Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Captain America: Civil War (2016)

(I don’t own the awesomeness of this trailer.)

Captain America: Civil War Review

Man is this thing late lol. But it’s much harder to do a review on a movie that I really liked in order to make sure I’m not just fangirling. I might do a spoiler filled review but haven’t decided on that yet.
  • The Cast and characters. First, I’d like to say I think Marvel Studios does a great job in casting for their characters and they write their characters well. Some may not get as much development as others (IE: I find Thor to be kind of boring lol) but they’re all pretty solid people. After so many films, I cannot see anyone else playing these roles, at least most of them anyway. I’m not going to talk about everyone because that’s a lot of people, just the ones I think stand out the most in their roles. It’s nice to see the characters who came around in after The Avengers team up for this film.
    • Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark. There is a character arc for him throughout the MCU. So with his role in Civil War, it’s shown how he arrived to this point. If you only watched The Avengers‘ films then you might be left with wondering why does he care now? I think his character has gone through interesting changes, he’s still sassy, sarcastic and egotistical, it’s muted in this film because he can’t continue to be that and try to get his cause understood and chosen by others. It’s obvious that he’s desperate for his cause and he wants the team to stay together but he also looks like he’ll come undone at any time.
    • Chris Evans is Steve Rogers. In this film, there is a personal struggle as he tries to maintain his beliefs and morals but at the same time, he is trying to save those he cares about, even if it means going against the grain. There is pretty much no grey area with him until it comes to Bucky, who is a grey area character. He will always fight for what he believes is right and most of the time he’s not wrong. In this, I do think he tries to understand Tony’s point of view and where he comes from, but in the end, he feels as if the government cannot be trusted and ultimately he is correct. It’s painful how it happens. His character arc is the strongest.
    • Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/ Black Panther. This is not an origin story, it’s just the beginning of his character. He is a very different man from his father, who values the political way whereas T’challa is a man of action. Boseman was able to, not only put on an African accent, but portray T’challa with a quiet strength, dignity and gracefulness that he will OWN in his solo movie. He spends the movie hellbent on revenge that every time he is on screen, there is only one goal in his mind and he will do anything it takes to succeed. Even if that means joining Tony’s side even if it’s not his fight.
    • Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. I know a lot of people were/are upset at yet ANOTHER Spider-Man and omg why is he so young? But to be honest, I think this is the best live action rendition of him so far. Nothing against Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, I like them both, but Tom Holland succeeds where the other two did not. He has youth on his side, being so young, he is impressionable but he is also trying to figure things out on his own which is evident in the costume we see before Tony makes him a suit. Peter is smart, he builds things, talkative, funny and awkward which makes him feel like Peter and Spider-Man instead of one or the other. However, there is also this coolness to him while he is Spider-Man that shows he’s going to be a force all on his own. Captain America even acknowledges that. I cannot wait to see Spider-Man: Homecoming with this younger actor
    • Sebastian Stan is Bucky Barnes. I absolutely adore this character. I already liked Bucky enough but when he came back as the Winter Soldier, oh my goodness, I wanted to know about what happened in the time of him being found to seeing him in the present. Everyone is after him for something that he may or may not have done but he’s just trying to make it through the day. Bucky is Steve’s best friend and while Steve wants to save him, Bucky is not sure if he’s worth saving, if he’s worth the trouble. Stan is amazing as both Bucky and Winter Soldier. While he does have more lines here than he did in Winter Soldier he is still a man of expression in his eyes. The pain, the doubt, the anger, the confusion is all in his eyes. However, when he has to fight in order to survive, he can be kind of ruthless (That motorcycle scene tho!), in the end, he makes a choice that makes me sad but it shows the growth of his character and I can’t wait to see more of him.I really want a solo movie.
    • Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch. I think she could handle a solo movie, or at least one that focuses on her and I say this because, while this is only her second movie, there’s a lot going on with her. Her brother died in Age of Ultron (spoilers? lol), she has these powers that people fear, she’s in a different country, she’s young (high school age I’m assuming since Clint told her she could go to high school) and she has to come to terms with who/what she is now, not to mention, with the fallout from Civil War, it would be interesting. I think Olsen brings a vulnerability to Wanda that makes her endearing and you want to cheer for her. She’s powerful but she also needs to be looked at without fear. I like that about her.
  • The action. The Russo brothers also directed Captain America: Winter Soldier and the action in that was amazing and it is the same here. Every action scene was smooth and beautiful even if it was dirty, gritty and raw. The airport scene alone was just an overload of awesomeness that we got see each character do something pretty awesome. No one was overshadowed. The shot where they all run towards each other and the fliers start to fly *explodes with excitement* It was so amazing. Bucky and Falcon’s fight Spider-Man was handled well, I mean Spider-Man is obviously strong, not to mention he’s smart so he think on the fly. His fight with Steve was also done well. No one ever ever aims for his legs! Ant-Man’s special surprise in the fight, was just a great highlight (Paul Rudd is just awesome). Of course the intense highway chase scene, that continues from Bucky and Steve’s fight scene against Russian officers, the fact that Steve is trying to keep Bucky from hurting these people, even if it is unintentional, to Black Panther showing up and kicking some butt and into the chase scene where Bucky does that AWESOME MOTORCYCLE THING. The fight scene between Bucky, Steve and Tony was just so emotional that I could barely keep myself from crying. There was no shaky cam during that scene, we were up close and personal. Also, that shot of Tony shooting his beams at Cap’s shield and that piercing light that bounces off of it. *dies*.
  • The attention to detail. Little things help make a movie strong and tie together. So this is just to name a few. The fact that when we first see Bucky, he’s purchasing plums which are supposed to have an effect on memory. The conversations and bond between Wanda and Vision are handled well, they’re both young in a sense and Vision, while logically smart, does not understand true human emotion until he is around her. His eyes soften as he tries to better connect with her, not to mention, he’s honest with her about the Infinity Gem in his forehead. She shares her fears with him and during the airport scene, there is a pretty tender moment between them. The fact that Tony and Pepper are no longer together, it’s shown that it’s emotionally hard on Tony but there’s not a ton of exposition about it. We don’t need it. T’challa being able to control the vibranium in Bucky’s arm, Wakanda is known for their vibranium so it’s interesting to see that but I’m sure it’ll be explored more in his solo film. Falcon’s little “sidekick” in Redwing. I read the Russo brothers did not want the bird in the film (in the comics, Redwing is an actual falcon) so it looks like they compromised and used him but made him a robotic bird. I loved it. The fact that Peter makes his web shooters, I personally prefer him creating them instead of them being organic because it shows his genius at such a young age. I appreciate the fact that Tony asked him to explain it, I also love Peter’s excitement and wonder at meeting Captain America and seeing Bucky’s metal arm. Thor and Hulk’s mentions, General Ross mentions the fact that they’re both MIA which is great because they’re still Avengers, this is just a fight they’re going to miss.
  • The Story. In the comics, it’s on a grander scale and I think Tony Stark is definitely portrayed more as a villain, he makes a lot of questionable decisions but in the film, both sides are explained in a way that it creates a struggle of whose side you’d choose. I am Team Cap and have always been Team Cap since the comic but I understood Tony’s view here as he did not do the horrible things here as he did before. At least not willingly. Civil War is such a personal journey for both Tony and Steve, and that while it has Avengers characters present, it is NOT an Avenger’s film. Tony is in a bad place due to his breakup with Pepper, he’s been thinking about the death of his parents and a mother guilts him into choosing to side with the Registration Act due to her son’s death. There’s a lot going on with him and that’s all understandable. Tony may have his issues, but he tries to be a good man in the end. He believes they should turn themselves into the government, and ultimately be a government run team. It keeps them “in check”. Steve believes that they should have the right to choose what they do and who they help. They all chose this life, they chose to help people and do it without second thought, the government always has second thoughts, they have agendas and it’s best if they make their own decisions because what if something happens and they need to help but the government won’t let them? On the flip side, Zemo is in this film and he has his own agenda which I will not spoil here, not to mention the wild card that is Bucky Barnes. The movie is very personal. The Civil War becomes so much more. The story is intricate, emotional and it will continue to play on as it’s consequences have not truly been paid.
There are some cons, they’re not damaging, but after seeing it twice, it’s something I’ve noticed and thought about.
  • Crossbones. I’m glad he wasn’t a major villain in the movie but I definitely want to see more of him. From what I know about him, and some comics I’ve read, he’s kind of a major player. So without trying to spoil anything, I think he could and should be utilized more especially considering his previously close connection to both Bucky and Steve.
  • Zemo’s motivations. He’s not necessarily a con. I just think his motivations weren’t anything original. Sad definitely but done before. Certain things he does, or at least the way he goes about them don’t quite make sense, at least in the mindset of ‘how did he get his hands on this stuff?’ and he’s almost not a villain at all… just an enabler. Maybe I’ll feel differently later, I liked his additions, I think certain things should have been done maybe in a different way.
  • Steve and Bucky’s friendship. On it’s own definitely not a con. However, in this movie, since it’s such a large part of Steve’s motivations, I wish we saw more of it. If you’ve seen the other two Captain America movies, or you know their story, then you understand just how important the brotherhood is between them and while Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan have great brotherly chemistry together, I think there should have been more, maybe there is and it was just deleted. As they began to fight together, I think there should have been more than three or so scenes of them reminiscing or talking, especially considering how desperate Bucky is to reclaim his memory.
  • Sharon Carter. Now, let me say this. I don’t find her involvement a con at all. I actually don’t mind it and considering her long standing relationship in the comics with Steve, I was happy. I think, the kiss could have waited. We meet her in Winter Soldier and they flirt, then she continues to help him in Civil War because she’s on his side and she believes in him. Man, those Carter women love them some Steve Rogers lol. I understand why people dislike it, think it was forced but I consider their kiss a moment, not a side plot, just a moment where it could lead into more later. I thought it was handled well. They didn’t try to make them actually date. They were comfortable with each other and they shared a moment. I think she deserved more character development so if she shows up again, the audience is cool with her unless those audience members “ship” Steve with someone else. Personally, I like Steve with Sharon romantically, I like Bucky and Steve’s friendship and I actually enjoyed Bucky and Natasha’s (yes Black Widow) romance in the comics. I don’t think the thing with Natasha and Bruce will make it out of Age of Ultron as I believe that was an attraction that they both know cannot go anywhere, so I wouldn’t mind seeing something with Bucky and Nat down the road… just can we recast Scarlett?
  • Scarlett Johansson. Okay, look, I don’t find her to be a strong actress, she is so boring. When Natasha is fighting, it’s awesome. She has some of the best choreography ever when she fights BUT when she opens her mouth, it’s so monotone and bland that I can’t even. I don’t buy the whole “Well Natasha is an international spy, and she is Russian so emotions…” no… I should want to care about her as a character outside of her awesome fighting and all around badassery and I just can’t because it’s Scarlett and she’s not compelling to me at all. Which is why I don’t think a Black Widow solo film is a good idea, not with her leading it. When she makes her final choice during the airport scene, there should have been more there as to why she chose it but… dude. I think the most emotion she’s showed as this character is when she was running for her life from the Hulk in The Avengers and looked terrified after and kind of when she confronted Loki in his cell. I read that Emily Blunt was first choice but couldn’t do it due to a stupid contract and MAN! I would so prefer her.
  • Black Widow’s writing. This is not about ScarJo but about the Black Widow character writing, I don’t think the writers are all on the same page about her because she character is basically different in each movie. I think the version of her and in Winter Soldier are the most consistent. I need them to all decide what they want to do with her and stop messing around.
  • Rhodey/War Machine. His character is underdeveloped. What do we know about him? He’s Tony’s best friend and he was in the Air Force. That’s about it. It doesn’t help that when we first met him he’s played by Terrance Howard who played Rhodey in a completely different way than Don Cheadle does and since we’ve seen Don Cheadle legit three times in this role (I don’t count Age of Ultron), he’s fine but I think I would rather see what Howard could have done. He’s cooler but money causes problems man. Perhaps once we see him in action more (I don’t know we’ll see) that’ll change but as of now, he’s kind of the least interesting person in this movie. He stands by his best friend and his choices buuuut that’s about it.
Overall, I adore this movie. I kept playing back and forth on whether or not this was the best MCU film and for a while, I was thinking it was but the I saw Winter Soldier again not to long ago and Civil War is the second best because Winter Soldier is just on a different level. I loved every minute of it, it’s compelling, it’s emotional, it’s action packed and with a few minor annoyances for some characters, I genuinely like them all and I want to see everything work itself out in the end. The Russo brothers handle this movie well, the action, the soundtrack (Omg the music is amazing), the dialogue, the interaction between the characters… it just falls into place. This movie kicks you right in the stomach and I’m glad it’s more intimate then the comic book was, I’m glad that Tony Stark was humanized as opposed to being demonized and I’m glad that it was a Captain America film because it allows the audience to truly see just what kind of man he is, especially if you didn’t know it already.
Rating: 4.90 out of 5 stars.


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