Captain America: Civil War provides an excellent start to “Phase 3” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here are the parts we loved:
1) The Scope (#ItsAllConnected)
The MCU is huge. And although Thor and Hulk are noticeably absent from this go-around, don’t let the ‘Captain America’ in the title fool you; Civil War is essentially a third Avengers movie. The regular players like Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man are present, and even Ant-Man joins the fun. Minor players like Rhodey and Falcon get enough screen time. Scarlet Witch and Vision (the newbies from Age of Ultron) get some much needed character development. And the story spans the globe, from Berlin to Queens.
2) Humor (Unlike BvS)
This years other “hero vs hero” flick, Batman v Superman, was undeniably dark, and not in a good way. Aside from a literal piss joke, there was no comic relief. In keeping with tradition, this Marvel movie has just the right amount of hilarity to break the tension, while still creating high stakes for the characters. This mostly comes in the form of Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, and Tom Holland as Spider-Man (!!!).
3) A Perfect Panther and Parker
Chadwick Boseman is about to break ground when he stars in the first black-led Marvel superhero movie in 2018. So it’s nice that Black Panther got his introduction on the big screen in Civil War. He’s mysterious and violent hero, obsessed with claiming vengeance until he finds inner peace. But even better was Tom Holland as Spidey. Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield were solid as the web-slinger, but this is the first time we get a truly great Peter Parker as well. He’s the right age (high school), nerdy, and funny. Fans can rest easy, because Holland delights and steals the show.
4) That Airport Battle
The all-out brawl between Team Iron Man and Team Cap about halfway through was the highlight of the movie for me. This scene contain enough action for the whole film. The individual fights were great, and it was interesting to see Wanda could take almost everyone out. When Scott became Giant-Man, our theater cheered. Black Widow switching sides at the last minute was something many saw coming, but still felt natural to the story. Of course, as New Yorkers, TV and City’s favorite line was the exchange between Cap and Spidey. “Where ya from kid?” “Queens.” “Brooklyn.”
5) Can’t Pick A Side
While I’m still “Team Cap,” this film adaption wasn’t as clear cut with its moral questions as the comic books. Should the UN have full control of the Avengers’ missions? Both sides have good points, although Tony is mostly acting out of guilt. Scenes discussing the Sokovia Accords really get the audience thinking about theoretical issues, proving superhero movies can be more than just action.
6) Open Ended, Yet Still Satisfying
Captain America: Civil War ends with the Avengers separated, and no concrete resolution between the main characters. Yet it’s still a satisfying conclusion, and you’ll feel like you’ve gotten your time’s worth. This chapter of the MCU is closed, and with Doctor Strange hitting cinemas this November, it looks like we’re heading in a very different direction.
Now, for what could’ve been better:
Like so many of the MCU villains before him, Zemo is lackluster. This particular time it’s okay, because the main conflict here is Steve vs Tony. Still, a huge departure from Zemo’s comic book origin/power was not the way to go.
You know a movie was amazing when you can’t find more than one thing you disliked…