MOVIE REVIEW: Title misleading, but new Cap movie is top-notch
As the senior comic-book geek on staff (soon to be 48 years young), I never miss a Marvel/DC movie (with the exception of Ant-man, sorry Sam).
With that said, I was looking forward to Captain America – Civil War with more anticipation than possibly any other movie in the modern history of the genre.
The Captain America pics have been the gem of the recent Marvel movement, with amazing character development, spellbinding action, and a genuine understanding of the history and humanity of the character. Unlike some of the other offerings, they have not become lost in endless action at the expense of the players themselves.
This movie continues the “win” streak for Marvel and could genuinely challenge for the title of “Best superhero movie ever” (though I personally think Dark Knight was better, though it was a far different movie).
Without giving anything away, this movie gives true Marvel fans everything they could possibly ask for.
The action is relentless, but necessary at all times to advance the story. The character development is very interesting, with some back-and-forth’s between characters continuing from previous encounters, while others are established as new heroes meet each other for the very first time.
Loyalties are challenged, the battle lines are drawn and re-drawn, and never do you think for a moment the conclusion reached by the writers is unbelievable given the “world-view” of the people involved in the story.
What Civil-War does better than perhaps any of the Marvel movies before it is explore several levels of emotion with the same character. While we have seen the Hulk be conflicted or Iron Man be arrogant one moment and then self-doubting the next, we rarely have seen a wide-range of emotions within a character.
Chris Evans (as Captain America himself) is always at the forefront in Civil-War, and as he works his way through the challenges you can almost feel his doubt, sadness, anger and eventually resolve as the story plays out.
Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man is even more conflicted and he drags you along effortlessly through a roller-coaster of emotions that doesn’t stop even as the movie is ending.
Supporting characters are just as interesting, and while they can’t get the same screen-time they are never relegated to one-dimensional props. They show compassion, respect for their enemies, thought over the consequence of their actions, and genuine concern not just for themselves and their friends, but for the people caught in the crossfire.
The only real “misleading” part is the title, which is supposed to mean the movie was derived from the comic of the same name (which is one of the all-time classics in modern Marvel lore).
SPOILER ALERT (kinda) – While it is based on the book, it bears little resemblance to the original with the exception of the focus on the two main characters leading the conflict. As a result, it is actually far superior to the book (rare for any movie) because of the focus on the “personal touch” and the genuine interactions between characters as opposed to just page after page of mind-blowing action.
By providing a better focus on a smaller list of (different) characters, Civil War actually exceeds its source material by making you feel the conflict involved on several levels and not just the visceral one.
I would say it should therefore be called Captain America –civil war (small “c” and not large C), because it’s more of a small-scale conflict and isn’t really the same story at all, but that may just be me being overly critical. Sam would expect no less.
It’s a thoroughly enjoyable movie – 9.5 out of 10 (where Dark Knight was a 10).
FINAL NOTE – Sam will be pleased to know that I will now go back and watch the Ant-man movie. The addition of his character (and several others) was genuinely interesting and sparks new interest in his solo project.
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