Unless your life has been stricken with a series of unfortunate and likely self-induced setbacks, you’re certainly well aware that the next “make-all-of-the-money” Marvel Blockbuster Captain America: Civil War is on its way to the big screen.
Civil War follows in a suspiciously coincidental trend of movies and series involving our favorite characters fighting each other for one reason or another. Good guys battling it out for some altruistic ideology, bad guys teaming up to form some kind of Suicide Squad thing…You get the idea.
In full disclosure, I’ve been a fan of mostly all of the Marvel franchise and, yet, was not intoxicated with anticipation for Civil War. I loved the Civil War comic book story arc, but didn’t see it playing out in film with the same impact.
However, as soon as Spider-Man was confirmed to make an appearance, and more-so when Spidey made a cameo in the trailer, I was sold.
Despite this film taking place after 8 years (can you believe it?!) of MARVELmake-em-ups, starting with Jon Favreau’s IRON MAN in 2008, two Captain America standalone pictures, and two Avengers “the gang’s all here” epics, somehow Captain America: Civil War seems fresh.
It will likely go down as one of the better super-hero comic book films ever made. But it does suffer from what Larry David may refer to as “a bit much.”
That is to say, there is a lot going on action-wise, locations galore, and a metric shit-ton of characters. Although I have to say, I’m not a huge Black Panther fan, and this movie made me love Chadwick Boseman’s portrayal of the character. I’m excited to see more from him.
The plot is relatively uncomplicated, and it has been a long time coming, since the first Avengers movie: The United States feels conflicted about the destructive behavior of masked vigilantes around the globe and seeks to reign in their ability to act without the consent of the US Government.
Cap sees this as a conflict of interest, making him a tool for US foreign policy and NOT necessarily a righteous hero acting simply to “save the little guy.” While Iron Man sees this as a necessary compromise in lieu of the death and destruction the Avengers have inadvertently caused or attracted to Earth.
In this way, Civil War is a direct follow up to the Avengers movies, but as aCaptain America title, it also functions as a continuation of Winter Soldier, making Bucky Barnes the central figure that everyone is getting antsy over. The Winter Soldier is an unpredictable killing machine, and only Captain America seems to be able to reign him in.
It’s a story about a ongoing friendship between two CENTENARIANS and their struggles with power and influence. Simply put. Sorta like J. Edgar. But with a Spider-Man.
Oh, and there’s plenty of Spider-Man to go around.
Without giving anything away that fans won’t know already, Spider-Man/Peter Parker plays a large role in the comic version of Civil War. It is his first modern “unmasking” as the circumstances in the comics are slightly different than this movie. In the film, however, Spider-Man appears rather inexplicably as an already-established hero that Tony Stark is fully aware of.
Stark knows his secret identity and essentially blackmails him into joining his super-hero teen girl squad. Which Parker/Spidey does, caught up between his adoration for the Big-Boy Heroes and his desire to fight for what’s “right.”
The largest take-away from this movie will undoubtedly be the epic fight scenes. You’ll go nuts for the Winter Soldier, Black Panther, Captain America chase scene where Bucky puts a man in traction to pull off the coolest motorcycle-steal ever.
And if that wasn’t enough, the scene we’ve all seen teased in the trailers, the all-out fight scene at the airport will absolutely blow you away (if you’re into non-stop Spidey quips, heroic jabs at Spidey’s childlike rambling, and a humongous surprise from Ant-Man…sorry, couldn’t resist).
The movie is long, but never drags, crowded, but never seems to suffer all that much from it, and creates a simplistic but complete understanding of where each character’s emotional and moral stake is planted.
Captain America: Civil War has all of the elements of a classic and all of the goodies to boost its box office above its predecessors.
Alex Gross (@NerdyPodcast)