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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Captain America: Civil War

Marvel pulls all the punches.

Everything that Batman v. Superman got wrong (kinda everything), Civil War gets right; story, conflict, action, comic banter, introducing new heroes, juggling a team of characters, wrestling with the implications of vigilantes, super-sized mother issues...I could go on.

It may be called Captain America: Civil War, but this is the premier Avengers movie (including the stellar 2012 film). I loved it.

The hero-versus-hero premise was always one of the most exciting ones to me as a comic book-reading kid, but BvS convinced me that a versus story wouldn't translate to the movies. That superfluous movie had some lazy Lex Luthor story with a contrived reason for a fight, but the script for Civil War has something believable at stake for each character and each team. When the heroes line up to fight, it was as like they flashed all my favorite comic book covers in front of me at once. 

For the non-comic book readers, there's plenty of comedy and entertainment to go around. Most of it comes from the superb Robert Downey Jr. 

I'm a bit worried about future Avengers movies without him. While DC introduced new characters by having Wonder Woman scroll through a computer with their logos on them (not kidding), Tony Stark winningly unveils a hero I didn't want to see again — Spider-Man. The onscreen powers of Robert Downey Jr. sold the introduction and set up a film that I would buy tickets for today. (Downey Jr. will have a mentor role in the upcoming Spider-Man film.)

Unlike BvS or Avengers: Age of Ultron, I didn't notice that it was overlong at two and a half hours. Themes of violence and vigilantism, friendships challenged and bureaucracy fill Civil War with a story that matters and drives us to a final battle of brains and brawn. What a relief from all those recent hero films where something hideous grows big at the end of the movie and heroes have to climb a tall thing to throw something special at it. 
Simply put: A marvelous edition to the top shelf of super-hero films and a rock 'em sock 'em good time at the movies.

Award potential: Not an awards film, but it's the current front runner for Best Visual FX.

The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks.

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