By Mike Sweets | May 6, 2016
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writers: Christopher Markus (Screenplay), Stephen McFeely (Screenplay), Mark Millar (Comic Book), Joe Simon (Characters), Jack Kirby (Characters)
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Daniel Brühl, Frank Grillo
There are few times when a superhero movie can strike a true emotional chord in a viewer. Having a planet invaded by aliens and only a handful of heroes to call upon is often hard to connect with. Walking into the new Captain America cinematic adventure, I was hoping for greatness and not just filler funny lines at awkward moments. I was hoping for a job well done that would make me proud to leave work early and stay out past my bedtime. I was wanting a refreshing look at a blockbuster film that would leave an impression on me. Short to say, this film did not disappoint in the slightest.
Captain America: Civil War is flat out ridiculously awesome. When we last parted ways with the Avengers after The Age of Ultron, certain avengers chose different paths. Some heroes wanted a quieter life, while some chose to stick around just in case they saw situations that called for some skilled attention.
The film opens on the remaining avengers doing what they do best: organized chaos. We seeing solid team work from Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), and of course… Captain America (Chris Evans). The coordination and cool gadgets makes it clear that they are in sync with one another and have done a solid chase sequence once or twice. But, like many chase scenes from superheroes, they leave a trail of destruction behind them. This brings about the focus of the film: can the avengers save the world when necessary WITHOUT leaving behind a massive body-count, or should they be called upon by an elected committee who would give them marching orders of when and where they should intervene for the greater good. Tony Stark aka Iron Man is faced with reminders of the weapons he created that took lives, while Captain America, who usually does the right thing, does not want to ask permission when and if it is okay to do the right thing. Did Clark Kent ever call the mayor before swapping clothes in a phone booth? Would the people of Metropolis have been better off if he did?
The film progresses well into this plot line and is easily able to engage the viewer. The politics and chain of command processes is easy and familiar to follow. It feels real and you understand why certain characters are introduced and specific times. Civil War is stitched together so seamlessly that you feel invested in the film for the entire duration. The film is so entertaining that it never gives you a chance to become disinterested.
Most times, I tear movies down. I cringe at flat jokes and poor acting. Civil War gave me no cringes. I dread screen-hogs and unnecessary cameos. Civil War didn’t fill me with any dread.
This is not the first anticipated phenom of a film to be released in the past year. With the beloved Star Wars franchise returning strong with The Force Awakens, fans wanted something to wow them. Once you’ve had a chance to watch The Force Awakens a few times, you realize that it’s just another Star Wars film blowing up a different version of a Death Star. Well-done, but unoriginal.
With the widely massive swoon for Batman vs. Superman, fans were expecting something extremely epic and amazing, but were very much disappointed. Most of the greatness was already seen in the first trailer, which was honestly better than the full-length movie. You pretty much knew the course of the film before sitting down in the theater. Where’s the fun in that? The entire world spoke when the film dropped $82 million in sales only after being open a week. The film left most viewers walking away wanting way more than what they got. Buyers remorse indeed.
But, this new Captain America?… Leaves one speechless when witnessing so much on-screen greatness. The viewer has no idea where this film will end up, and any predictions would throw off even the most skilled comic-book nerd. The twist and turns in the plot are amazing as is, but when throw in solid cameos from Spider-man and Ant-man coming together for one epic fight sequence, you definitely get some bang for your buck!
Attention to detail is an issue of pride for me. I search for flaws in fight sequences and scene transitions. The fights look real. The acting feels genuine. I was flinching in my seat at how hard punches hit. I was hoping scenes wouldn’t drag on and make me wonder what else was happening in other areas on the plot. This wasn’t an issue.
Seeing angles only to be rivaled by The Matrix and following fight scenes that seem to be tackled head-on like those of the Jason Bourne franchise, make Civil War truly a sight to behold.
Everyone knows that Marvel has had some kinks to work out over the years. We witnessed a fun Toby McGuire in one version of Spider-man start strong and end in a literal weeping mess. We sat through the X-men series just to see where things would go. We also saw the mass appeal of The Avengers films, which was basically throwing as many A-listers and cool gadgets into one film sprinkled with some plot lines here and there. To date, Civil War is one of the most stream-lined efforts from Marvel I have ever seen. I promise you will not be let down in any way.
From the introduction of new characters to the familiar flare of old ones (yes, the delightful Stan Lee cameo), Civil War sets the bar for future blockbusters. Even with such a huge anticipation on opening-weekend, I predict this film will not leave the top spot of the box-office for quite a few consecutive weeks.
Forget the cheap laughs and mindless explosions. Civil War brings each viewer to a real level. The viewer is faced with real emotion and understanding. Not just a bystander to chaos, but the viewer actual sees and knows what each character is feeling and can empathize to a most humbling level.