One man’s hero is another man’s villain
MCU’s landscape continues to drastically change. That said, mark my words, ladies and gentleman… As Marvel’s story-lines become bigger and more inclusive, a point will come where there won’t be a movie screen big enough to expose all these magical heroes and villains. From way back in 2008 with IRON MAN through now, these well-executed films have held a strong grip among its “geeky” fan-base and those considered late-bloomers. However, keeping it real, not all of them have been home-runs, but one cannot deny the fact that Disney/Marvel took the comic-book movie ball and flew (not ran) with it. Numbers and critical praises do not lie, WB/DC!
One of their strongest solo franchises has been CAPTAIN AMERICA! The more articulate and self-aware in a humanistic way of the bunch, Steve Rogers/Captain America is an individual in a class all on his own. Humble, caring, rational and quite stable among a world divided by good, bad and indifferent, THE FIRST AVENGER and WINTER SOLDIER present narratives that are engaging, interesting and metaphorically relatable. CIVIL WAR doesn’t steer much from this franchise’s clout.
Tying in events from past battles, the effects of WINTER SOLDIER and AGE OF ULTRON seem to be fresh wounds among not only The Avengers, but global society. As distrust and disgust builds among their heroic, care-free actions of impunity, others cringe and demand more control. Politics begins to arise as a system of accountability is discussed to be placed in effect when avenging actions lead to collateral damage. While Captain America (Chris Evans) believes heroes should remain free to defend humanity without government control, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) egotistically, but humbly disagrees and supports oversight. Disarray ensues as the team starts to express their thoughts and selectively choose sides. The situation takes a nasty turn when simultaneously having to deal with complexities that still linger regarding the Winter Soldier (Sabastian Stan).
Misleading title aside (It’s definitely not a solo for Captain America), CIVIL WAR strategically juggles more characters than the past. Done before with prior AVENGER films, each one has more than one glorified moment to shine, and this format even works for new additions like Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) who wind up fitting perfectly in the story. CIVIL WAR’s strength is exposed as it refuses to take the easy way out and imposes a position on the viewer in the war between former allies. Made clear, both points have strong merits and displays positions and characters seriously enough to give them all just enough time to eloquently articulate their views. Whether build-up or showdown (without doubt the best hero action sequence on film ever), the special bond and chemistry between the cast makes these fictional characters live in even bigger form as they’re sticking to their objectives.
If I had to pick a gripe, it would have to be wanting more Crossbones (Frank Grillo) – a serious badass in the comics. Although Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) happens to be quite menacing, astute and charismatic (in a quasi-Loki kinda way), I surely would have wanted more face-off between Crossbones and Cap!. But it didn’t hurt the film in any way. If anything, the outcome of their encounter adds and leads to much of the chaos that unfolds in CIVIL WAR. That said, words cannot describe how much fun and joy I had with this fine piece of cinematic art. A few months back I predicted (and got a lot of shit for it on Twitter) BvS would bow to this flick – and boy did it. What WB/DC lack in terms of creativity in ways of how to execute their comic-book world (which happens to be a badass universe as well), Disney/Marvel makes up for it with trustworthy risk, talent, confidence and big balls!
“Superhero fatigue” my ass. All these experts who say moviegoers are getting tired of this kind of genre need to reevaluate the amount of story-lines out there already existing in comic-books that would translate excellent on screen. (Done well, of course) The overflow of heroes wasn’t tiring at all considering how precise they were utilized. The story is well structured as it arcs both characters as well as narrative. CIVIL WAR is so engaging, it didn’t even feel like two-and-half hours. A lot in this film can reflect reality. Our reality, which happens to be a whole other topic. Thanks to the Russo brothers, CIVIL WAR is a major blockbuster with swag, smarts and strength.
Grade: A | Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | Rated: PG-13 | Run Time: 2:26
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Jojohansson, Sabastian Stan, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Daniel Bruhl, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Jeremy Renner and Paul Rudd
Directed by: Anthony and Joe Russo
© 2016 Marvel Entertainment