Jean-Paul’s Rating: 5/5 stars
Bottom Line: Possibly the best Marvel movie to date. Well crafted, well choreographed. A lot going on but it is all done in an amazingly controlled way.
There is a lot going on in “Captain America: Civil War”. I mean a whole lot. Tons of old favorite superheroes. A few new superheroes. Complicated plots. Wonderfully choreographed fight scenes. Pitch perfect humor. In less capable hands (*cough* Zach Snyder *cough*), it could easily lead to an amalgam of scenes thrown together without much cohesion to tie the movie together. Anthony and Joe Russo somehow avoided this trap and spliced together a wonderful movie.
The primary driver of the action is the simple premise that the Avengers are a group of beings who, for better or worse, have caused some serious collateral damage in their quest to “save” humanity and yet are unanswerable to anyone but themselves. The nations of the world think that needs to change. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) agrees with them. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) disagrees. This causes a rift in the Avengers and they take sides. It’s a pretty heavy premise to hang a whole movie around. That it succeeds in making both sides so believable that you can empathize with both is a minor movie miracle. It’s a heady topic, but this is a serious movie that knows not to take itself too seriously. It is interspersed with spiffy one-liners and visual gags which do not detract from the story or the action at all.
Added to all of this are some beautiful fight scenes. I mean, superheros vs. superheroes, yes please! I’m sure someone dorkier than I can point to a plethora of tag team moves taken straight from the comics, but the way they all worked together was so much fun. Sure, some of it is silly, but, uh, did I mention they are superheroes?
I have only a few minor quibbles. The biggest of which is the fact that this is a movie about the unintended consequences of the superheroes’ actions and yet they decided to take the easy way out and make sure this didn’t apply to the superheroes themselves. I get it, they want to protect their intellectual property, but superheroes come back from the dead or are replaced all the time in the comics. It would have been nice to see that happen here. Also, the only scene that didn’t really work too well for me was the part when Tony Stark recruits Peter Parker (Tom Holland). It felt a little too gimmicky. Tom Holland, by the way, appears to be a great choice for Spiderman.
If you’re a dork, you have already seen this movie and likely mostly agree with me as to how good it was. If you’re not a dork, you should go see this movie as well because it is that good. If you’ve not seen the other Captain America/Avenger movies, I’d recommend seeing it with a dork so they can fill you in on some of the finer dorkness that might not make sense to a neophyte. Of all the movies that have been made in the Marvel universe so far, this is probably the best introduction even if you are picking it up in the middle of the action.