Movie Review: Captain America: Civil War (2016)
While it would be a moot point to start by saying that Hollywood is all out of ideas, this can be completely thrown out the window like an unnamed villain with regards to Captain America: Civil War. Comic book properties being used as movies are with us to stay, with varying levels of success and an equally varying level of mistreatment as well. For every Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, there will be something like Captain America: Civil War to show audiences how it’s supposed to be done. To say this is a MUST SEE wouldn’t be quite sufficient.
How does Captain America: Civil War hold up?
At this point in the MCU phase of their comic movies, it would figure that Marvel would be on auto-pilot by now. However, this is not the case at all. In fact, we’re getting a film that could very easily have been a mess because of the sheer number of characters involved. With no fewer than a dozen heroes to contend with–not even counting villains and other supporting cast–the balancing act undertaken would make Nik Wallenda sweat bullets. It’ll be something to see the extras when this releases to Bluray/DVD, etc. just to see Anthony and Joe Russo at work. Yes, some characters only have a small amount to do, yet when they have their screen time the audience (at least those in attendance) lapped it all up like a castaway would at their first drops of fresh water. With five credited writers, the work done by them does an exceptional job of drawing viewers in from start to finish. The ONLY time my phone clock was checked was a result of wondering how late of a school night it would end up being, and this was about two hours into it! At that point, it became a question of how is everything going to be wrapped up.
The ONLY time my phone clock was checked was a result of wondering how late of a school night it would end up being
Another interesting aspect of this film is the fact that it had a HUGE story to work from, including some extremely dark plot points which leads to wondering how certain things would be incorporated into this take on the story. Surprisingly, as large of movie as this is, the scope is reduced in a way. The horror of the event that leads to drawing up the Sokovia Accords is still gasp inducing, but not the way that the print version was. In the same manner while there are over a dozen characters that are a part of the story, the Civil War comic had, well…included an enormous part of the Marvel Universe. Scaling this back must have been tough to say the least, but none of that is missed because everyone that IS included does so well with what they’re given. Now, do not misunderstand and think that characters are queued up like Oliver Twist begging, “Please sir, I want some more.” If anything, viewers will leave feeling that way. One hallmark of an exceptional film is that you leave wondering where the characters will be headed. The bonus here is that we will see, because you know, it’s Marvel and they’ve planned out years ahead.
Going into Captain America: Civil War was a tricky thing because his characters is not one of this reviewer’s favorites (you’re more than welcome to ask about which ones ARE if you’d like). Additionally, having been victimized by another very recent comic book film translation (ahem, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice if the subtlety isn’t sufficient enough) there was enough trepidation and worry that this film with heroes battling amongst themselves would further torture viewers as well. All concerns of this were long gone a few moments in. If anything, the most tortuous event of the evening was suffering through a preview of The Shallows, but you can’t blame MCU for that choice. In short, spoiler-free (which is a TOUGH thing) take a few hours out to start off the 2016 summer film season and SEE this! If you end up loathing this film, then it’s likely because you aren’t a Marvel or comic book fan and you probably shouldn’t have gone to see this in the first place. For one, this reviewer is ready to throw more box office at it–and would have again that evening but was only kept from doing because, well, it was a school night.