Everything in my last long review will be personal, not just to the franchise but also to my blogging experience for the past six years. I’m an MCU follower who loves the Avengers, Iron Man and Winter Soldier. Not a fan of Thor, Hulk and Iron Man sequels. I also realized that Age of Ultron was a disaster after seeing it twice.
Let’s get straight to the point. Captain America: Civil War is the blockbuster movie to beat. It’s the Mad Max: Fury Road that sets standards to every film that will come up this year. “Personal” is the most common word that you’ll hear from critics who have seen this. It’s a thank you note to the fans who stood by and an invite for things yet to come. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is far from over with Doctor Strange, Black Panther and Spider-Man coming… but more on them later.
I won’t spoil any crucial information about this, and that’s a Steve Rogers promise.
Most of my problems were in its opening sequence. As I said earlier, I love the Winter Soldier. However, its shaky camerawork bugged me off. Same issue with the first minutes of Civil War, most hand-to-hand fights were too close, all over the place and dizzying. Don’t expect much from Crossbones.
What I love about this is how it won me over after that rough, ugly intro. It’s like the Russo brothers set our expectations low to feel adrenaline in the latter part. Everything was on point once the conflict has been addressed. The only lag is the underdeveloped and kinda weird romance between Steve and Sharon Carter. I need to re-watch the Winter Soldier ’cause I can’t remember how they clicked.
Now for the cool part. Those who have read the comics know how it started. There are winks and nods to the original, but the movie is full of surprises. I’ll just mention five. First thing is the Black Panther. Chadwick Boseman showed a lot of his underrated acting range in here. He was the heart of the film and one of the most kick-ass superheroes in the MCU. His confrontation with Daniel Bruhl reminded me of Les Miserables.
The highly-anticipated clash exceeds expectations. Every punch, kick and blast is well-choreographed. There’s humor in it but the film acknowledged its catastrophic aftermath. What happened to War Machine is kind of a huge spoiler, though.
Next is Iron Man. The movie is entitled to Captain America but the story is all about Tony Stark and his traumatic experiences that lead to his egotistical behavior. What I love about the MCU is how it humanizes its superheroes. It’s easy to side with Team Cap because you’ve seen what the Hydra can do in the Winter Soldier. But to be fair, Tony didn’t experience it first-hand. Adding to that is his guilt in the Sokovia incident and what he foresaw in the Age of Ultron. Tony Stark is a very complex character that the franchise surprisingly developed. Their final showdown is as emotional as watching your family tear each other apart. This is way too personal for people who’s been following them throughout the years.
DC has better villains, Marvel has heroes. What’s different with Civil War is how it illustrated that there’s no clear definition of an antagonist for everyone is capable of becoming a villain. Agony drives someone to lose their principles and turn to the dark side. However, the film continuously tried to remind us from the Vision-Scarlet subplot to the Cap-Iron Man battle that there will always be light.
Last surprise is your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. I love how Marvel hid him in the trailers. Tobey Maguire’s iconic portrayal won’t be forgotten, but Tom Holland is indeed the best Spiderling so far. Homecoming will surely be amazing if they keep this youthful energy. Marvel proved that they don’t miscast. Everyone showed why they were chosen, every superhero had their shining moment. “Whoa!” to the new Aunt May.
Being part of a gigantic franchise, Civil War can’t avoid plot holes and snubs within the MCU. I was disappointed that Quicksilver was not mentioned (sorry if I was wrong), because he’s a huge loss to Wanda. Nick Fury, Alexander Pierce and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. weren’t involved in this monumental order, too. The film is enjoyable on its own but I recommend everyone to see Captain America: The First Avenger and The Winter Soldier first to easily follow the story and know why Bucky and Steve shares an unbreakable bond. I have a huge issue with Baron Zemo’s convenient plan in the last act that I won’t spoil. You’ll know it once you saw it.
The film is far from perfect but it has all the elements for me to give it my highest rating. It’s entertaining, it has a message worth telling, it’s a movie that will forever be remembered and I can see myself enjoying this after a few decades. Lastly, one giant fight scene caught me off guard and left me with tears.
Captain America: Civil War is the epitome of blockbuster movies today for its sincere and affecting portrait of destruction. It’s not just a battle of supremacy nor a debate between justice and freedom. It’s the struggle against our inner demons that’s way more personal than what we think. United we stand, divided we fall.
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Thank you to everyone who’s been there for the past six years. I’m grateful to those who read, liked, shared and helped me continue my passion. This won’t be possible without them, my friends in Filmadiks & Musicadiks and idols in Spill/Double Toasted that inspired me to write. I give my utmost respect to movie reviewers who continuously promote good films and believe that cinema is still alive. The Movie Bud will end but you can still catch me in Facebook or at Twitter where I still post capsule reviews and updates.
Never stop watching.