Believe the hype. Captain America: Civil War delivers every “Holy Shit!” moment you were hoping for in an Avengers movie. And this is a Captain America film (mostly)!
There will be NO SPOILERS in this review; no exact plot points, no surprises ruined, no twists revealed, no characters’ greatest moments exposed. Just the broad strokes here, kiddies, because I want you to enjoy this film as much as I did. If it wasn’t in the trailer, I won’t discuss it here (there will be one minor spoiler, but I’ll warn you… and be as ambiguous as possible). It may make for a very short review, but all you really want me to do is confirm that Civil War is as great as everyone else is saying it is.And IT IS! Good Lord, this movie delivers on every level. I had very high hopes going in, and I can’t say I was ever disappointed.
It is hard to answer if Civil War is better than Marvel’s old reigning champ, Captain America: Winter Soldier, but that’s because they are very different films. Plus, if I consider both movies 5 Star Films, does it really make a difference which is better? Winter Soldier was a tighter, more contained movie – a 70’s-esque Thriller – while Civil War is a sprawling epic, hitting more parts of the globe and carrying the weight of more characters than even Avengers: Age of Ultron. Yet it works better, much better than Ultron. Civil War does keep that Captain America focus, spending less time with the other heroes than with Captain America and Bucky “The Winter Soldier” Barnes, but really is more of a full Avengers adventure, sans Hulk and Thor. If you’re reading this, you know enough of the plot that I don’t need to say much of anything else. What I will say though, is that Civil War delivers more “I feel like I need to stand up and clap because I never thought I’d see that scene/character/moment so beautifully realized in a film” than any Marvel Cinematic Universe film before it. There are shots/scenes/moments in this film that are the most exciting you’ve seen since the unbelievable occurrence in 2o12 when the Avengers actually assembled in one movie! If The Avengers will always be remembered for bringing together different heroes with their own films onto one team, then Civil War will go down as the MCU movie that fully realizes the full potential of EVERY Avenger present, nearly always exceeding expectations. Powers you’ve never seen them use, skills highlighted in a way the other films have not, and personality shining through in characters that you could have previously accused of being one dimensional. It’s everyone from Hawkeye & Falcon as you’ve never seen him before, to Ant Man as you’ve never seen him before! Really, a stellar evolution to even the characters you already knew were bad-ass.
Avengers: Age of Ultron, you’ve been out Avenger’ed by a film with Captain America in the title. Civil War isn’t nearly as dark as Winter Soldier, even when funnier characters like Spider-Man and Ant-Man don’t populate the screen. The tone is lighter, though the plot is just as serious as an MCU film ever was, with poignant moments that may be among the most gut-wrenching in any superhero film. While I have Spider-Man brought up though, let’s just say he’s the most amazing (reference to original comic intended) iteration of the character, again, living up to all expectations (like everything else… I keep telling you!).
In this way, Captain America: Civil War avoids all the pitfalls of Batman V Superman, a movie with a similar premise but much lower IQ. Even Batman V Superman‘s greatest strengths are eclipsed by Civil War. I’m not biased, Batman is my favorite comic book character, but even his shining moments in BvS don’t touch the excitement produced by Civil War‘s spectacle; both in character moments and those action scenes you CAN NOT BELIEVE you’ve seen!The one comparison to Batman V Superman I will make, and this is the only MINOR SPOILER, is the villain behind the warring heroes. Unlike Lex Luthor, the baddie pulling the strings in Civil War is subtle and incredibly clever. You never question the logic of the plan he has put into action and the twists he throws into the film. Minimal Spoiler Over!
I really don’t know what else to say except… If you like the MCU, YOU WILL LOVE THIS FILM! I didn’t notice a single missed opportunity.
With directors of this film and Winter Solider, Joe and Anthony Russo, also at the helm of the Phase 3 ending film, Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1 & 2, all is well in the Marvel Universe.
DC, you best step up your game… and fast!
And yes, there is an amazing Community cameo in this film, just like Winter Soldier (but better!).