Wednesday, May 18, 2016

[IGH] at the Movies: Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War opened on May 6th. After anxiously waiting and trying to free up my schedule, I was finally able to see it this past weekend. I can’t tell you what a relief that was. I’ve been avoiding all mentions of Civil War on my social media. It hasn’t been an easy task. I’m really proud of my friends for not spoiling the movie, because it was worth the wait.

There are a lot of reviews out there that can better dissect what works and doesn’t work, so I’m not going to dwell on that. Instead, I want to talk about some of the things that made an impression on me. 

Obviously, this post will contain spoilers

1. Spider-Man. Tom Holland is a wonderful Peter Parker. I loved Tobey McGuire and Andrew Garfield; I’ve always felt they captured Peter’s spirit, but Holland not only captures Peter’s spirit but also his youth. He’s the perfect age for Spidey, and he’s just the right balance of funny/awkward/cool. I’m finally excited again for a Spider-Man movie. Also, I loved his suit upgrade, and how desperate he was that Aunt May know nothing. That wasn’t acting. That moment was every teenager who didn’t want their guardian to know what kind of mischief they are up to. 

2. “Where are you from?” “Queens.” “Brooklyn.” This exchange will always make me happy.

3. T’Challa. Chadwick Boseman is the Black Panther. I’ve had limited exposure to the Black Panther, with the exception of cartoons and the occasional big MU crossover event, so I didn’t know what to expect. T’Challa was everything I didn’t know I expected and Boseman is fantastic. He’s a devoted son, regal prince, and vengeful Panther all in one. The Black Panther suit is beautiful. It makes me sad that we will never see T’Challa and Storm interact with each other in the MCU.

4. Zemo was a bit of a disappointment. I understand what he was doing, and I think it was a great idea, but it also felt very small and petty.

5. Considering how many Avengers were in the movie, I’m impressed by how balanced the story felt. Yes, it revolved around Cap, Bucky, and Tony, but everyone got good moments. I was particularly happy to see Wanda explored a little more, though I would have liked it a little bit more if Elizabeth Olsen’s accent didn’t occasionally drop. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely pulled off a difficult feat.

6. I loved how they worked in Peggy, but since I watched Civil War after hearing the news of Agent Carter cancelation, I hated the circumstances in which she was used. That one got me.

7. There are two places I feel the screenplay fell a little short. The first is the big fight scene between
all of the Avengers. Yes, it had a good amount of screen time, but there was something missing. The person I saw the movie with said it felt too jokey. I don’t agree with that, because I felt the dialogue was true to the characters, but I think what he was trying to say was the jokes took away from the seriousness of the situation. On that, I completely agree. This is friends and teammates against each other, and I didn’t feel it. It just felt like a really cool fight.

8. The other place I feel the script was lacking was with the five additional super soldiers. What was the point of having them if all that was going to happen was they were going to be killed? Talk about missed opportunities. This is what I meant when I said Zemo was small and petty. I don’t understand why they couldn’t have had Zemo be driven by his personal vendetta, and made it larger. Pit the Avengers against not only themselves, but also against super soldiers. Let Tony’s revelation cause him to go from fighting with Cap and Bucky against the super soldiers to fighting against Cap and Bucky, thereby allowing the super soldiers to get away. Then you’d have set up possible future storylines for either the movies or for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Remember S.H.I.E.L.D? They force the storylines of the movies onto the show, but otherwise, it feels as if they exist completely separate from each other. This would have been a great way to tie them together. The handling of the super soldiers was weak.

In my opinion, Civil War is one of the best MCU films. If I were to pick my top 5 MCU movies, in no particular order, they would be all three Captain America movies, Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Iron Man snags #6. I think part of what makes these films work is the successful balancing of a large fantastical universe with smaller, more personal stories. Going forward, I worry the superhero bubble will burst, but as long as Marvel continues to put out movies of this quality, I think we’ll be okay for at least another 5-10 years. Unless DC ruins it all for us. ;)

What did you think of Captain America: Civil War? Sound off in the comments.

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