So it has finally arrived. One of the most anticipated Marvel films of the last couple of years: Captain America Civil War. Here’s my take on the film from a spoiler-FREE perspective, to help you decide if you want to go watch it on the big screen yourself.
Please note that while this piece does not contain plot spoilers, it will contain spoilers presented in any marketing material, so I will be referencing trailers, posters, as well as TV spots.
What it got right
Earlier this month I did a review for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and while the release of Captain America: Civil War in the same year as BvS had fanboys around the web writhing in their desk chairs about the competition, I was not on the bandwagon. I try and wait for a film to hit the screens, and check it out before I develop opinions.
Obviously with the amount of press such a big film gets, you’re bound to consume some of the marketing material and develop an opinion before you go in. After the let-down that was Batman v Superman, I needed Civil War to be a win, to make up for the wasted hype, and it delivered.
The story is strong, and makes sense even with all the fighting, destruction and ill-informed character decisions. Those ill-informed decisions make them more human, which every superhero writer (comic or film) knows to be the goal: to make someone who is not really human, more human and relateable to audiences, so that we see ourselves in them.
But the most anticipated for many people who have read the Civil War saga, would have to be Black Panther, who seems to get caught up in the middle of it all.
Black Panther is really well portrayed by MCU newcomer, Chadwick Boseman. I had my gripes with the somewhat aloof representation of Africa in the film, but at the very least they identified individual countries on the continent. Black Panther’s native language in the film is another story altogether though, but I won’t get into that right now.
Black Panther will be getting a standalone film in 2018, with Creed director, Ryan Coogler at the helm. It’s probably my most anticipated Marvel film in the near future.
This is very closely tied to the elements of story that I mentioned above, and I even touched on the topic there. However, I think this deserves a little bit more attention, considering the nature of the narrative. Its very difficult to pit two of the MCU’s most-loved characters against one another, especially when audiences have seen them fight side by side in the past. It’s difficult to not only source their motivations, but convey them in a believable manner to the audience. And don’t even get me started on doing this for an ensemble.
Well done to the writers and producers for getting this right in the condensed version of a rather lengthy comic book saga.
Another thing I mentioned about Batman V Superman (yes fanboys, you can attack me if that makes you feel better) in our latest podcast episode for the BTG MovieCast, is that in that film, people do things for no reason, or just to move the script forward.
In Civil War we have a bunch of characters whose motivations are presented one at a time, and we see the layers being added on by the consequences of their life experiences. It’s quite an enjoyable thing to watch unfold.
What it got wrong
Oh man, while they hit the nail on the head with motivations, the film misses a few big swings covered in the saga, especially with regard to Black Panther and Spider-Man.
For obvious reasons, I can’t delve into these details, but I will cover this in a later piece, or perhaps add a link to this article for more information in future.
It’s way too long
Captain America: Civil War is 2 hours and 27 minutes long. Look, I’m all for good films that are lengthy. I’d watch a 3 hour Tarantino film any day. The problem is that this is a superhero movie, and while they crammed a ton of characters and moments in here, I felt the fatigue setting in eventually.
A lot of work is put into the motivations, and showing the villain’s plan unveil itself piece by piece, but the film had one too many set-pieces that didn’t actually include enough of the Avengers (and friends) to be entertaining enough to watch.
I know you were expecting a third point about what’s wrong with this film, but to be honest I don’t have one. It’s actually a damn good film, and I think you should go and see it. If you can, go and see it in IMAX 3D, like I did, as the spectacle is worth the time and money.
Are you going to see Captain Ameria Civil War? If you’ve already seen it, let us know your thoughts, and don’t forget to share this post.
Check out the trailer for Captain America: Civil War below:
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