I won’t tell you to go see Captain America: Civil War, you probably watched it already, so instead I’ll just rant about what I liked, spoilers and everything, so you’ve been warned.
If you haven’t seen the movie yet and you’re still here, first of all what’s wrong with you, second you don’t want me to spoil this. So I’ll bring one last point before diving into spoiler territory, Captain America: Civil War just made Spider-Man: Homecoming my most anticipated movie of 2017 (let’s pretend Episode VIII is early 2018), and Spidey is just one part of this phenomenal superhero movie, the culmination of most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films that that came before it. While I do think Civil War can probably stand on its own for someone new to the series, if you’ve been invested in this universe since Tony Stark first put on the Iron Man suit in 2008, this movie will make you a very happy fan. It all comes together in one of the most epic superhero films I’ve ever seen with arguably (I dare you to argue against it) the single best action sequence in anyone of them. That’s four and a half Cap shields out of five, and now we move to spoilers.
Captain America: Civil War starts in the vein of a Bond film (not unlike Age of Ultron), you see the new Avengers (established at the end of Age of Ultron) take on Crossbones (from The Winter Soldier). It’s a great start that’s there to show audiences that this is a team, that this is what they do even when the cameras aren’t rolling. And then something bad happens and a couple of innocent people die because of a mistake Scarlet Witch made, which is the last drop (not the first collateral victims the Avengers left behind) and leads to the Sokovia Accords, the MCU’s version of the Superhero Registration Act from the comics. Now that we’re here, let’s get one thing straight, while the movie is called Captain America: Civil War, this only takes elements from the Civil War comics, it is not a direct adaptation of that storyline. Overall it has similar ramifications but the story is a lot more contained. There’s a reason why it has Captain America in the title and it’s not just Civil War. This is through and through a sequel to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In the end it all comes back around to Cap and Bucky, from “I can do this all day” in The First Avenger, to the same line uttered towards the very end of the movie again by Cap in Civil War. This is the sort of stuff that resonates with us because we’ve been following these characters for so many years, because we’re emotionally invested in their faith. We feel Iron Man‘s pain for the death of his parents, and when he finally snaps at the end, you understand why even if you don’t agree with him. Same thing with Cap, Bucky is his best friend, a tragic hero that only he understands. Those are things Warner Bros. should take note of, how to build a universe and have people care about the heroes inhabiting that world. You don’t make one movie and in the next one you kill the main hero and then expect us to care about his death.
So let’s talk Black Panther, he was great, loved the suit, the way he fought, but maybe he was a bit overpowered. Another thing, in many ways he was the secret star of this film. Think about it, Civil War was sort of his origin story in the MCU, and a very good one. It was a proper hero’s journey from the beginning, when he loses his father (which is the catalyst for him to suit up and hunt down the Winter Soldier), to the end, when he finally accepts that revenge would not bring his father back. He was the character that grew the most in Captain America: Civil War, and now I cant wait to see him in his own standalone movie, Black Panther in early 2018 (based on the mid-credits scene, the Winter Soldier might be there too).
Spider-Man on the other hand is not as prominent in Civil War. I’d say overall he was in it for maybe 25 minutes or so. I swear Marvel are incredible at casting actors for their heroes, this Tom Holland was outstanding, he stole every scene he was in, both as Peter Parker and Spider-Man. He is hands down the best live-action version of the superhero, and this is coming from someone that loved both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spidey. He was 100% the Spider-Man I grew up with, from the comics to the 90’s animated series, I was in tears, tears of joy, of laughter. I completely lost it at the Empire Strikes Back part, and if Spider-Man: Homecoming can do that for an entire two hour feature, I’ll be in Spidey heaven.
Another hero that deserves a few words is Ant-Man, yes, Ant-Man. Like Spider-Man, he wasn’t in the movie a whole lot, but what he had was insanely awesome. The Giant-Man part turned that airport fight from 9 to 11, and I’m so glad no one spoiled it for me going in. Paul Rudd killed it here, he absolutely did.
Yes, there are more superheroes in this movie than you can throw a stick at, and yes, it might get a bit confusing if you’re not up to date on these movies, but by the end everyone gets his time to shine. Every old, new and secret Avenger has his little story in this movie, no one is there just to be there. They even acknowledge the fact that Hulk and Thor are missing, a duo we’ll be seeing join forces in Thor: Ragnarok next year.
Let’s be real here for a second, other similar movies barely handle three costumed heroes, Captain America: Civil War has twelve and it works, it completely works from start to finish. That’s nothing short of a miracle and probably the most impressive thing about Civil War. This was made possible by the incredible writing team, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (who wrote all three Captain America movies and will also pen both Infinity War films), as well as directors Anthony and Joe Russo (who also did Captain America: The Winter Soldier and will be back for Infinity War 1 and 2).
Another thing I almost forgot to mention, the film’s villain, Zemo. He isn’t in the movie a lot, but even so this seemingly ordinary human succeeds in dealing a greater blow to the Avengers than any other super-powered villain has before. And even better, they don’t kill him at the end, so hopefully we’ll see more of him, might even turn into Baron Zemo one day. Look at what he achieved with the little resources he had in Civil War, now imagine what he could do with a lot more.
Here’s the thing, Captain America: Civil War is not without its faults and it can get predictable in parts (or at least it was for me, particularly at the very end), but what it does well, it does extremely well. And really, it’s worth the price of admission just for the 17 minute airport fight in the second act, which is second to none as far as action sequences involving superheroes go. In the end Captain America: Civil War is one of the best comic book movies ever made, so I give it four and a half Cap shields out of five.
What was your favorite moment of the movie? I’ll have to go with Giant-Man versus Spidey, that really did it for me.