War is Beautiful in Captain America: Civil War
The Marvel vs DC film race is alive…but only in the minds of the moviegoers. Both companies respect the other and both hope for each other to do well. We’ve heard this from the CEOs, the actors, everyone. Marvel wishes DC the best, DC does the same. There is no civil war between the two largest comic book companies in the world. The war is among the fans…and it’s pointless.
Captain America: Civil War is most likely the best Marvel film to date. I’m not counting Deadpool because it’s technically a FOX production. The Captain America films have been the strongest Marvel contenders out of all the films the company has put out in the last eight years. Each film has topped the one before with Captain America: Winter Soldier being one of the best political thrillers I’ve seen in a very long time. What Civil War has done is take one of the most absurdly controversial Marvel comics of all time and turn it into the strongest movie the company has ever made. It’s hard to find faults in a movie that gives its viewers exactly what they want.
It’s hard to find faults in a movie that gives its viewers exactly what they want.
From the massive amount of characters that share the screen to the very well-timed comedy to the brilliant CGI and choreographed fight scenes, Captain America: Civil War does everything right without ever sacrificing one for the other. There isn’t much to say about the characters we’ve grown with over the last couple years. Robert Downey Jr. is still an amazing Tony Stark; Chris Evans is the perfect Captain America. These characters have been molded, strengthened and given time to breathe. The rivalry between Captain America and Iron Man is more evident in this film than in any of the Avengers movies. Downey Jr. and Evans truly know how to play equals with serious gripes against each other. Their arguments, their quips, their fight scenes, all of it is constructed meticulously throughout the film. The passion in their beliefs, their stance in the fight, it all makes sense in reflection of their character.
However, it wasn’t them I was worried about as I sat down and awaited the scrolling Marvel credits to begin. It was the characters that we were being introduced to, the ones that had to grow in the middle of the film. This was the biggest surprise. Our newest characters were some of the most fun and entertaining to watch on film. Everyone was waiting for Tom Holland (In the Heart of the Sea) to take up the Spider-Man mantle and he did so in a fashion we’ve never seen before. He embodies Peter Parker quickly, knowing he has only so much time for the audience to fall in love with him. He nails it. End of story. Tom Holland is the Peter Parker and the Spider-Man we’ve been waiting for (finally a teenager and not a 30-year-old prancing around in teen clothing). While Holland was exceptional, to say the least, he wasn’t what impressed me the most in this film. That title would have to go to biopic addict Chadwick Boseman (42, Get On Up) portraying T’Challa/Black Panther. Here’s the weird thing though, I can’t exactly put my finger on why Boseman’s Black Panther was my favorite part of the film. I’ve been thinking about it for nearly a week and there just isn’t really an answer.
[Tom Holland] embodies Peter Parker quickly, knowing he has only so much time for the audience to fall in love with him. He nails it.
The Russo Brothers (Captain America: Winter Soldier) do a superb job at giving these characters’ backstory while never detracting from the overall plot of the film, or making us feel like we’re watching another origin story unfold. On the contrary, T’Challa’s backstory is an immediate repercussion to the plot of the film and Tony Stark even stops Peter Parker from telling him his origin story because he doesn’t care.
For a film that has this much star power, it does an astronomically good job at keeping everyone’s screen time not only balanced, but fair as well. Each character gets their moments, not one person is over-shadowed or forgotten. The airport battle in which we’re given the chance to see everyone on screen at once is a superb example of how well this film has been crafted. The only issue with that scene was that it did, at times, get a little too light-hearted for my taste. These characters are trying to stop each other because it’s what they believe in but their constant quipping and humor took me out of the actual fight, making it feel more like they were all playing tag in a park to pass time.
This brings me to my biggest gripe with the film, which isn’t a big one really. In Avengers: Age of Ultron we’re introduced to Vision, the most powerful being in the Marvel universe. Paul Bettany (A Knights Tale) does a great job with building a character that’s literally a computer program, but the writing for his character in Civil War left me confused. Vision was the only character we had no time to grow with. He was introduced at the end of Ultron and by the very beginning of Civil War he’s already starting to show signs of human compassion. He wasn’t given the time to breathe and grow the way all other characters in the universe had. Granted, his character would have the most drastic growth out of all due to his background, but they could have worked on fleshing him out throughout this film rather than having him fleshed out from the beginning and letting us just go with it.
...their constant quipping and humor took me out of the actual fight, making it feel more like they were all playing tag in a park to pass time.
Our main villain in Civil War, besides the Avengers themselves, is a man. That was an interesting and surprisingly powerful choice. They aren’t fighting a God or an alien or even a mutant. The one man who forces the Avengers to turn on themselves is a mere mortal. Daniel Brühl (Inglorious Basterds, The Woman in Gold) accomplishes what Loki has set out to do nearly three times now. His Zemo is fascinating, though I’m enthralled anytime I watch him on screen. He’s so subtle in his hatred, so calm in his demeanor. It’s a very fulfilling experience any time you get to watch Brühl on screen. His turn in Civil War is no different than any of the other films in his repertoire.
Captain America: Civil War is a powerhouse, a massively fun and exciting romp with the characters we have all come to adore. It’s a blockbuster spectacle that refuses to sacrifice quality for money. There really are no huge flaws to this film. It’s fun, entertaining, thoughtful, passionate, beautiful and strongly acted. Civil War accomplished what Batman v Superman attempted and hopefully DC will be able to learn from this experience. All we know for sure is that Marvel has been on the right path for 8 years now and they do not plan on stopping anytime soon. Civil War packs everything you could want from a comic book movie into a neatly wrapped gift and lets the film unfold with you.