Captain America: Civil War Review
Review (With spoilers)
If you've got time, I highly recommend you refresh yourself with: Captain America: Winter Solider, and Avengers: Age of Ultron before you start on your Captain America: Civil War journey. It's by no means required, but it will definitely help bring the key pieces of the story together.
The Civil War storyline also borrows from the 2006/07 Marvel comic of the same name. Though it's very different from the comic both in terms of scale and outcome - though more on that later.
Ok first of all, this movie is awesome and I absolutely loved it. In fact I didn't want it to end, and when it did I wanted more! Which is a pretty good sign considering I've already watched two other Marvel movies today and this one is 2.5hrs long.
You might go into this movie with a strong view as to whether your #TeamCap or #TeamIronman though the film does a great job at building compassion and empathy for both sides. And there were several times where I could appreciate the argument from both sides.
Though just to be clear, I'm #TeamCap.
So what is this argument all about? Basically the work the Avengers have done both as a team and as individuals has left a trail of death and destruction in its wake. To address this the UN, with the signatures of 127 other countries want to assume control of how and when superheroes are deployed. Though it's controversial in the sense that some superheroes like Captain America don't believe that power should sit within government, and there is to much potential for misuse and harm e.g. Shield that turned out to be Hydra. Where as Ironman is pro the legislation and thinks that too much damage has already been done him and team. He doesn't think the Avengers aren't needed, he just thinks there should be more mandate around what and when they do what they do.
So depending on where you fall in that debate, pretty much ends up dictating your team. And it really does end up putting friend against friend:
Team Ironman (pro UN control / registration)
- War Machine
- Black Widow
- Black Panther
Team Captain America (anti UN control / registration)
- Captain America
- The Winter Solider
- The Scarlet Witch
You'll notice in the list a couple of new characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU):
When I first saw Black Panther in the trailers I cringed a little - thinking to myself "really, can this be done without a stand alone movie first". Though be rest assured Black Panther fans, they've got this. And he's awesome! And for those newer to the comic-verse, Black Panther has been around since about 1966 and reference to his homeland is actually made frequently through the MCU when start watching the early movies.
I've always wanted to be a Spider-man fan. I felt like The Amazing Spider-man 2 movie almost got me there, then when they said they were going to reboot Spider-man again I literally thought to myself 'fuck this'. Though I may be eating my words because this Spider-man is incredible! Obviously this is a younger Spidey than we're used to, but they don't hold back, his banter and fight scenes are some of the highlights of the movie! It definitely makes me excited for the stand-alone Spider-man film in 2017.
So that's the new characters. Though we also got to see Ant-man being integrated with the wider MCU, and again it doesn't disappoint. The humour that Paul Rudd brought to Ant-man is just as prevalent here. In fact it's almost how an everyday person would act if they got to meet one of the Avengers.
These were some of my favourite moments and scenes:
- The opening scenes with Captain America and Black Widow training the newer members of The Avengers. And the ensuing fight with Crossbones.
- The fact that I found myself loving characters I previously didn't really care about e.g. Vision, Scarlett Witch and Falcon.
- The fight scene at the airport between all of The Avengers.
- The overall level of banter between the superheroes.
- How quickly they integrated Black Panther into the story.
- Ironman recruiting a young Peter Parker.
- Spider-mans AT-AT joke when taking down Ant-man. Marvel owning Star Wars +1 for cross-over jokes.
- The balance of darkness and humour to the overall tone of the movie e.g. The Winter Solider making Tony Stark into a Bruce Wayne type kid.
- The Winter Solider and Captain America going punch for punch with Ironman as they try to take him down.
What didn't work so well for me
And to counter what worked well for me, I thought I would touch on a couple of things that didn't play out quite how I expected:
- Even though I'm team Captain America, I still like Ironman. I didn't really enjoy not liking him. He's a funny guy with some great skills.
- Ironman asking for Captain America's shield back. What a baby.
- The ending. I felt the movie lacked good closure. With Bucky going back into hibernation and Captain America an outlaw, it kind of left a "meh" taste in my mouth. And I loved this movie way to much to be left with that flavour. Maybe it just needed another 10 minutes to close off some story arcs.
Civil War comic book differences
If you're wondering what some of the key differences between Civil War the movie and Civil War the comic are, I've got you covered. If you think you'll read the comic one day you should probably skip this section as it spoils some pretty major differences.
Still with me, here we go:
- In the comic, the battles are huge, there are massive teams of superheroes battling it out. In the movie the teams are obviously much smaller with 6 v 6.
- In the comic, the focus is on hunting down 'unregistered superheroes' as opposed to capturing The Winter Solider, which the movie focuses on.
- In the comic there is no central master mind that causes the civil war, it's a event brought about purely because of the Superhero Registration Act.
- We don't get to see Thor at all in this movie. Where as in the comic they have a Cyborg Thor which fights alongside Ironman. A CYBORG THOR!
- In the movie Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye have pretty big roles, though they don't feature at all in the comic.
- Vision & Black Panther were team Captain America (eventually for Black Panther)
- When Tony Stark recruits Spider-man he gives him a special suit and he becomes Iron-Spider. After a major death Spider-man ends up defecting to Captain America's side
- No major super hero deaths occur in the whole movie! Including the fact that Captain America never dies, I felt a little disappointed about this.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably know Marvel has a number of follow-up and new superhero movies in the works. They've taken a very strategic approach to get to this point (take note DC). Here's what you can look forward to and when with the current slate of Marvel Phase 3 movies:
- Dr Strange | Nov 2016
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 | May 2017
- Spider-man: Homecoming | July 2017
- Thor: Ragnorok | Nov 2017
- Black Panther | Feb 2018
- Avengers Affinity War: Part 1 | May 2018
- Antman & The Wasp | July 2018
- Captain Marvel | March 2019
- Avengers Affinity War: Part 2 | May 2019
- Inhumans | July 2019
After seeing Civil War, I'm beyond excited to see more Spider-man and Black Panther in stand alone movies! In the mean time I'm going to bury myself in a comics and back stories!
I've also read that Robert Downey Jnr 'might' (it's a frequently changing view) have another Iron-man in him, so I wouldn't be surprised if another movie or two is added to this list. Though given Marvel's very busy schedule it would probably have to be in early 2020.
I'm also expecting more awesomeness from Dr Strange later this year, and you can bet your magic chakras I'll be reviewing it.
Captain America Civil War is probably one of my favourite MCU movies to date. It's got great characters and tells a pretty good story. The writing is top notch and fan-favourite characters are incorporated seamlessly into the MCU world. If anything, I maybe wished the movie ended with more controversy than it did. Though I guess that sets it up for a world of future possibilities.
For me, I rate this movie 9/10