Review: Captain America: Civil War

There is nothing more disappointing than unjustified hype. Something is touted for so long before it arrives on the main stage, only to disappoint you upon arrival. Unjustified hype leaves a rancid taste in the mouth yet it also raises expectations for what follows.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is a prime example of unjustified hype. We all know what a rancid taste it left in my mouth when I saw it a few weeks ago, yet it raised the bar for other films to follow. Films such as Captain America: Civil War.

The Russo Brothers return to direct the third and final installment of the solo Captain America franchise, thus launching Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Utilizing the concepts of the comic book counterpart, Civil War picks up where Age of Ultron left off, pitting the Avengers against an unprecedented and unexpected obstacle: the Sokovia Accords, a measure adopted by 117 countries represented in the United Nations designed to hold the Avengers in check and accountable for their actions which yield unnecessary collateral damage. Those who sign it are subjected to act under the authority of whichever governing power to face significant threats should they arise.

Tony Stark, feeling accountable for the actions of Ultron, is of the opinion that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes need oversight, while Captain Steven Rogers is of the opinion that these accords are unnecessary and the world can trust the Avengers to act in their best interests without it. Thus sides are taken within the Avengers ranks, while Captain Rogers’ old “friend” Bucky Barnes, alias Winter Solider, is causing havoc thus putting the Avengers in a more awkward spot while a mysterious figure named Helmut Zemo is acting in the shadows while heroes who disagree find the situation escalating into something more dangerous than they could ever imagine.

Image by Marvel

In taking measures to help and protect his old friend, Captain America takes up arms with Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, Falcon, Ant-Man to protect the Winter Soldier and Iron Man, Black Panther, Black Widow, Vision, War Machine and Spider-Man stand in their way for Cap’s actions act against the Sokovia Accords; the Avengers come to blows and in the aftermath, the Avengers are left broken, scarred, damaged, displaced, vulnerable, all but destroyed.

Batman v. Superman left a horrid taste in my mouth, thus raising the expectations for Captain America: Civil War. After attending an early screening yesterday, I proclaim with full conviction and a cleansed and nourished palate that Captain America: Civil War is by far, the best superhero motion picture since The Dark Knight; I am talking a comic book movie at the crossroads of nirvana and perfection!

I’ve stated that superhero mythology is my favorite and this movie had it all! The writing courtesy of Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus was superb, the Russo Brothers left it all on the screen and justified the fact that they are worthy to helm the final Avengers films in a few years and they started Phase Three with a bang! This was a grounded story that was simple to follow and empathize with, flowed effortlessly between subplots, gave every major character their respective moment to shine, the action was non-stop, this was everything you could possibly ask for in the inaugural blockbuster of 2016.

Image by Collider

It was as if the Russo Brothers and the writing of McFeely and Markus went places where Joss Whedon could only dream and the result is a superhero movie fan’s dream come true! In fact, you could say that Captain America: Civil War hit all of the notes that Batman v. Superman failed to do and you could. Because it’s true.

I feel as though I’m practically gushing and I don’t feel ashamed doing it! Going into the film, I was Team Iron Man but in the end, it doesn’t matter whose side you were on, Captain America: Civil War is one hell of a ride and I felt that even though the end is tragic, it ends on the best terms imaginable for Captain America and Iron Man while also raising already high expectations for future Marvel films to come.

Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Paul Rudd, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, William Hurt you couldn’t ask for more from the already established galaxy of stars portraying these heroes while at the same time the new recruits including Chadwick Boseman, who KILLED it as Black Panther, Daniel Brühl who did an awesome job as the sinister Zemo and Tom Holland, who should make Tobey MacGuire and Andrew Garfield feel honored by his portrayal as Spider-Man, had their moments to shine as well.

Trent Opaloch’s cinematography was rock-solid, Jeffrey Ford and Matthew Schmidt’s editing was top-of-the-line, the production design by Owen Patterson was superb, Henry Jackson’s music was decent, Judianna Makovsky’s costumes were outstanding, this was a technically grounded film that allowed the story to take center stage and enhance the figures who are a part of it, unlike another certain film I’ve named.

I would see Captain America: Civil War multiple times if I had the opportunity because this movie lives up to its hype, its potential and audiences of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe will be thrilled by this installment because it takes everything that has led to this point and cranks it up to 11!

Looking back, if I could comment on one regret it’s that Iron Man and Black Panther don’t really get a lot of screen time together and these two, in the comics, have much in common.

This movie is Marvel at the peak of its power and the scary part is this is only the beginning. The Phase Three lineup is ready to roll and my excitement can barely be contained. I loved every moment of Captain America: Civil War and I thoroughly encourage audiences to see this blockbuster, which seems destined to take over the world!

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