end of Iron Man itself or Robert Downey Jr. at the end of the Incredible Hulk (along with William Hurt, who reprises his role as Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross 8 years since his last appearance), much of the later films have been somewhat accused to being overly concerned with contributing to the shared universe as opposed to being strong, standalone films.
Iron Man 2, with its spiralling arc on Howard Stark’s involvement in S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as plot-segues to feature Captain America’s shield or Agent Coulson’s run to New Mexico regarding the not-yet-mentioned Mjolnir, was a little too cluttered to have been considered equal to it’s predecessor.
While these little nuggets are certainly fun and by should no means be sacrificed simply because people expect each movie to be a 100% standalone, studio intervention has, to a certain extent, done some harm to the integrity of this method by way of shoving in easter eggs but still cutting time on schedule and forcing the final battle scene to be cut short.
The same could be said of Age of Ultron, which saw the script take a drastic shift in tone whenever the movie suddenly mutated into an extended (yet somehow incomplete) trailer for next year’s Thor: Ragnarok.
Thankfully, while Captain America: Civil War makes it clear that it will be a movie with ramifications on the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the years to come, the plot itself remains uncluttered. Which is truly amazing given that it is burdened with the introduction of both Black Panther and Spider-Man as well as the first real integration of James Rhodes (War Machine), Sam Wilson (Falcon), and Scott Lang (Ant-Man) into the Avengers’ universe as a whole beyond their extended cameos in Age of Ultron.
And speaking of Black Panther and Spider-Man—Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa comes across as a young and inexperienced political presence with the vibe of regality that is perfect for the character. The movie also manages to spend some time on the motivations of the character without delving too much on his backstory and origin, leaving it for a more interesting adaptation later on in his movie. But, essentially, this is probably the most effective short-form storytelling of a superhero’s origin.
And Spider-Man… oooooh Spider-Man. Perfect. As a fan of Andrew Garfield’s interpretation of the character, I mourned the cancellation of the Amazing Spider-Man franchise (despite also being glad that the planned third movie never happened), but Tom Holland’s take on the character has put all concerns to rest.
Echoing the pain and tragedy of the loss of his Uncle Ben without actually showing the familiar sequence of events again, Tom Holland’s Peter Parker comes across as both the most honest and most accurate depiction of the character thus far. Also, his quips are pitch perfect and the chemistry with any character he comes into contact with is spot on. While much of his screen time can be said to be a glorified cameo to promote his standalone movie, the character’s presence does not deter the story and only serves to add to the dynamic elements of the fight sequences.
If there was to be any room for concern, it would be that the directing of Captain America: Civil War loses a fair bit of the directing edge that made The Winter Soldier as exhilarating as it did. However, this is mostly due to the drastic shift in action sequences (from raw physical action in the previous Captain America movies to the slightly more superhero-ish battles here) thanks to the introduction of at least 4 characters that are almost entirely CGI during the combat sequences.
This does create a little room for concern given that the Russos will be taking the reigns of Avengers 3 & 4 which promises to include helluva lot more characters that’ll be more than just supersoldier-type combatants. But if there’s anything that we’ve seen it’s that the Russos are quick studies and they’d probably be at the top of their game by the time production on Avengers rolls around.
(Scroll on down for a little tip on mid/post-credit scenes.)
Captain America: Civil War hits both Iron Man and theatres on the 28th of April and is probably going to be the one movie that NEEDS to be watched this year!
Take note that there are not one but TWO scenes–one mid-credits, the other post–following the movie. Very much Winter Soldier style, but arguably far more significant. So be sure to stay in the theatre!