Captain America: Civil War gets started with a pulse-pounding action sequence that showcases the Avengers’ teamwork and chemistry as they work together to secure a biological weapon from the hands of terrorists. The wonderfully directed action sequence is a bit overshadowed by the absolutely astounding action that comes later in the film, however. It serves its purpose effectively to energetically jumpstart the film with the three most important qualities for any superhero story: Heart, humor, and heroics.
The Russo Brothers once again prove themselves as the best Directors in the MCU (Sorry, Joss). They do an incredible job balancing out both Team Cap and Team Iron Man throughout the film. The motivations are clear and the characters are provided equal screen time to support their sides of the argument. It doesn’t matter whether your Team Cap or Team Iron Man, you can absolutely understand the opposing side. What makes it so compelling is that both sides are right.
Robert Downey Jr. turns in his best performance as Iron Man yet, however. The clear standouts of the film are Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Ant-Man. Paul Rudd as is as charming as ever. He and Tom Holland work together to bring brief but necessary levity to the drama that without, may have left us exhausted by the time we reach the films final action scene. Chadwick Boseman packs power and conviction into every line he has. He is so well used by the Russo's that every time he is on screen you know it’s important. But I think we can all agree going into this film we were most excited for Spider-Man’s introduction into the MCU and it couldn’t have been done better. Marvel absolutely nails it. The moment Tom Holland stepped on screen I felt as if I was witnessing the true Peter Parker for the first time ever. Tom kills it as Peter only to outdo himself as Spider-Man in the short amount of time we get with him.
The airport scene is one of, if not the greatest action scenes ever put to screen. The scene is fantastically shot, edited, and balanced between both sides of heroes. The action is constantly engaging. It perfectly showcases all of the heroes’ strengths as well as their weaknesses. The Russo's managed to strike a rhythm in this scene that prevents it from feeling too long, even at 15 minutes. The best part of this fight, and probably the film itself is when Spider-Man takes down Giant-Man like an AT-AT on Hoth. Myself and the rest of the theater were cheering as if the Luke just blew up the Death Star! The Russo's have set the bar high and there is no doubt they will outdo themselves with Infinity War.
As great as this film is, it isn’t perfect. Marvel once again fumbles when it comes to the villain. Daniel Brühl as Baron Zemo isn’t necessary to the story until the final confrontation between Captain America and Iron Man. Ultimately he does succeed in tearing apart The Avengers and that’s awesome. But they were already doing a good enough job at them themselves. Zemo is just there to give the final push.
It boggles my mind that Marvel isn’t concerned with focusing on the villain in their films especially after we have seen how well the Netflix series have done with Wilson Fisk, Killgrave, and I’ll even say Punisher. While Punisher wasn’t a villain, he was still an incredible antagonist to Daredevil in those few episodes of season two. A great villain can help elevate a good superhero movie to a great superhero movie and as good as Marvel’s films have gotten over the last few years, they could still be better.
Captain America: Civil War is what I call Marvel’s Dark Knight. It does what The Dark Knight did for WB and transcends the superhero genre. This isn’t just some spectacle we can all sit back and admire. This is a vehicle with enough seats for everyone. No matter which side you take, you’ll feel justified in your position all the way until the credits roll. Bravo, Russo Brothers, Bravo.
9.1 – FANTASTIC