The long-awaited “Avengers 3” has dawned on us!
Well, maybe it isn’t titled “Avengers 3,” but it sure felt like it with the amount of superheroes we’ve come to love being featured in this film.
The Russo Brothers are back at it again with their next Marvel film, “Captain America: Civil War.” This highly-anticipated sequel to the well-received Winter Soldier hit the ground running. Critics heralded it as the best Marvel Studios movie, setting a high ceiling for its successors. With all of the hype, it had me worried that Civil War may not deliver.
Boy, oh boy, did it exceed my expectations.
The film opens with a large font telling us it’s 1991. A group of what I presume are either Hydra or just bad guys are shown brainwashing Bucky with keywords found in a red journal. After the Winter Soldier is “ready to comply,” they task him with the mission to kill a driver that seems to be hauling four, blue packets that we presume are blood.
The movie then switches gears to our gang of Avengers (well, the ones that haven’t gone to the Stark side just yet) in Lagos, Nigeria, led by Captain America.
If I could, I’d like to express how annoying the white font is that screams at the audience each time a location changes. It would’ve been fine to have a smaller, less obnoxious font. Sure, sure, it may be nitpicking, but it made me turn to my buddy and ask, “Is this necessary?”
“Civil War” did an amazing job at balancing the large ensemble of characters at any given moment, especially during the airport battle. There’s the humor supplied by Spider-Man, Ant-Man, Tony Stark, etc., and the seriousness of Captain America and Winter Solider. Each quality of the Avengers were on display and it flowed flawlessly.
The screenplay included some of the best fight dialogue we’ve seen in years. I go back to actors Tom Holland (Spider-Man) and Paul Rudd (Hank Pym) and their amazing comedic timing. The water truck line by Rudd commanded boisterous laughter from the audience and myself. Holland made the fans breathe a sigh of relief because, finally, they’ve gotten Spidey right. They didn’t focus on Peter Parker too much, but it was enough to show that they’re heading in the right direction.
I, also, loved the choices the film gave moviegoers. You could be Team Stark one minute, but find ways to associate with Team Cap. “Civil War” gave SUBSTANTIAL reasoning for the conflict between Stark and Rodgers, something other mega-superhero films can’t seem to grasp.
Marvel did well to roll-out the new faces smoothly, as well. Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) used every bit of his screen time to dish out cool lines that made him a quick fan-favorite and Spider-Man was exactly what he should’ve been years ago: a quirky, genius teen who makes funny jokes and kicks-butt.
There aren’t many negatives to hand out. The complexity of the storyline can be confusing for some that aren’t familiar with what surrounds the film, which leads to head scratching. It seems the Russo Bros. tried to catch us up with plenty of back-and-forth dialogue, but it felt like a slow burn; the first half hour took a while to get kickstarted.
And those– those are really all the negatives I could think of.
So, about that Spider-Man standalone film …
Caio Rodrigues wrote a bit on the film and enjoyed it so much he wanted to write an addendum.
“Captain America: Civil War” is an absolute triumph of moviemaking. Simply put, it is a prime example of how a film can be serious, dark, contain massive amounts of weight and still be fun.
It was a blast watching “Civil War.”
I know that at this point we are beating a dead horse. I know that the general consensus is that “Batman v Superman” was a fairly bad movie, but it would be fitting to compare CW to BvS. The fact that Marvel can make a superhero movie that successfully juggles thirteen different heroes (yes, there were thirteen heroes on screen at one point) is just astounding to me. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. is having a hard time juggling a mere two heroes at once … Think about that for a second, folks.
Now, one could argue that the MCU had eight years of movies developing the characters on-screen so that the task of making each one of them worth the screen time is made easier by default. Well, I honestly don’t buy that kind of argument. WB has just as much opportunity to make a great franchise, especially since the source material is so rich in story and character depth.
Another point of comparison can be seen in the reasons for why the fight between these heroes happen. Unlike BvS, the combat here is not driven by some trivial nonsense that elementary school kids at recess fight over; their conflict is motivated by deeply held ideologies and worldview differences. It is genuinely difficult to decide, while watching the movie, who you would side with.
“Civil War” is the kind of sequel that “The Avengers” deserved, but it is still very much a Captain America film. We get to know Tony Stark’s and Steve Rogers’ relationship on a much richer level and we are all better off for it.
Interestingly, despite the fact that we know that these characters will be around for future MCU films, the gravitas in their brawl is very much present and we actually care for these people.
The Russo brothers did an incredible job and it is undeniable that CW is one of the best Marvel movies to date.