Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Movie Review: Avengers 3: Civil War (Ok fine, Captain America: Civil War)

by Dan Moore
@Southie Danimal

This is 100% an Avengers movie. The sheer amount of characters, the world-spanning plot and overall chaos it brings to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is far too vast for a Cap movie alone. It deals with loose ends left over from Winter Soldier but its main story arc is a result of Age of Ultron.

Avengers 3.  Just call it what it is.

Now here comes the hyperbole: This is the greatest superhero movie ever made. And I’ve seen them all. Christ, I saw the ORIGINAL Captain America, with JD Salinger’s son in the starring role.

Captain Suit-Obviously-Made-of-Rubber

So I have some idea of what I’m talking about. And this has it all. Big action sequences, an intriguing mystery aspect, and costumed dudes punching other costumed dudes in the face. Plus, there is true emotion behind all these characters. They’re all wearing lycra spandex and masks, but these are real, fleshed out characters. Even when they weren’t slugging each other, I was never bored with this movie. It kept my attention the whole time.

CA:CW has essentially the same plot as the other big superhero movie released this year, Batman v Superman. Mainly, the two main heroes don’t particularly get along too well and are divided against each other because of massive casualties that resulted from them saving the world.  But unlike BvS, which pigeonholed this plot into one overly long flick, the drama between Cap and Iron Man has been brewing for three or four movies at this point. Their conflict feels more natural. It helps that you have an actor of Robert Downey Jr’s caliber in the Iron Man role. You can feel his PTSD in this and the last Iron Man flick. He’s truly a changed man.

There’s a TON of stuff in this flick, so I’m breaking it down into categories.


---Easily the best depiction of Spider-Man put to screen ever. It’s no contest. Marvel NAILS the Peter Parker character in the half hour or so of screen time he has in a way Sony couldn’t do in five movies. A ton of credit goes to Tom Holland. He’s perfect. He’s young, he’s funny and he totally encapsulates the role of Spider-Man. Probably the best part of the movie was seeing this take on Spider-Man. I loved it.

---This movie has the greatest super hero battle ever put to film. I’m telling you, it’s an insanely magnificent scene. The various Avengers, each on a different side of whether to align fully with the government, beat the hell out of each other for what feels like about  35 minutes of screen time. It’s everything a superhero battle should be. Innovative attacks, heroes using their powers in new, impressive ways and the moments of levity help the tone of this out-and-out war (There’s especially one giant, awesome, incredible part of this battle that I won’t give away, but suffice to say, once it happened, it was impossible to keep my pants loose).

---There’s a mystery subplot you kinda don’t see coming at you. I figured it out a bit in the middle and the resolution is truly gratifying. I won’t spoil it here, but it really brings this Civil War full circle.

---The new heroes introduced are solid additions to the MCU. As mentioned before, Spidey kills it, and the Black Panther is a cool-looking new hero. His introduction is a tad rushed (They don’t even say his name when we first meet him), but his actions and motivations make plenty of sense. He’s not shoehorned into this flick.

---The acting is, as usual, excellent across the board. Marvel really hit paydirt with all the excellent thespians they have playing their heroes.

THE NOT SO GREAT (I refuse to have a Bad category. There’s nothing bad in this movie)

---They don’t really use the Vision properly. This is essentially a God-like character, and all they really have him do is transport himself through walls and cook soup. Seems like a missed opportunity.

---The bad guy in this, if you wanna call him that, isn’t really a character. Just a Russian stereotype. Actually, villains in most of the Marvel flicks have been the Achilles heels of the series. Besides Loki, none of them are too memorable. I mean, I love Mickey Rourke, but Whiplash sucked. I don’t even remember the bad guy from Thor: The Dark World. They’ve all been blech.

---Steve Rogers’ incessant defense of his friend Bucky is getting a tad ridiculous. Dude, face it, your pal is an unrepentant killer. Sure, he’s been programmed by Hydra to be like that. But seriously, all your problems in the last two movies have been because of this asshole. WAKE UP CAP!

---As with all the superhero movies nowadays, it’s LOOONNNG. It’s not as noticeable as BvS or The Dark Knight Rises, but there’s at least two sequences we coulda done without.

If you haven’t, go see this immediately.  It’s an amazing spectacle of a superhero movie. It’s the apex of the Marvel Universe, and honestly, I don’t know how a superhero movie can be better. Legit the best I’ve ever seen (and yes, I even watched the Roger Corman-made Fantastic Four).

Looks like a family portrait with the weird uncle

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