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Captain America: Civil War Review

Sorry its so late but here's my review of Captain America: Civil War. After an accident during a battle with mercenaries leads to casualties, Captain America and the Avengers must deal with both the Sokovia Accords, a government bill designed to regulate superhuman actions, and the reemergence of The Winter Soldier, who may or may not be responsible for an attack on the United Nations.

What else can I say about this movie other than it is complete jam packed! At least four or five subplots are going on at the same time and yet most if not all of them end up working out really really great. The characters all have deep personal moments and their stories all tie together nicely, whether they're main or secondary. As a result, two big plot moments that I could see coming, still really hit hard emotionally and had big impact on the plot.

Even the introduction of new characters, The Black Panther and the new Spider-Man played by Tom Holland, who I was worried would be needlessly forced in, worked out really wonderfully. So much so, that they made me definitely want to see the Black Panther and Spider-Man solo movies that are coming out the next couple of years (despite me either not having much interest or having lost interest in those characters beforehand). If I had any problems at all with their characters, its that the beginning of Black Panther's arc felt a little bit rushed and could have used just a little bit more build up, but that's really just a nitpick as the rest of his arc is solid (and it can be argued that the buildup will be fleshed out more in the solo movie).

I thought I was going to have issues with the decision to make the character of Aunt May. here played by Marisa Tomei, younger, but the way it was executed and the version of the Spider-Man world that the character was placed in, I thought worked very well and I look forward to how both characters are further portrayed in the solo movie.

All the leads like Chris Evans as Cap, Robert Downey Jr, as Iron Man, Scarlett Johannson as Natasha Romanov, etc. do a great job in their performances, fitting so effortlessly into their roles that they feel like old friends. While some of the actors and characters are fairly new to the series like Paul Bettany as Vision, Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlett Witch, Chadwick Boseman as The Black Panther, and Tom Holland as Spider-Man, I can definitely see them starting to fit into their roles here and further down the road as well.
Daniel Bruhl also does a great job with his role as a surprise villain, who, as opposed to a lot of Marvel's villain, is very subtle and "behind the scenes" in his evil doing. On the one hand, because of this, his character is somewhat forgettable, but at the same time, his actions and character development really leaves a big impact on everyone else.

Along with the actors, the film really comes together thanks to the work and talent of the directing and writing teams Anthony and Joe Russo (who directed both this and Winter Soldier) and Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (who have been with the series since First Avenger (Woohoo!). They've really done their research and really took the time to make the story and characters work, right down to the fantastic cinematography, lighting, action scenes, etc. If I had any complaints in this area, it'd be that the title cards for the locations (Laos, London, etc.) needlessly fill the entire screen and are a bit distracting. Again, a nitpick).

Really, the only major problems I have with the film involve its tone and the rest being due to personal bias mixed with nitpicking.
With the tone, I appreciate the fact that the film tried to go for a darker more complex feel but its overall tone feels a bit uneven and a little wonky. There are huge chunks of the film that are completely serious and almost humorless. While there are comedy bits here and there though, they're mainly to break the tension from earlier scenes. When the film gets to the big German airport fight, however everything goes completely crazy and hilariously insane (in the best way possible). However, as soon as this sequence finishes, it jumps right back into seriousness.

As a result, the tone feels like a serious sandwich with some hilarious comedy in the middle, or in less convoluted terms, two different movies and that was slightly distracting.

In terms of personal bias, the scene I'm thinking of involves one of the big plot moments that I could see coming. While it does work emotionally and story-wise in the film for Cap, and makes sense for the Cap movies overall, it involves a character who I highly enjoyed watching, both in the Cap movies, and in their own personal TV series. With the moment involving this character that happened in Civil War, and with their TV series most likely being canceled (I'll find out by next week), unless something happens with this character in the upcoming Infinity War movies,.it looks like this character's time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is sadly coming to a close. I find this really unfortunate as I feel a lot more fun adventures and character development could be had with them.

Nitpick-wise, while the movie was called Captain America: Civil War, it still felt like it was Avengers 2.5 or Avengers 3 quite a bit. However, I only classify this as a nitpick because, personally, I've been used to the singular Marvel movies as being one of the heroes surrounded by a supporting cast, with maybe a cameo or a secondary role by one of the Avengers, and this was a new experience. Not to mention that the final result works as both a Captain America and Avengers movie anyway.

Other than that, any other nitpicks are extremely minor like wishing some characters had a little more screen time/things to do but it makes sense as to why they are like this.

Other than problems with tone and my own personal feelings, this is a great entry into both the Captain American series and the MCU series at large. Out of all the Marvel Universe films, all three Captain America films have turned out the strongest (Iron Man 1 aside) into a solid could be classic trilogy, and I personally think it is because Cap is the most human out of all the Avengers characters. He's not a spy, a billionaire, a god, or a robot. He's just a regular guy who's trying to do the right thing. Sure, he's genetically enhanced, but he's still down to earth, has morals, makes mistakes, feels pain (and insecurity at times) and he has gained and lost a lot, mainly through his own actions. He's human but he's the ideal human, both in physicality and spirit. (I'm sorry if that was really cornball and cheesy).
I definitely say see it if you haven't already.

Rating: 4.3 stars out of 5.

(If anyone is curious, while I do agree Winter Soldier and Civil War are the better films, my personal favorite is still The First Avenger because its great old fashioned action/adventure fun, its got strong characters and stories, great performances, beautiful cinematography (and just because I love anything from the 30s and 40s).


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