Captain America: Civil War

So last night, I went to see Captain America: Civil War and I’m still in shock from how awesome it is. This is easily the best superhero movie I’ve ever seen.

civil warHere’s a quick summary of the story: the Avengers are still assembling to take out bad guys, only they’re causing a lot of collateral damage. Just think of everything that’s happened in the last several movies (New York, Washington, Sokovia, etc.). And apparently the nations of the world are sick of it. They’ve put together something called the Sokovia Accords that would limit what the Avengers would be allowed to do. While some of the team are on board with this, others don’t like the idea of having a committee determining what is and is not possible for them. This fault line within the Avengers fractures when a bomb goes off at the signing of the Accords, one that appears to have been set by Bucky “Winter Soldier” Barnes. Captain America doesn’t want to believe that his best friend did this, Iron Man is convinced that he did, and…

You know what? That’s all I’m going to say in terms of plot. There’s a lot packed into this movie, including some deep, deep throwbacks. And the kicker is, it all works. It’s wonderful.

Especially the newest additions to the MCU, namely Black Panther and Spider-man! I’ll admit, I didn’t know much about the king of Wakanda before this week. I did a little research before I went and saw the movie (okay, I watched two YouTube videos), and I have to say, he’s a great character. And Chadwick Boseman does a fantastic job with him, lending him the gravitas and dignity worthy of a king.

But Spider-man. Oh. My. Goodness. Spider-man. I can’t say enough. I seriously geeked out when I saw Spidey in the Civil War trailer a few months back. And Tom Holland did a superb job portraying everyone’s favorite wall crawler as well. I can’t wait to see what happens with him in Homecoming.

But it’s not just the characters that make this movie so great. The action sequences are amazing and perfect for a movie like this. The airport fight scene? I can’t get enough. That’s worth the price of admission right there. I was worried that they showed too much of it in the commercials and trailers. They didn’t.

But here’s the thing that I couldn’t help but think about as I drove home last night. This movie bears a lot of similarities to one that came out about a month ago, namely Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. In both movies, we see the “big names” of each company duking it out. Both movies tackle the same sort of philosophical issues, namely what should be done about the destruction wrought by so-called heroes in previous movies and what sort of restraints those heroes should have on their actions.

Quite frankly, Marvel did it better. The Russo brothers clearly understand the characters they were working with and remained true to them. Even though some of the subject matter was serious and dark (boy howdy, one scene got to me in particular!), they didn’t let themselves or the audience drown in bleakness and shadow. They made the conflict between the characters believable and didn’t resort to ridiculous coincidences to hand-wave anything away (cough MARTHA! cough).

Now after reading this review, you might think that I’m some Marvel fanboy, and really, I’m not. Personally, I think the two companies, Marvel and DC, are on about equal footing overall, although they do tend to do certain things better. DC has the best TV shows out there right now. DC tends to produce better animated features. But DC has hit the right note before (The Dark Knight, amiright?) and Marvel has seriously stumbled in the past (Iron Man 2, Thor: Dark World, and so on). But overall, when it comes to movies, Marvel is the best at what they do. Captain America: Civil War is just the latest reason why. The folks behind the DCCU better take note, because their jobs just got a whole lot harder.

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One Comment:

  1. Amazing how two people can see the same thing and come away with different perceptions. I enjoyed Civil War. Thought it was a fun popcorn movie, but I think it is a far cry from “best”. I’ll try to make this as spoiler-free / vague as possible:

    1) The theme never really got resolved, and the characters end up pretty much where they start.

    2) While the addition of new characters is always fun, the biggest addition–Spider-Man–didn’t add much to the plot at all. That’s unfortunate, since he was a big part of the Civil War comic arc. (He was introduced to set up another movie.) At least Black Panther added something to the story.

    3)The Captain America romance seemed forced. I generally like the idea, but it wasn’t believable from what we previously knew. Little connection had been established between the characters.

    4) Another thing that I can’t believe more people aren’t commenting on is the fact that a large part of the plot assumes a camera being placed in a place that otherwise makes no sense.

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