Friday, May 6, 2016

Captain America: Civil War Review


Title: Captain America: Civil War

Distributor: Marvel Studios (Disney)
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer(s): Christopher Markus,Stephen McFeely
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr.,Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Daniel Brühl, and Tom Holland
MPAA Rating: PG-13 
Running Time: 146 min
Synopsis: Political interference in the Avengers' activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.

What Others Are Saying? 

Rotten Tomatoes: 92% "Fresh", Top Critics: 89% "Fresh", Audience: 90% "Liked It"

Metacritic: Critics: 75 out of 100, Users: 8.4 out of 10
MRQE: 77 out of 100

My Review

Preface: I'm going to try my very best to do a spoiler free review. With that being said, there may be a few minor spoilers that pop-up as part of negatives with the film. You have been warned.

Source Material: Inspired by the Civil War comic written by Mark Miller. Character based off of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby work.

Entertaining Value: 8.5

  • Action Elements: The action in this film isn't non-stop but there is quite a bit. I have to note that the action in this film was well choreographed. There was some shaky cam, but it was well placed. I liked how the action made sense relative to the story. I didn't really get the vibe that there was action, for action's sake.
  • Comedy Elements: What this film did well for me was balancing the various cinematic elements. The filmmaker's allowed the comedic character's to be the comic relief. Everyone doesn't need to be quipping all the time to make funny moments. Which has been a part of Marvel's formula for a while. It was nice to see the comedic moments play out slightly different than the normal Marvel wheel-house of comedy.
  • Dramatic Elements: The tension and dramatic moments were better in this film than other Marvel film. This is a summer blockbuster, action thriller, comic book movie, I wasn't expecting much drama.
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: What I'm liking about  "stand-alone" films of the MCU is that they feel more like non-comic book movie. For Example Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a spy thriller starring Captian America, and Ant-Man was a heist film starring Ant-man. What I'm pointing out is that each of these films, comic book fantasies isn't bogging down the story, they are enhancing them. Captain America: Civil War is no exception.
Cinematic Value:
  • Acting and Dialogue: 8: We have seen a lot of these actors / actresses multiple times as their character in the MCU, for me, I think most have stepped up their game. I use to call Chris Evans, the "bro" of Hollywood because he basically played that type of character in all of his roles. Let's face it, he will always be remembered as Captain America. I have to take a minute to praise the newcomers. This film introduced T'Challa / Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), and Peter Parker / Spider-Man (Tom Holland) to the MCU. Chadwick Boseman is definitely on the uprise as a star. Before this role he played to iconic roles of Jackie Robinson in 42, and James Brown in Get on Up. The newest newcomer, Tom Holland, was perfect as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Some of the credit here has to be given to the writers, as well, but it was Holland's portrayal that got be excited for a Spider-Man Homecoming.
  • Cinematography: 8.5: Two things have to be right when it comes to this type of movie. One, the filmmakers have to capture iconic images from the source material. This film did that well. Secondly, they have to capture action that flows well. From that standpoint, I thought The Winter Soldier executed that aspect better, but overall the action shots in this film were great. The opening action sequence I would have eliminated, not for its action, but for it writing, I will explain why later.
  • Direction: 8: The one aspect I have to give props to the Russo brother for is their ability to film action. We saw this ability in full force during The Winter Soldier. It was heavily prevalent in this film as well. Which still baffles me, since they guys were known for comedies such as the television show, Community. I'm glad Marvel is moving forward with these two for Infinity War Parts I and II. Nothing against Joss Whedon but Age of Ultron was a bit of a visual overload when it came to the action. I hope the Russo brother take what they have learned on this film and The Winter Soldier and apply it to Infinity War Parts I and II, without getting burnt out like Joss. Action aside, I think the Russo's did a great job at the other aspect of directing. They got the best performance out the actors/ actresses that served the story. They also told a fairly compelling visual story. That two aspect is basally all I ask from any director.
  • Editing: 8: It wasn't a mess like BvS. The flashbacks actually made sense.
  • Screenplay: 7: I think overall the story was fine. There would have been a few areas I would have changed. First of all the fight vs Crossbones was more or less pointless, in my opinion. I understand why that scene was there, but the characters involved, primarily Crossbones, was out of place. Second I wish the film felt a little more warlike. I felt the film was more like "Captain America: Civil Dispute." Yes, there are some really cool battle sequences, one of which is the airport scene from the trailer. That scene is a huge battle. You may go into the film rooting for one team and come out rooting for the other. Even though the film, delivering on those aspects of war, I still did get a war atmosphere. I think raising the stakes by killing an Avenger would have been very impactful. Let's face it, Quicksilver's death in Age of Ultron had no impact. No one even mentions his death, including his sister, Wanda aka Scarlet Witch. I think killing off Rhodey aka War Machine or Bucky aka The Winter Soldier would have had a major influence on the Avengers emotionally. This death could have lead to Captain America surrendering, therefore, signing the Sokovia Accords ending the Civil War. That ending would have aligned more with the comic book. Third Marvel needs better-written villains, Zemo was another weak villain.
  • Sound and Music: 7: Nothing spectacular stood out musically or in the sound mixing.
  • VFX: 9: I'm guessing there are more CGI effect shots then I realize, which is a good thing. The Hulk doesn't appear but Iron Man dose. The down aging of RDJ was kind of weird, but overall it worked. I'm sure this film will be considered for the shortlist of nominations for visual effects during award season. If I were to venture a guess right now I would say The Jungle Book takes home the prize. I think BFG, Warcraft, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will also be top contenders, as well.
Overall: 8.5: I really enjoyed this film overall. I recommend that you see this one in the theater. At the moment, this film has earned a spot in the Top Five best MCU Movies. I also want to remind you that this  film is the third movie in the Captain America trilogy while at the same time Avengers 2.5. The fact this film is basically both of those things is part of the reason it is good.

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