Review: ‘Captain America: Civil War’

Captain America: Civil WarI’m fan-girling out all over this one. Except…

Let me give you some insights into my movie-reviewing process: I go, I sit down with my snack, a notepad, and my thinking cap (buh-dum-TING), and I watch, analytically. I watch the set pieces, I watch for symbolism, I tear down character juxtaposition, and  I break out in some highfalutin, hyper-pretentious flow state where I am the seer of all metaphor, the collector of all inference. I am the all-knowing, all-perceiving man.

Yeah, not at this one. I was all-in, completely committed the moment this was announced. I’ve been watching the clock, counting the days, notching little marks on a wall in my mind, just counting this down. I was so amazed by The Russo Brothers’ ‘Winter Soldier’ that this announcement was nothing but good. There was no way this could go wrong. Whedon had been usurped as Master and Commander of the Marvel Cinema Universe ship, and the Brothers Russo now had the bow. I’ve been biased to this movie since the first days of its announcement, and even more once Ant-Man worked out from its directing fiasco.

Since it’s only Thursday, and the movie doesn’t *officially* drop until tomorrow, I’ll just drop some over-arching feelings I had about the movie, and let you work from there:

  • I was never a Captain America fan in the comics. I always felt it was too jingoistic. Much like many things in my life, I’ve learned the problem is me, not the comic. Chris Evans has made him real, and made him wonderful to me.
  • In the first 10 minutes, this movie was already better than anything DC has cranked out this summer.
  • They wasted a great villian early.
  • Wanda Maximoff is just…getting…started.
  • The Vision may be my new favorite MCU character.
  • Scratch that; make that T’Challa.
  • Act 1: Where’s Zemo’s helmet? Act 3: Ahhhhhh, gotcha.
  • Hello. My name is Peggy. How may I help you?
  • They cast the perfect Peter Parker.
  • The fight in the German airport was straight amazing and beat that stupid Zach Snyder fight a few weeks ago.
  • To quote a friend’s love of this scene: “I’m sorry! I thought it was a water truck!”
  • I may have been caught up, but I genuinely did not see Act 3 coming, though, in hindsight, it set everything up.  I completely should have seen it come, especially with what I know about the characters involved. I was caught up, and I love that I was.
  • The ending is brutal and iconic, but not in all the ways you (I) was expecting.
  • “Tony Stank.”
  • Remember kids: there are two after-credit scenes. Stay for both to get the full experience.

That’s just reflective of everything I can think of off-the-cuff. It wasn’t the comic book, only tried for about 5 minutes to be the comic book, then took off as an international thriller. It succeeded wildly… though, as I reflect on it:

There really wasn’t any reason for Spider-Man to have to be in the movie. While he’s awesome, the story doesn’t hinge on him, like the comics so heavily do. As I consider it, it was more a fan-service requirement to the title to keep us from thinking it was ‘Civil War’ in title alone. Odd, as I think about it.

Still, amazing movie. Total fan service, and you’ll find a deeper message about civil disobedience, and the rights of governments to control citizens, weapons, etc. As a Marvel Comics acolyte, I needed none of that in my day to love this movie. Fans and filthy casuals alike are in for a treat.

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