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Captain America: Civil War Worth Seeing

Last night I saw the latest Superhero movie out in theaters, Captain America: Civil War. Overall, I thought the movie was well done and worth seeing, despite some of its shortcomings.

Let’s examine the positives first. Special effects and action sequences were both top-notch. The movie was fast-paced and didn’t derail itself too much by trying to be something that it wasn’t: a superhero action flick. It was also peppered with humorous comments and dialog, which made it a much more fun movie to watch versus a film like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Being one of those old people who used to read about these comic book characters when he was a child, I still love seeing them brought to the big screen. If Civil War would have come out when I was a kid, my head would have literally exploded. This movie definitely gets an A on the “cool” scale (and, despite the ton of violence, it’s ok for kids, I think, since none of the violence is very visceral).

civilwarThere were also some nice additions to the normal complement of heroes in this film. I won’t give away all the surprises, but since it’s been pretty widely advertised, I will say that the inclusion of Spiderman was one of the best parts of the film. There was one aspect of his storyline that I didn’t like as much, but I’ll save that for later. Spiderman was hilarious and well acted and impressive as a hero. In fact, his role was so good as well as comical, that he almost overshadowed the rest of what was going on (we’ll get to that later, too). I’m looking forward to a standalone movie with this new Spidey. I think “they” finally got him right.

Another already-revealed addition to the lineup was T’Challa, the Black Panther. I was impressed with the human and the superhero acting from Chadwick Boseman, and I’m a lot more interested in seeing a movie featuring him than I thought I would be.

Speaking of the normal heroes, it was good to see Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans as Iron Man and Captain America, respectively. They were their usual excellent selves, but they’ve become almost too comfortable as their super counterparts, perhaps. Or maybe, I’m a little tired of watching them. Not sure.

Now on to the negatives. As usual, I’ll do my best to make my points while staying away from any spoilers.

First off, I know this was billed as a Captain America story and that Cap and Bucky’s relationship (The Winter Soldier) was at the center of the storyline, but really, this was an Avengers movie to everyone else. And without Thor or the Hulk, it felt like the group was missing its heavy hitters.

Along the same lines, let’s talk plot. I didn’t read the entire run of Civil War comics, so I won’t be able to say how much the movie was true to the original plot line. However! I think the movie fell short of the gravitas such a split between these heroes was meant to entail.

There are two main plots/conflicts in this movie. First is the story of Bucky, Captain America’s old fighting buddy and friend. As per the Winter Soldier movie, Bucky was turned into a bad-guy version of a super soldier who is not always in control of himself, and there’s been and continues to be a struggle between Cap being the good guy and Steve Rogers (Cap’s real name) being friends with Bucky.

The second major conflict is an internal division among the Avengers (with some other heroes thrown if for good measure and to beef up the two sides). The governments of the world see the the Avengers as being too powerful to not have some kind of oversight. As such, the UN proposes some new legislation to keep them in check. Iron Man agrees, while Captain America doesn’t. Different heroes go to Cap’s side, and others support Iron Man. That’s what the movie is supposed to be about.

However, just setting up that conflict without an inciting incident would have resulted in a movie called Civil Disagreement. So, the movie makers used the first conflict (with Cap and Bucky) to give us a spark that set the whole war into motion. Unfortunately, as I was watching the amazing action on the screen, I found myself trying to remember (more than once) exactly WHY they were all fighting so violently against each other. Yeah, yeah, I know they disagree about whether the UN should have control over them or not, but it didn’t ring true for that disagreement alone to be enough to make some of them do what they did to each other and to go to such lengths to do it.

Now, back to my point about gravitas. The uber story was about this war between superheroes, but to fit that kind of story into a single movie, turned it into a few all out fight scenes between costumed super people. Don’t get me wrong. Visually, I loved watching this. But my adult need for a well-done meta plot wasn’t satisfied.

Since I found it difficult to stay on point as far as why these super friends (lol) were trying to kill each other, I got a little tired of the somewhat contrived testosterone-driven fight scenes, where former buddies were really trying to hurt one another.

Enough said about that. I must remember, also, that this was just a superhero movie, despite its attempts at being social and political commentary.

Instead, let’s start wrapping up with Spiderman, I have only one thing negative to say about his inclusion. So as not to give anything away, let me put it this way.

Aunt Mae? No.

Now for a couple of remaining tidbits. There are two additional scenes, one during, and one after the credits. Stay for them both. Lastly, one of the absolute best parts of the movie was the inclusion of the Dr. Strange trailer before the movie started. I’m excited about seeing that when it comes out as well.

To sum up, the Avengers…oops, I mean, Captain America: Civil War is worth seeing and will make any comic book lover pretty giddy. Watching it on the big screen alone is worth the price of admission. At the same, I thought the Winter Soldier movie was a lot tighter and more powerful as an actual story. Regardless, I hope you enjoy Captain America: Civil War as much as I did.

 

 

 

 

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