The event movie of the year. So in the wake of all the acts of destruction that wraps up pretty much every single movie in this universe, the public and the government demand that all superheroes sign a registration act, with the conceit behind it being that clearance must be given before they go ahead and fight villains in major metropolitan areas. Not everybody sees eye to eye on this, and it isn’t long before all heroes must pick a side. Even if you don’t follow this universe, or even if you don’t follow movies in general, there is no way that Civil War is not on your radar. Everybody’s talking about this, and rightfully so: it’s damn cool that it has all come to this, and this is sure to give you that same feeling that you got when you watched the first Avengers.
In this case, I’m team Cap.
Even without checking, I am certain that this has already been said in other reviews, but I can’t help but compare this to Batman v Superman. In both universes, the extent of the collateral damage has been extremely high whenever the superheroes hit the scene to “save the day”. While DC dismisses it with a few offhanded comments, Marvel has the gall to actually sit down and have debates about it, so much so that it makes up a big chunk of the movie, about a third of the runtime I would say. It’s a conversation that needed to be had, so I am actually okay with them slowing down the pace to have this extensive discourse. It makes it feel more grounded in reality, because this is something that should have already happened a while back. But this is still a comic book movie that you are paying money to see cool stuff in, which brings us to the next item: the action.
It’s not just a bunch of people in costumes sprinting through a parking lot, I promise.
You will know it when you see it, but the action sequence that hits around the 100 minute mark is nothing short of amazing. It is fully realized and just overflowing with creativity. Everybody is present for a reason, and every single hero gets not one, but multiple moments in a fight that isn’t resolved in measly 4 minutes (like in Batman v Superman), but lasts a solid 10 – 15 minutes. It’s extremely well filmed, and you can tell exactly why is happening at every moment. It’s so spectacular, you are sure to wish that the theater had some sort of instant replay feature where you could immediately just watch it over again. The sequence is not only the standout segment of the film, but arguably the standpoint piece to the entire Marvel Universe so far.
Which is definitely saying something.
Unlike Avengers 2, Civil War pulls off its juggling act and never feels too crowded, even in the face of having such an extensive line-up, as well as introducing two new characters. I haven’t seen Tom Holland before, but I think he’s perfect for Spider-Man and he owns the part without them having to take the time with another origins story. Chadwick Boseman is also a talented actor, and he makes for a great addition to this story as Black Panther. Marvel keeps building this universe up, and I thought that they may be reaching the bursting point with Ultron, but they’ve really brought it back with Civil War, showing that they still have so much more to bring to the table.
Captain America: Civil War (2016) ****
– Critic for Hire