(NOTE: This mini-review is Spoiler FREE. It’s also humor free, so proceed at your own discretion.)
Having grown tired of the typical Superhero fights evil villain plotline, Hollywood has seemingly found its “new” formula for genetically-altered human in tights; it’s called good guys vs good guys.
I hesitatingly put the word “new” in quotes because the concept itself isn’t necessarily a newfangled one on screen, but having an entire movie revolve around a hero-on-hero conflict is a somewhat fresher take.
As is the case with random incidents of abnormal Justin Bieber behavior, Hollyweird likes to do things in bunches. The aforementioned trend above started with the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Sadly, the movie looked and sounded as unfinished as the title itself, so the Outlaw took a pass on dropping any of his limited resources on what many people claimed was the equivalent of a train wreck and a truck full of cow manure having a love child.
Marvel responded with their own superhero version of Judge Judy – and coincidentally the subject of my mini-review – Captain America: Civil War. Based on the Marvel comic book storyline of the same name, the third installment of the Captain America film franchise (although there are so many other characters in this film, it could have simply been titled Marvel Heroes on Parade), the movie focuses on an ideological split between the do-gooders. On Captain America’s side, there are those who believe those with special powers should be allowed to respond to evil when and wherever necessary. All within Iron Man’s opposing lineup views themselves as weapons of mass destruction that should be contained until called upon by a larger governing body.
Before launching into my Civil War review break down consisting of Team Good vs Team Bad, I will provide the tremendous news there are no spoilers below, or above for that matter. Although at this point you’d most likely already be preparing your lawsuit against me had I ruined any part of this film for you prior to your viewing it.
With that, lets go to battle!
Do I really need to say anymore? After some incredible highs (Spider-Man 2, my favorite superhero movie ever) and dreadful lows (Amazing Spider-Man 2), one of the most iconic superheroes of the modern-era is finally back home – creatively anyway – with Marvel Studios. The wise-cracking wall crawler makes his MCU debut in an appropriately humorous fashion, and even gets in on a bit of the action. Despite the minimal screen time, I can say without a shadow of a doubt, Tom Holland is a far superior and more comic-book accurate Peter Parker than Andrew Garfield by a Marvel mile. (NOTE: A Marvel mile is the equivalent to 3.2 standard U.S. miles.) His Spider-Man was also a breath of fresh air, and I look forward to seeing him become a more confident web-head in his upcoming solo presentation, Spider-Man: Homecoming.
If there’s anything I’ve learned in life, it’s some of the best things come in small packages. Well, most of the best things anyway. Keeping on the subject of bugs, it was another insect-themed hero whom captured some of the best comical moments of the entire flick. As a lover of Paul Rudd and his recent portrayal of Ant-Man, I was already looking forward to how he’d be utilized in Civil War, but even that couldn’t prepare me for what Marvel had up there tiny little sleeve…
3) The Civil Battle
Call it movie magic, geek overload, or superhero flawlessness, but if there are 10 minutes of perfection in the Marvel stable of films, it’s in Captain America: Civil War. I don’t throw the e-word around lightly, but the second to last penultimate battle of superheroes pitted against superheroes will go down in the annals (not anals) of history as one of the most epic scenes in superhero movie history. I can’t divulge much without giving away the farm, but let’s just say if you haven’t seen Civil War yet, run to the theater and tell them to shut up and take your money… minus $20 for popcorn.
1) Shaky-Cam –
Since the original Iron Man, I’ve felt Marvel has done an excellent job of staying away from the puke-cam… err, the shaky-cam. That all changed with Civil War, at least with the first action scene anyway. In addition to looking like the camera had been mounted on to a Home Depot paint-mixer, the quick cutaway editing left me with an IMAX sized headache only 8 minutes into the runtime. My immediate fear was the civil war my stomach was about to have with my head, but fortunately things seems to smooth out and normalize as the movie proceeded. Still, it didn’t set a good precedent of what was to come for those unknowing.
As mention in point #3 of “Team Good”, Civil War contains possibly one of the best superhero fights to ever grace the silver screen. The only downside is it took place with around another 45 minutes left in the film. Don’t get me wrong, the rest of the movie was solid, but it all felt a bit underwhelming after the huge bru-ha-ha that took place between Team Cap and Team Iron Man. I get why it had to happen there storytelling wise, alas the airplane hanger scene just ended up being an act too hard to follow.
3) It Ended
My biggest gripe with Civil War was the pure fact it ended. We now have to wait for Infinity War to see more superhero conglomeration in high quantities. Civil War was a taste of how could a world full of heroes fighting with and against each other could be, and it will most likely leave you wanting more faster than you can say bring on the purple rain.
With Captain America: Winter Solider (the second of the series) being one of my favorite flicks within Marvel’s modern cinematic universe, it was going to take a tall order for Civil War to gain a top spot. Again, even though I try to keep the use of the e-word to a minimum, I would be lying even to myself if I didn’t disclose Marvel delivered in epic fashion.
The inevitable superhero battle alone was worth the price of admission, and if you are willing to run your credit card a little hotter as I did, do yourself a favor and splurge for an IMAX showing. Although I partook of the film in old-fashion 2D, I’m confident in my prognosis of 3D being unnecessary for this movie-going experience.
Truly the only thing which could have made Civil War any better would have been to see a real Civil War break out between the Marvel universe and the DC universe for no other reason then it would be a nerd’s penultimate version of a Penthouse Letter fantasy come to life. A battle royal like that might actually prompt me to throw down money for a movie with DC comics characters in it for the first time since the U.S. Civil War. Emphasis on the “might”.