There will be spoilers in this, so read at your own risk.
So I went and saw a movie last night. Captain America: Civil War. I’ll be honest, I was worried this movie would be too overcrowded with characters given it’s basically the Avengers with Hulk and Thor replaced by Black Panther and Spider-Man. How will they keep this hero-heavy movie about Captain America? Well, by creating believable character arcs and not wasting your time.
This is not going to be a beat for beat review, you don’t want that and I don’t want to write that. I will instead just talk about the things I like and the things I dislike about the film. If you are looking for a recommendation and who should go see this, well, that’s easy. If you like Super-Hero movies, then go see it. It’s a fantastic Super-Hero film.
Things that worked for this movie:
- Black Panther – I’ll be honest, I have never been a Black Panther fan. I thought he was lame. I didn’t “get” why he was a character, nor did I care. I’ve only ever read him in a few comics and he always seemed like “the black guy” in the comic. Not the “token” black guy, but more like the “let’s make an African Black guy” thing. He just didn’t interest me at all. Well, in this movie he is a very interesting character. Not only is he cool as hell looking, his fighting style is pretty bad ass. I feel like he was naturally woven into the story and his presence was very much an addition to a large and vast story. I look forward to his solo movie, something I couldn’t have said a few months ago.
- Spider-Man – The big new addition to the MCU. Everyone wants to know how he was handled. He was in two scenes, but the two scenes he was in felt very natural. Tom Holland did a fantastic job. His quips where on point. He was a young kid out to prove himself and very new to the game. They vaguely discussed his origin in a way that anyone who knows the origin got a super condensed version of it but it also wasn’t played out. His interactions with the other Avengers was really well executed and he generally felt like a good addition to the movie. I still think they shouldn’t have shown him in that trailer because his big reveal in the movie would have been that much more awesome. I was worried that the “underoos!” scene would feel out of place in the movie but it sort of made sense. There was a real reason for Spider-Man to flip in like that.
- The Winter Soldier – Bucky Barnes. The Winter Soldier. Man, I dunno why but I’ve never been a big fan of his. Maybe I just thought the whole idea of Hydra taking Cap’s old sidekick and turning him into a milling machine for some reason, and some how making him immortal (it’s probably explained in The Winter Soldier, but I don’t remember that movie very well) was never really appealing to me. Somehow in this movie I really felt for him. I really felt bad for him. He didn’t want to be a bad guy and it seemed like he remembered everything he did, and was truly troubled by it. This gave his character so much more depth.
Some things that didn’t work for this movie:
- Tony’s reasons for the final fight – I get it, Tony is all butt hurt Bucky killed his mommy and daddy. However, Tony is smart enough to know that Bucky, as The Winter Soldier, was brainwashed and being used as a weapon. He didn’t just kill them in cold blood, he was conditioned to do it. This was essentially this movies Martha’s moment.
- Tony’s reason to get Spider-Man – Don’t get me wrong, Spidey was awesome in this movie. But when Tony and Natasha are talking and she says “we are severely under-staffed” and he goes all “I’ve got an idea!” with absolutely NO indication prior in the movie that the web-head even existed, even though we find out he’s been active for 6 months. I felt this was a little forced. Once we saw Peter and everything it was fine, felt natural and fit, it’s just that one little bit that I feel wasn’t done as well as it could have been.
- Black Panthers unwillingness to just listen to someone – As with ALL superhero fights, if they just talked it would be a freakin’ problem. “Hey Panther, it wasn’t Bucky, it was an imposter!” “Oh, ok. Carry on then”
I genuinely loved this movie and look forward to seeing it again. Next for the MCU is Doctor Strange, which I wonder how it will tie into the universe, if at all, it it’s stand alone movie. We shall see.