Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Captain America: Civil War Theatrical Feature Film Review

While it has seemingly opened everywhere else, but the USA, where it will premiere theatrically on Friday of the week this review was written, I can say without reservation that Captain America: Civil War is worth the wait. It is an excellent superhero film that examines the consequences of the collateral damage caused by the intentions and actions of the superheroes in the movie, who have racked up a heavy list of casualties globally between the events of both Avengers movies and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It is hard not to compare Captain America: Civil War with Warner Brothers' Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice because they both tackle similar themes, but while I feel not everything worked in BVS, it is hard not to look at Civil War and want to grab the executives at Warner Brothers and say in broad strokes, this is how it's done. 

Now I am not stating that BVS is a bad film. There are aspects I liked and Marvel made similar mistakes that I feel BVS made last year when Avengers: Age Of Ultron was released last year and that was in both cases these films tried to shoehorn too much into their respective scripts and as a result both are lesser films because of it. Now in the case of Civil War, it does not redeem Age Of Ultron. Frankly nothing can. However I felt Civil War put Ultron behind me and made me excited about the Avengers again. While there are a total of twelve Marvel heroes in this film, I cared for almost all of them. The Winter Soldier himself is probably the least charismatic, but one does get a greater sense of the tragedy that befell him and indeed despite the action, which is simply fantastic, there is a sense of tragedy not just in the villains, but also in the heroes. This does not have a squeaky clean ending and yet it was not overly brooding like BVS was.

The film introduces two new characters with Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther and Tom Holland as the best big screen portrayal of Spider-Man yet. The character's inclusion into the MCU was something that was not originally part of the plan and here is how you shoehorn a new character and make it feel natural and also gain immediate empathy for the actor playing the character too. I can't say the same for Gale Godot as Wonder Woman. I feel like I hardly knew her in BVS, but I hope I will feel different next year after seeing her solo film. Boseman plays Black Panther both within and out of the costume so well that I could actually believe him as a benevolent African Prince. The other Avengers that appear all have great character moments, which Ultron lacked and when the fight starts it is exciting and surprising. We also feel the emotional cost. No villain has ever hit our Marvel cinematic heroes the way that they hurt each other. Scarlett Johansson has never looked prettier as Black Widow and has never acted the character better in the previous times she played the character. 

William Hurt is back as Thaddeus Ross and even Hurt knocks the ball out of the park in a way he did not in The Incredible Hulk and despite his genre film roots with Altered States, Hurt at times seems disinterested in some of the characters he has played on genre films, but here he is perfect. Even the obligatory Stan Lee cameo was one of his better ones. Great credit goes to Anthony and Greg Russo, who have made a film different that Captain America: The Winter Soldier and have managed to make Civil War arguably an even better film though different. I am looking forward to Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 and 2 now.

Now I want to make this clear Disney has not paid me or anyone I know a dime to review this MCU installment and I am not a DC hater. In fact Disney had nothing to do with my seeing Captain America: Civil War. I wrote this review because I truly enjoyed the film and wanted to share that with my readers. I still look forward to the Director's Cut at Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice when it comes out on Blu-ray Disc and I want both cinematic universes to prosper. Captain America: Civil War opens in U.S. Theaters on Friday, May 6, 2016.