Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Captain America Civil War
Captain America Civil War is quite the movie. There's a lot packed into it and it really gets you thinking about the choices these characters make. To summarize in a nutshell, Captain america and Iron Man find themselves on opposite sides of an issue- should superheroes be regulated by the government? The issue comes up because of the civilian casualties that always seem to occur when the Avengers are in action- and things get exacerbated when the Winter Soldier is implicated in an attack. Cap stands by his friend Bucky/ Winter Soldier and also opposes the registration, while Iron Man supports the government plan.
This of course leads to Avenger vs Avenger. Are you #teamCap or #teamIronMan? Well you can make a pretty good argument for both, but before I go any further- this is a spoilery review so read at your own risk if you have not seen the movie yet. Okay so who's right? Well, it's complicated. Frankly I think the pro- registration / Iron Man side has a lot in its favor in the early going- it makes sense for these superpowered individuals to be held accountable, right? Well yeah- but invariably the government will overstep or make mistakes, and sure enough- that happens. In Tony's case he admits that he makes a big mistake towards the end- so I ended up feeling validated in my case for TeamCap.
So how's the movie? Great. That pretty much sums it up- I really think the Russo brothers are the ebst thing to happen to the Marvel movies. Not only did they knock Winter Soldier out of the park a few years ago, they nailed this one too. There are very few missteps here, and I liked that this one felt less bogged down in politics than Winter Soldier. For a movie as packed as this one, everyone gets a moment to shine too. I give them a lot of credit, they have a lot of balls to juggle and they drop very few.
The other thing that makes this work is the humor. At one point Bucky and Falcon are in a car and Bucky asks Falcon to move his seat up. Falcon says no and the next scene you see Bucky sliding over in the back to have more room. It's done well, and moments later when Cap and Sharon Carter kiss they both see it from the car- and the look on their faces when Cap sees them is priceless. In a movie full of explosions and stuff flying around, that may have been my favorite moment. It's nice seeing Cap and Bucky working together too- I'm glad this movie was able to mostly wrap up the Winter Soldier storyline even though not everything is resolved.
That was my biggest fear- when news broke a year or two ago that this movie would have almost all the Avengers in it (and with Tony practically a co- star) I was afraid the Winter Soldier arc would get short shrift. Somehow they managed to thread the needle and do both- give us Avengers 2.5 but still make it all about Winter Soldier. Kudos to the Russo's for pulling that off. The plot mostly works and the film is well paced given its 2 hour plus run time. Lots of people are saying this is the best Marvel movie, the best superhero movie- for my money, I agree.
So... how do the Avengers fare? Here's my take. In no particular order- I think Scarlet Witch is becoming one of my favorite Avengers, she's well played by Elizabeth Olsen. I like the grief she shows when she makes a mistake, I like her burgeoning relationship with Vision, and she just works. She's powerful too, making a huge difference at the airport fight. I thought Falcon punched above his weight in this one, he was all over the place and they obviously went to lengths to make him stand out. Vision was great in his scenes but was MIA at the airport fight- everyone was scrapping and changing opponents and he disappeared for a huge chunk of that battle. I know he's so powerful he could tip the scales easily, but they needed to do better at showing where he went.
Black Panther was good here and Chadwick Boseman has that role well in hand. He was regal but determined and is a great addition. Spider Man I was less impressed with- all the reviews are gushing over him but I was underwhelmed. I thought he was played up too much, taking out more experienced players sometimes too easily, and his airport fight moves were obviously CGI in a film that otherwise felt mostly realistic. Burt I'm not a huge Spider Man fan anyway so I don't see the appeal. I thought Iron Man was oddly ineffective in that fight- for someone with his power level he didn't seem to be a player.
So who am I missing? Oh, Ant Man. Nice touch when he was inside Iron Man's armor pulling wires and generally causing havoc. He was fun. I would have liked to see Bucky kick a little more butt but he did have some moments- the hallway fight scene where he and Cap were trying to escape in Germany was probably his moment to shine and he shows why he's the lethal assassin he is. Good stuff.
So... tell me what you think. Who worked and who didn't for you? Did the airport battle live up to the hype? And are you TeamCap or TeamIronMan? Sound off in the comments.