**This post contains spoilers to the movie Captain America Civil War. I will be talking about the movie plot, major scene’s and specific character arcs we see in this movie. Please give this movie its due and watch it in theater’s — SPOILERS**
Joyous. If I had to sum up my experience of my three viewings of Captain America Civil War with a single word, it would be joyous. As a huge comic fan and a huge fan of comic book movies I was looking forward to this adaptation of the comic sharing the same name. Civil War is the third in the Captain America solo films, making this the cap, no pun intended, to an incredibly trilogy. Some have been trumpeting “It’s Avengers 2.5” which I think is an unfair comparison but not without its merit.
This film does four things that put it leaps and bounds ahead of many other comic book films. The first is character motivation, the second is story flow and the third is humor and the fourth is clearly action. Character motivation has always been one of the strong suits in Marvel movies, and in Civil War they crush it. Steve Rogers is ever the tree, rooted in his moral compass and will always act for the good of mankind, Tony Stark racked with guilt, depression and a dollop PTSD trying to save not only his friends and teammates, but himself by putting the Avengers in check with the Sokovia Accords, and both T’Challa and Zemo follow an arc of vengeance, burning with the rage of family lost yet pursue it in completely different ways. The Russo brothers flesh out these motivations and make you not only care about the characters, but also believe them and their struggles with parental themes, loss, and losing control.
While nearly flawless, there are still spots of shaky ground. Our Villain, Helmut Zemo, starts off strong with his plan as he explains his process and knowledge to a hydra agent he has captured but his second and third act sections rely heavily on suspension of disbelief and coincidence. Is this a game breaker? no of course not, but when you have a film of so many positives you can start to easily pick out the negatives, as minor as they be. Another minor gripe is actually Hawkeye, as we don’t really get his motivation in general besides a throw away comment of “I owed ya”, which again is a minor gripe. The ending of the movie is also a point of contention for me, as we have this divide at the end of the last fight, and that blow gets softened by the letter/phone that Steve leaves for Tony.
Tied in closely with the motivation is the story and how it flows. Each of the plot points weave together in a fantastic tapestry, that again merges together loss, vengeance and brotherhood. Vengeance is a very strong theme throughout the movie as we have characters who seek it for family and react to that motive of vengeance in such different ways. Black Panther on the hunt for his fathers killer, while Iron man throws away a friendship for his blinding rage but the standout vengeance story arc for me however is Zemo. I loved how he puts his plan into motion, and while convenient, really enjoyed the chess match/mastermind tactics he uses to turn the Avengers on each other. My favourite moment is when Zemo fades into the shadows as Iron man, Captain America and Winter Soldier start fighting, showing that a man with his mind, not a super villain with powers or weapons or evil super soldiers, can crush earth’s mightiest heroes. This greatness is compounded when he is sitting outside and has a quite yet powerful conversation with Black Panther and you feel his anger, his sadness, and his malicious intent to break a team of super heroes apart for a simple concept; “you killed my family and there were no consequences”.
Let’s move onto something Marvel has been doing well for a while and that is humor. The balancing act that the Russo brothers do with Comedy, Action, and Dialogue are some of the best yet, comic book or otherwise and I will give you a perfect example. . . . Spider-man. He maybe has twenty minutes in this movie, and nineteen minutes and fifty-five seconds he destroys it. His awkwardness, and quips really stand out as phenomenal pieces of dialogue. matched only by Paul Rudd’s Ant man. Another stand out comedic presence. The awkward fan-boy attitude when he meets cap, just like Spider-man, the hilarious dialogue throughout the fights, and let us not forget Giant man. Action aside Giant man is just fun and really makes the audience connect with him in every scene.
The airport scene aside, which is where Ant man and Spider-man primarily reside, there are scores of small humorous moments that are shared between all characters and while I cannot name them all, I will give a shout out to the few that stick out for me. The first and second come from Ant man and Spider man when he, Ant man, turns into Giant man and begins to lay a beat down on Team Iron man. Not three minutes later, Spider-man throws out an Empire Strikes Back reference and pulls a snow speeder maneuver to knock down Giant man is hilarious. My third stand out comedic moment, which is actually my favourite in the entire movie is when Steve kisses Sharon Carter as the team gets their gear back. As Steve turns around he see’s Bucky and Sam both slowly nodding with the “yeah buddy, get some” smirk on their face and I nearly died from choking on my drink.
The real draw to this movie however is the fights. Whether battling Crossbones in Lagos, brawling out in a Bucharest airport or trading blows in a Russian facility the Russo brothers have put together some incredibly satisfying fist-a-cuffs. As alluded to in the humor section the fighting at the airport with all of our heroes is our main set piece. What makes this so incredible is that for seventeen minutes we see superheroes fight and yet we don’t get tired or bored with it. Why you ask? Well that’s because each character actually fights three or four fights. Captain America fights Black Panther, then Warmachine, then Black Panther AND Warmachine, and finally throws down with Spider-man. Each of these ‘mini-fights’ allow the viewer to stay fresh and light while still giving each character their own space and spotlight.Talking about these fight scenes doesn’t do them as much justice as actually seeing them.
Final thoughts for Captain America Civil War is you have a movie that fires on all cylinders and does so many things right. It’s hard to find any substantial faults in this movie and wets the appetite for not only Avengers 3 and 4, but reinvigorate’s for Suicide Squad, Dr. Strange and beyond. If you haven’t seen this movie, GO SEE THIS MOVIE. If you have seen it, well go see it again because it’s damn awesome!
Thank you for reading.
Some may notice this says Re-Review, and that is because I found my initial article to be poorly written and wanted to redo it. This may not be any better, but I feel like its more concise. Thank you for reading.