Steve Rogers and Tony Stark go head-to-head as Marvel’s Phase Three begins with conflicts of beliefs and friendships splintering between our costumed superheroes.
There’s introductions to new heroes on the ever-growing Marvel Cinematic landscape. It’s a Civil War between the Marvel heroes with sides being led by Captain America and Iron Man.
We all know about Captain America: Civil War. Most fans have already seen it. Of course I did. And yeah, it’s very good. I’m coming in kind of late on this, but I thought I’d quickly go over the good and bad of Captain America: Civil War.
Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. are both good as the lead heroes. It’s funny how likable Evans has made his Cap. I can’t help but want to root for the guy. Thanks to Evans portrayal he’s made Cap one of the most popular superheroes out there right now. I know I see kids all over the place wearing Cap shirts.
I still think Captain America: Winter Soldier is the best Cap flick, but Civil War is an entertaining followup. He’s got a lot of backup in this and some argue whether Civil War is a Cap Movie or an Avengers Movie. He might have to share more screen time this time around, but it’s him, Stark and Bucky who are the center of the story.
I wouldn’t have been surprised if Downey just phoned in his role as Tony Stark in this, but he didn’t. It’s much less a sunny, flippant portrayal of Stark than we typically get from Downey. The little quips are kept to a minimum and when he loses his temper at the end it makes an impact.
Despite how many characters are running and flying around the movie never feels overstuffed with them. They’re all given they’re moments and no one really overstays their welcome.
All the returning actors slip back into their costumes and are all fun to watch as they bicker and debate each other. Some of these actors have been playing these parts enough times I seriously wonder if they’re getting tired of it. We hear how excited they are being part of this Marvel machine in the junkets, but I question whether that’s something they genuinely feel or something they have to say until their contracts run out and secretly they’re counting down the films until their freedom.
The cynic in me initially would say they’re trapped by these roles and while enjoying the popularity and money they get from them it’s become old hat to them. Yet the stories keep getting juicer letting them explore different aspects and relationships with these characters I think they must get a bit of a buzz off it. Plus, I don’t see how anyone can’t be won over and thrilled about playing these superheroes when they get kids cheering when they see them.
A lot of the supporting superheroes don’t have a tremendous amount of screen time, but it’s a kick to see them all in the same scenes. This the most visceral reason why these ‘shared universes’ have caught on with fans.
The story is a decent one with a villain who’s kept in the background for most of the time. It’s at the end we learn his whole big plan. A pretty well thought out one and he’s pretty successful at it too. It fuels some really good action scenes where not only the action is well done, but there’s also clear reasons why things happen and we understand what the characters motivations are and we care about them.
Everyone is talking about the big airport scene, which is a real thrill. I remember ages ago thinking the only way fans would see stuff like this would be on Saturday morning cartoons. It’s hard not get a rush at seeing all these superheroes charge at each other. It’s like the intro to Challenge of the Superfriends! But plenty of the other action scenes hold their own. The stairway fight, the tunnel chase, the end showdown. All satisfying.
Also, I always get a jolt at seeing some of Cap’s shield throwing talents. I love that stuff.
The Bad – Or More Like the ‘Eh’
There’s a bit too much handheld stuff in the action scenes for my taste. I had the same problem with Winter Solider. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo use that method in several scenes and I’m not a fan of it.
Although it was sparingly used in comparison to a lot of action movies today, I found it the most striking in the opening action scene. You have Scarlett Johansson doing her flips onto Frank Grillo’s shoulders, that’s more than enough to keep things exciting. The choppy, handheld stuff doesn’t add to it.
Is Spider-Man vital to have in this? Nope. We all know why he’s here (in case your not aware, it’s to wash away the mess Sony made of him, intro him into his new set of movies and joining into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In other news, sugar is sweet). Regardless of the pointlessness of him showing up, I can’t really complain since Tom Holland’s appearance is a fun addition to have here. Marisa Tomei is unquestionably the sexiest Aunt May ever too. I did think the scene with Stark meeting Peter Parker went on a bit too long though.
Black Panther gets a better introduction into the universe as he actually plays a part in this story. I’m not sure about a whole solo movie with him, but….maybe. I don’t know, I’d give it a try.
I thought out of all the characters Bucky Barnes was the most distant – and he’s a big part of this feud. I get that him and Cap are friends and Cap is willing to go to any lengths for the guy, but I would have liked to have heard a bit more from Bucky.
How much guilt is he feeling, does he take any responsibility for his actions for being a Hydra tool, does he think he should be punished in any way. I realize his brain is a scrambled mess, but getting a little bit more from him might have helped.
Oh I did like how that after-credit scene in Ant-Man with Cap and Falcon talking to Bucky takes place in the middle of this movie. That was kind of unexpected. Kind of reminded me how the end of The Bourne Supremacy became a kick-off point to start the climax of The Bourne Ultimatum. A little fun with the timeframe of events we’re seeing.
So yeah, overall I really enjoyed Civil War. I’m looking forward to seeing it again. I like how things got shaken up between a lot of characters and when they meet up again it could make for some pretty awkward interactions.
It’ll probably be like when you run into an old friend that you don’t want to see anymore and you have to feign interest on what they’ve been up to and end with the reliable, “Oh yeah, we’ll have to get together at some point” and you never do. Unfortunately for these superheroes they’re going to have to work together again to save the world in a few years. Marvel won’t let them get out of that reunion.