Sunday, May 8, 2016

Captain America: Civil War - Movie Review

   I admit that I felt a moment of fear when Marvel announced the title of the movie Captain America: Civil War.

   That's because I really didn't like the mini-series with the same title - it forced heroes like Iron Man to play the role of a villain in order for the story - such as it was - to work.

   Thankfully, I needn't have worried - the film takes the basic premise (heroes oppose each other on principle) and makes it work.

   It also manages to craft one of the best of the Marvel movies.

   The three films starring Cap have enjoyed some of the best writing in the Marvel movies, and they actually manage to include that most beloved of comic book conceits - continuity.

   Events from previous movies dovetail into this film - from the alien invasion of New York in The Avengers to the crashing helicarriers in Washington, DC in Winter Soldier and the devastation in Sokovia in Age of Ultron, the Avengers are faced with a population that lives in fear of superpowered characters - and the call goes out for change. A terrible event that involves heroes just increases the tension.

   The United Nations wants to regulate the team and allow it to operate under its guidance - and many of the heroes agree with the idea. But not everyone.

   And that's the beauty of the film, as we can easily agree with either hero - because there are good reasons on each side.

    Events force an escalation of the tension, and soon the two sides are squaring off in the best superhero fight ever filmed.

   It's a smart script that manages to surprise us while balancing terrific, imaginative action sequences, razor-sharp dialogue, lots of heart and a healthy dose of humor.

   One of the true secrets of Marvel's success, though, is the perfect casting. Chris Evans is spot-on as Cap, the ultimate soldier with a big heart who cares about his fellow warriors - and puts his friends above his own safety. Robert Downey, Jr. gives his best performance yet as Tony Stark, a haunted man who tries to fix that which is broken, but who must face his own demons.

   The film manages a staggering cast of characters - Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Winter Soldier, War Machine, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Winter Soldier, Vision - with "guest appearances" by Ant-Man, Black Panther and Spider-Man, all of whom get their own star turns and scene-stealing moments.

   But despite the crowd, this is Cap's movie, as it all hinges on his actions - right or wrong - and (like his second movie), the film will have impacts that will continue to echo in future episodes.

   The question everyone wonders is: which movie about fighting superheroes is best: Batman v Superman or Civil War?

   It's not even close. (Sorry, DC.) This is a great film first and a great action film second. It has heart, humor and a story to tell - and the heroes act like heroes throughout.

   Highly recommended!

Grade: A+





Mr. Brooks said...

Excellent movie. Dear DC, "Please learn from this".

But let me get this straight. This movie had The Falcon, War Machine, AND The Black Panther???

Dwayne McDuffie is smiling right now. I know I am.

Anonymous said...