Twenty-four hours ago, I would have been hard pressed to answer which of the Marvel Movies was my favorite. The action scenes in the Winter Soldier set the bar for me. The emotion of The First Avenger always rings with me. The Avenger movies and Guardians are my go-to for fun escapism. But what would Civil War bring? The question has plagued me since hearing that two beloved super heroes were going to not only battle it out, but bring in their friends (and ours for that matter!) as well. For months there has been speculation about what Captain America: Civil War was going to be like. Who would live? Who would die? Would any of our heroes step down? Would this change the entire landscape of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? So many questions. All of them answered in a very fast two hours and twenty-eight minutes. Oh, and this now ranks as my favorite Marvel adventure.
I admit that I had the bar set pretty high for this one. Marvel has always exceeded expectations, so really, setting it up there was a reasonable endeavor. And you know what? Marvel did it. Not only did they pass the bar, they leaped it. While doing acrobatics. With jazz hands. The movie was that good. (Dare I say that it was the polar opposite of Batman V Superman? Action, adventure, storylines that made sense? Yes. They managed to accomplish, with style, what the other guys couldn’t.) Marvel nailed it. This is what a Super Hero battle should look like.
This movie has a good number of intersecting storylines and lots of little kudos and nods to the fans if you’re looking, but the major overarching story is obviously what happens when two people fall on opposite sides of an ideal. And really, neither one is totally wrong or totally right. When it comes down to it, negotiation just doesn’t work with characters and personalities that are this big. I mean each of these people owns and controls situations within their own right – so should we expect any different when they’re in a room together discussing policy? I think not. (Though really, don’t expect tons of board room discussion, Skype sessions or chats. This is an action movie – pure and simple.)
The battles are long and yet mind-blowingly fast moving. There are moments when, if you blink, you’ll miss something. I did. In at least two scenes my mind was about three steps behind the action on the screen, trying to process what I’d just seen. But they were well worth the ride.
One of the things I loved about this film was that there was no clear black or white. The audience was free to choose whichever side they felt they needed to support (although in our theater, it was decidedly a Cap crowd) but both sides had relevant points. And both sides cared deeply for the other. You could see it. This wasn’t just some Super Smash Bros Brawl. This was far more than just who has the better super powers or even who is right. This really was a Civil War. Brother against brother. People who were fighting together moments earlier are now on opposite sides. And sometimes switch back. It’s pretty amazing.
Spider-man was great. He and Black Panther added huge value to the movie. Spidey brought a lightness and a new breath of air to our stalwart group while Black Panther brought a powerful gravity, understanding, and vision to our group. (And Vision, by the way? He was fabulous, though woefully underplayed!)
Analyzing it any further would go into spoiler territory and I am not going to do that here. You can check out Marvel Geeks for more detailed reviews as well as perspective from Team Cap and Team Ironman. They will be posting throughout the weekend as quickly as we are able to churn them out!
Suffice it to say, this was a good one. Well worth watching in the theater and it still has not made me waver from my love of Marvel.
Okay guys, I’m ready for Guardians 2 and Infinity War. Can you do me a favor and make them just a little faster??