Captain America: Civil War Review

Captain America: Civil War was a movie that I’ve been looking forward to well before it was ever officially announced, and well before comic book movies became the box office norm. Captain America: Civil War, dropped last week,and all of the hype was well worth it. It’s too early to call it, but I may have seen my favorite comic book movie, ever. I’ll get into the hits and misses in a second, but first things first:

Hits

Black Motherfucking Panther: As a black man, Black Panther and Luke Cage were comic book staples for me growing up. While I’m more than excited for the upcoming Luke Cage Netflix show, this movie has given me plenty of Black Panther stuff to hold me over. He was AWESOME! Chadwick Boseman easily stole the show. His actions all made sense. He wasn’t drafted to any team, he wasn’t shoehorned in out of nowhere. He was just a dude who wanted revenge, and was relentless in his pursuit. He was such a bawse! His quotes, his costume, his screen presence, everything screamed STAR whenever he was on-screen. The car chase scene alone… If he ever at one point would have started running on all fours, I would have completely melted in my seat.

NEED

Spider-Man: I’m gonna catch fanboy hell for this, but Spidey was completely unnecessary in this movie (a lot of people were). Unlike Black Panther, Spider-Man was completely shoehorned in. It didn’t bother me, because the build up to his introduction was pretty dope, but he had no stakes in this war.

That aside, Spider-Man was awesome. Tom Holland stepped into a high pressure role and crushed it. It’s also a bit refreshing to have an actual teenager play Peter Parker, instead of two thirty year olds pretending to be high schoolers. I’ve always said that Tobey Maguire was a great Peter Parker and a weak Spidey, and that Andrew Garfield was a great Spider-Man but a weak Peter Parker. If this sample size is evidence of the future, Tom Holland could actually be great at both. He was nerdy and unassuming, and his dialogue felt natural of a sixteen year old kid who’s in way over his head trying to fit in.

I also like in the brief introduction to the MCU’s Spider-Man, that it’s synthetic web, he was still bit by a radioactive spider, and that Tony Stark designed his costume so that its eyes focus in and out. Simple and effective. The solo Spidey film seems to be in good hands so far. Plus, Marrisa Tomei as Aunt May just threw me completely off.

Story: How do you justify people with enhanced abilities that cause a bunch of collateral damage to continue saving the world? Some civilian lives are lost at the cost of possibly many more. The amount of disasters increased exponentially since the Avengers became a thing. The world’s balance worked in a natural way that caused the Avengers to become seemingly more dangerous than they’re worth. The UN’s solution is sanctioning them and only having them respond when they’re called, and not when they feel like it. Iron Man is down, Cap is not. And the explanations for both sides make sense. You can see each POV, and understand why the line in the sand is drawn. But like many debates where there’s no compromise, it devolved into fighting, and the movie ultimately plays out like typical Internet comment section.

#TeamCap

You argue your side, tag people to come help, then you start slinging insults, until you go to the point of no return. Then you start unfriending people. It’s ridiculous. Even if you pick out certain players:

Iron Man and Captain America are the original debaters. Black Widow is riding the fence, trying to play Devil’s Advocate. Spider-Man and Ant Man are randomly tagged to see what’s going on. Hawkeye is just trolling the thread by posting memes and gifs. It all worked for me because not only do we have the knowledge of eight years worth of character development, but we also can see why the decisions were so difficult to make.

Fights: The one constant with Captain America movies is that the fight scenes are always dope. In this movie, they were on another level of awesome. These are legitimately the best fight scenes I’ve ever seen in comic movies. Every single fight caused me to mark out like a fangirl who catches Justin Beiber’s sweaty t-shirt at a concert.

#Porn

Every character had a moment to shine, and no one person (except maybe Scarlet Witch) was made to be any more powerful than the other.

AND WE GOT GIANTMAN!!!!!

Future MCU Set Up: What Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice tried to do was set up their future DCCU with one movie. The problem was that they didn’t have any history to work from. It tried to be a franchise starter, 2 trailers, and 3 separate movies in 2.5 hours. It was long, plodding, and ineffective. What Captain America: Civil War did in the same 2.5 hour runtime was set up Black Panther and a Spider Man reboot, the Ant Man sequel, the Infinity War via Vision, and any future Captain America movie that they’d want to do. The best part is that the 2.5 hour runtime flies by. The movie is well paced, doesn’t dwell too long on dull moments, and the action scenes maintain the speed of the movie. Addionally, Civil War had the benefit of twelve films over the course of eight years to provide character development. The actions taken has much more impact here than anything that happened in BvS.

Zimo: I can’t say if I fully liked him or disliked him. He has moments of bawssery, but it’s hard to fully make a psychological villain in this universe. It was refreshing to see an MCU villain that didn’t rely on an army of dispensible drones or using brute force to overpower the Avengers. Zimo used their emotions to manipulate them against each other. On a scale of Mandarin (sigh) to Loki, Zimo falls closer to Loki, however, Loki is so far beyond any other villain that it’s not fair to compare anyone to him. I’d say that Zimo is my favorite MCU villain outside of Loki.

MISSES

Lack of Captain America: Yes, Cap’s resistance to the Mutant Registration Act Sokovia Accords and the Winter Soldier subplot drives the movie’s narrative, but the big, emotional events affect Iron Man more than anyone else. You could have called this Iron Man 4 or Avengers 2.5.

No Risks Taken: In this movie, the only person who dies that’s ever been in the MCU before was Peggy Carter, via old age. In Age of Ultron, Quicksilver dies, but he was in the MCU for maybe 40 minutes. There was no real weight to his death, and in Civil War, his death wasn’t even referenced. He’s just known as collateral damage much like everyone else in Sokovia. In this movie, War Machine damn near died, but they decided to paralyze him, which in this universe, is akin to getting a papercut. For all of the dealings of collateral damage, Rhodes being killed as a result of this crazy Civil War would have given this movie the gut punch in the feels that it needed for it to be over the top.

Additionally, during the big fight, no one was trying to hurt anyone. They were fighting for their respective side, but were still trying to maintain friendships during the fight. What was the end game for either side fighting? The only person who was truly trying to murder people was Black Panther. The rest of the Avengers were fighting to disable each other, but how do you disable superpowered people without going as far as killing them?

And no one remembers that Crossbones died… RIP

No TV Influence: Outside of Agent Carter, there isn’t much that the TV properties of the MCU added. Tony Stark found Spider-Man via YouTube in Queens. I’m sure that the events of Daredevil or Jessica Jones at least made local headlines. How did Tony or Steve miss that? Daredevil is patrolling the fuck out of Hell’s Kitchen, and it would have at least been fun to see him and Spidey interact. Ahh well…

FINAL VERDICT

This was a GREAT movie. The debating right now is whether Winter Soldier or Civil War is the best MCU movie. I still maintain that Winter Soldier is better, but only by a hair. It’s story is a little better because there’s less characters to give focus to, and I really dug the spy/noir feel of the movie. While Civil War hit every single one of my comic movie G-Spots, Winter Soldier is just a great movie, without the “comic book” qualifier.

Five Chris Evans’s Biceps out of Five

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