For those disappointed by DC’s “Batman v Superman,” as usual, Marvel Studios has got your back.
“Captain America: Civil War” is the hero vs. hero movie the world has been waiting for. Forefronted by smart direction, Marvel films set themselves apart from other superhero movies with a generally consistent recipe of focused plot, likeable characters and well thought out cinematography. “Civil War” is no exception and acts as a testament that Marvel has perfected the formula to bring truth to the phrase “Bigger, better, bolder.”
“Civil War” is set in canon with Marvel’s cinematic universe just a few months after the destructive events that took place in “Age of Ultron.” Much like its comic book counterpart, the Avengers are split down the middle when the team has to decide between complying with new government restrictions on their heroism or being considered illegal vigilantes. Thus, #TeamCap and #TeamIronMan are born.
Though this film takes on the name “Civil War,” it varies very much from the comic book series and presents itself as a standalone entity. However, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely sprinkle just enough hints of Mark Millar’s original seven-part series to satiate the hunger of dedicated fans.
What could have been a mess of plot holes and continuity errors with the involvement of multiple main characters is corralled and tamed by directing duo Anthony and Joe Russo. The Russo brothers showcase their directing skills by focusing primarily on two main plot points: the civil war among the Avengers and unlocking the mysteries of the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).
Though other subplots are brushed upon, including the introduction of two new characters, each point is tied back to the main plot in some way, creating a sense of unity in the film. Twists and turns included — and there are definitely plenty of those too — the storytelling in this movie does not require the viewer to use a map to follow.
While “Civil War” can arguably be considered one of the more dark Marvel movies in recent years, it is not without its humor. Appropriately placed, witty dialogue has always been a strong suit in any of Marvel’s chosen media, which makes the dramatic and emotional scenes tug at the heart even stronger. But dialogue is only as strong as the actors that project the lines. And boy do they do it well.
Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson have comfortably executed playing their alter egos Tony Stark (Iron Man), Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Natasha Romanov (Black Widow) over the years. And like a good aged wine, their characters have matured concurrently with their acting talents.
The supporting cast is also worthy of praise. Each hero, no matter how minor his or her role, helped progress the plot in some way. Elizabeth Olsen especially shines as the young and tormented Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch), who is continuously at war with herself throughout the film about the hazards her abilities create.
Chadwick Boseman and Tom Holland are introduced as Wakanda royal T’Challa (Black Panther) and young Peter Parker (Spider-Man), who will be getting their own movie franchises in the future. Though Boseman’s portrayal as a vengeful T’Challa is exceptionally tense, Holland’s portrayal as Parker, though comical, was less convincing and a tad bit unrealistic for his character. However, with their own films on the way it is too early to detect how these two roles will pan out.
Like a dance ensemble, action scenes are beautifully choreographed with the audience in mind, giving a plethora of moments to pump the adrenaline and cue a gasp. Though destruction comes hand in hand with any superhero combat, the Russo brothers take note to not let it overpower the overall feel of the film. This includes keeping with a color palette that is pleasing to the eye and not relying on dark monochrome to set the tone that this film is to be taken seriously. Because overall, this is fantasy, and Marvel Studios remembers that.
“Civil War” leaves a good mark on Marvel’s movie making timeline. See it now or see it again. Either way, you will not be disappointed.