Captain America: Civil War Review


Photo Credit courtesy of Creative Commons.

Defying my cynicism, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has managed to transmute a seemingly impossible number of story elements and high-paying actors into a coherent, well-paced, entertaining, and relevant action film that is probably the best movie I’ve seen all year.

Having my faith in comic-book movies so recently crushed by the devastatingly drab Batman V. Superman, I entered the theatre with an appropriate amount of dread, prepared for what I thought was sure to be a splendid derailment of the “hype train.”

The pessimistic curmudgeon I have had within me ever since teen angst reached its climax was immediately quelled, however, the opening sequence set a much more measured pace than previous films of the same genre which tried to do too much, too fast. I felt like a wee lad of 12, gaping at the screen as some of the most iconic figures in comics clashed in the most spectacular of fashions without feeling suffocated by intertwining subplots.

Initially, this review was going to focus on the haunting parallels between the on-screen moral struggles of super-powered peoples and the real world. Then I realized that people do not read movie reviews of superhero films to be spooked by applicable themes to modern dilemmas. Besides, the plot cannot help but reek of false tension anyway, as any story revolving around the fragmentation of the Avengers doubtless loses some punch when Avengers: Infinity War is coming around the corner.

With so many acting powerhouses in one film, from Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark to Paul Rudd’s “Ant Man,” I anticipated some throwing-of-elbows for screen time supremacy. Even British actor Martin Freemen decided it was time to jump onto the cash cow that Marvel Studios has crafted to near perfection. Instead of the headliners Captain America and Iron Man monopolizing the movie, every player had his/her own time to shine. This kept the film endlessly fresh, as in a mere five minute span the camera showed Black Widow effortlessly snap necks, Spider Man sling those webs he always slings and even Hawkeye’shoot arrows? Still?

In all fairness, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye is actually pretty cool. (Hang in there big guy.) And perhaps the skepticism that questions how much a dude with a bow and arrow can truly contribute to a battle amongst titans is of the same nature of party-pooping that initially made me hesitant to appreciate this sort of film for all of its awesome features.

Sure, Hawkeye is a one-trick pony, running the gauntlet with the same bag of tricks. But that doesn’t make his niche any less compelling or entertaining. In a similar fashion, these superhero flicks continue to morph what should be tired old clich s into cinematic explosive arrow bolts that detonate in the face of haters worldwide.

If there is any single reason to watch this film, it’s the awesome humor. Unlike the second Avengers movie, whose jokes felt forced and pressured to be funny, this film’s jokes seemed more natural and believable. It helps that the casting was so great and that the character dynamics were very well fleshed-out, considering the time constraints. My personal favorite was the lovely bromance that culminated on team Captain America between Bucky and Falcon. Ant-man and Spiderman also had some hilarious lines, (Side note: the Spiderman that they created for this universe is my favorite adaptation of the character yet.)

At the end of the day, all there is to say about this movie is that it is a really fun time. As someone who has been recently and intimately slighted by the unpredictable beast that is the superhero flick, I can without hesitation encourage you to watch Civil War.