Captain America: Civil War

captain-america-civil-war-key-art

Net Worth: All the Gold! (But then again, I’m biased)

I will be the first to admit that I don’t read comic books. Not even Archie. While I’ve been known to read the Sunday Comics, it’s rare, almost unheard of to find me with a comic book in my hands. So, I have no great revelations comparing this plot line to its namesake in Comic Book World. I can’t tell you who was supposed to die and who fought who or even who shouldn’t have been there to begin with. If you want that, there are plenty of bloggers who are far more savvy and detail-oriented who would be able to help you out.

What I do have is an insane memory related to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). If it’s happened in any movie starting with Iron Man in 2008 up to now, I can probably recite it back to you in excruciating detail. I have watched and rewatched anything Marvel related as many times as physically possible without angering the people who pay me to do my real life job. Even as I write this, Ant Man is playing the background and I may or may not be speaking all of Scott Lang’s lines along with the movie.

Mini-Rant: Okay, this movie, while rated PG-13, is okay for younger children.  At least for those 8 and up, it probably is. But if you are going to bring your child to the movie theater, please, please PLEASE keep them quiet. I know they want to understand. It’s great to expand their minds. But having a child ask in a loud, obnoxious voice after every action “WHAT’S HAPPENING?? WHAT JUST HAPPENED?” does not make for very happy moviegoers. The only thing that could make it worse is if you repeatedly ignore the ads saying “Silence Your Phone” so that when by some miracle your child isn’t begging to know what’s happening, your phone dings. And dings. And dings. I go to the movies to get lost in a story. It’s really hard to enter that world when I’m forcibly dragged back to this one by children or technology.

So what can I say about Captain America: Civil War? I’ve had a love/hate relationship with it from the very first rumor through all the promo 30 second ads. I agonized through the trailers and then finally sat spellbound through all 2 hours and 27 minutes of it.  My dilemma? I love both Iron Man and Captain America.The thought of them at odds disturbed me to my very core being. I have a thing against superheroes fighting against each other to begin with (Yes, I’m looking at you, Batman and Superman). I suppose it’s easy to forget that superheroes are human or at least have the same human characteristics, but I still look to the superheroes to fight the bad guys, save the day, and if they can look hot while doing it, who am I to complain?

Sadly, only 2 of those things happened in Civil War.  They do occasionally fight the bad guys and as usual, they are very pretty to look at it. Unfortunately, a large chunk of the movie is devoted to them fighting amongst themselves with no clear resolution in sight. I can only hope that future Marvel movies take and expand on what happened instead of becoming so extensive that the inconsistencies grow even larger than they already are.

There are some welcome additions to this movie that weren’t in previous ones. I’m beyond pleased that Spiderman has joined the crew. I can understand why he joined Team Stark, but I’m slightly disappointed he chose sides to begin with since he’s a fanboy of just about everyone he fights for and against. Tom Holland is an interesting choice and I can’t wait to see what he brings to the franchise. Another welcome addition is Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther. I’ll be honest, I know nothing about the character. However, after watching Boseman bring him to life, I’m curious to see what becomes of T’Challa in future movies. I’m confused why Clint Barton returned for the movie as for the most part, all he did was spring Wanda from the Avengers Compound and seriously annoy Vision. He seemed an afterthought in a cast that already included many, many characters which didn’t do justice to the amazingness that is Hawkeye/Jeremy Renner. Black Widow, however, was beautiful, dangerous, duplicitous, and perfect. I was excited when I heard that Martin Freeman was going to be involved in the project, but was massively underwhelmed by his character. I still can’t tell if they gave him a bit part for fun (which would be a waste of some serious talent) or if his character will have more serious implications down the road.

For the sake of those who have not yet seen the movie, I’ll try to avoid too many details but basically the plot boils down to the age old question of absolute power corrupting absolutely and how far are people willing to go to prevent that from happening. In a world of superheroes, who decides when the cost of life is too high? Predictably, Captain America errs on the side of freedom of the individual and Iron Man leans toward the corporate mentality of overwatch. Our favorite superheroes were evenly divided between the two team leaders and the clashes take on giant proportions (If you’ve seen it – you know who I’m talking about).

For me, the draw of the movie was not Iron Man or Captain America, as much as I love both characters, but rather Bucky Barnes. The former Winter Soldier returns and it is due to his appearance that a lot of fighting takes place. I can’t help it, I have massive Bucky Feels. And this movie just made them worse. He is lethal, endearing, snarky, and at times entirely heartbreaking which just proves that Sebastian Stan can run the gamut of emotions and was perfect for the role. I was ecstatic to see how well Stan and Mackie (Falcon) played off of one another and you can definitely picture the trio (Bucky, Steve, and Sam) as best friends hanging out when they aren’t off saving the world. Like Age of Ultron, there are many comedic one-liners and some epic snark out of multiple characters.

The only downside of the movie was the pacing. The beginning of the movie felt drawn out. The Russo brothers took forever to reach the point of the movie. While everything did eventually make sense (in the last 20 minutes of the movie), it was very hard to sit through because you keep wondering when it is all going to start pulling together. And then once the battles started, they never really stopped. In some cases, they probably should have. While the epic showdown between Stark and Rogers was amazing to watch, it did hit a point where I just looked at them and said, “Come on guys, seriously? Congratulations, you beat the shit out of each other and no, neither one of you is going to give up. So…hug it out already.” In case you couldn’t tell, I’m not on Team Iron Man or Team Captain America. I’m firmly on the side of Team Hug It Out.

All in all, this is definitely a movie that bears watching. In fact, it bears repeated watching. Yes, you can understand the plot-line the first go through. The action sequences are self-explanatory. But the beauty about this movie is that there are so many subtle nuances and explorations of human behavior that in order to fully understand the motivations, ideals, and behaviors of everyone in it, multiple viewings and some serious thought need to be given. If you only look at the surface you will miss a very significant chunk of what the Russo brothers created.

Adults: If you have any vested interest in MCU or just want to see a good kick-off of to summer blockbuster, then shell out the dough and see it in all it’s glory. Totally worth it. Not really a date-movie unless your significant other is also vested in the MCU as well.

Children: Kids. Guess what. Iron Man and Captain America fight and it’s awesome! And if you don’t know what’s going on, just be quiet and enjoy the epic explosions!

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