Captain America: Civil War Review

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By Rachel Cheng (@iamrachel)

 

Okay. Okay, breathe Rach. You are okay.

 

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Me too, RDJ, me too…

 

I was lucky enough to go to the press screening of some little comic book film… something America… something war?

 

(still working on finding a sarcasm font, stay tuned)

 

In all seriousness, I don’t know how this review is going to unfold so bear with me. It’s only been an hour since viewing and there are just random brain synapses firing that I didn’t know I had.

 

*NOW ENTERING THE REALM OF SPOILERS – FINAL WARNING – ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED*

 

The Why

 

If there was one thing that could possibly take down this film it would be this: motivations. I had to know where each side, each character was coming from. If the motivations were flawed or lacking, the entire film would fall apart. And the Russo brothers did just that. Some of the key players were done better than others but overall I was pleased considering the scope of the film. Obviously it’s impossible to delve too deeply into all the characters but I sympathized with the decisions that were made. And that is no easy task when you’re juggling such a massive cast.

 

With Stark’s inner turmoil over the loss of a young man in Sokovia, coupled by his own personal problems at home and still being haunted by the memory of his late parents, you would think he would be all dark and broody billionaire (sorry Bruce). Thank goodness he still kept his arrogant, sarcastic wit. Come to think of it, there was just a lot of death and sadness to deal with for a few folks… Cap, Sharon, T'Challa, even Zemo… *hands out the tissues*

 

Speaking of Zemo, (my one and only decent transition in this review, score) what I really thought was exceptionally well executed was that the “villain” had legitimate motivations for his actions (only a crazy person could analyze this and say: the psychotic killer, I get where he’s coming from). The answering machine message from his wife hit uncomfortably close to home and he had all the emotion you could ever want from a performance. Brühl shone in the role.  You couldn’t ask more from a baddie.

 

I could go through everyone motivations but it’ll take too long…

 

Iron Man: Guilty conscience

Cap: My own hands are the safest

Black Panter: Revenge

Scarlet Witch: Was grounded

Vision: Math

Winter Soldier: Cap’s bestie

Falcon: Cap’s other bestie

War Machine: Stark’s bestie

Ant-Man: Cap fanboy

Spidey: Stark fanboy

Hawkeye: Sick of retirement?

Hulk & Thor: Too soon?

 

Oversimplifications aside, I think that’s pretty much the gist of things.

 

I will say, the person that I most identified with throughout the entire movie was Black Widow.  Trying to make peace, trying to hold things together, trying to decide on a team. She was caught between a shield and a hard place *rim shot* *cringes* (that was bad, undo, UNDO!)

 

The Sokovia Accords

1. Regardless of which side you are on (#TeamSigned, #TeamUnsigned), I for one am not a big fan of politics and bureaucracy. As good as it sounds in theory, this damn phonebook is going to be causing trouble in the near future.

 

2. Are the accords typed up in *gasp* Garamond?!

 

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Yes! Yes they are! *squee* I have my priorities straight.

 

The Action

 

Let’s move on to why we all went to see Civil War in the first place: for the gratuitous bicep shots.

 

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I mean… Action. I meant action. There were some great fight scene stuff <insert superior verbiage here>. The infamous airport scene was indeed beautifully choreographed. And how can I forget the gloriousness that was Gigantic Ant-Man <insert something about the David and Goliath allusion here>. Although, I’m still trying to figure out why Hawkeye was running when he has arrows… Oh wait, climatic pre-crapstorm run. Gotcha.

 

I digress. The action was awesome on the non-combat side as well. Massive shout-out to the bike stunts team for two super slick bike stunts, one for Bucky and one for Black Widow that were wow.

 

The Relationships

 

The theme of friendship and loyalty played a big role in the insanity that went down in this film.  It was definitely the quiet moments that really made the biggest impact on me. The tenderness between Vision and Scarlet Witch made my heart explode. And Black Widow and Cap… And Tony and Rhodey… There was much love interspersed through the war. And a lot of funny too.

 

The broment between Cap, Bucky, and Falcon after Cap’s kiss with Sharon. Actually just any scene involving the (ultra covert) VW Bug was amusing. Also can somebody just give Falcon a one man comedy tour? His delivery of his one-liners gave me life.

 

Underoos

 

You were probably wondering why I’ve pretty much left him out of the conversation. Well, no more. The introduction (or rather re-re- introduction) of Peter Parker is probably one of my favourite introductions of a superhero ever. Don’t get me wrong, the Tomei/Downey Jr. chemistry game was Only You strong but Holland/Downey Jr. stole the show. Spider-boy. The Value Village costume. The hidden ceiling hatch. The banter. The realness. The everything.

 

Also, baby Spidey is just a precious chipmunk in his hero ineptitude and I actually really liked the Starkified suit more than I did when we got that first glimpse of it in the trailer. The action scenes with Spidey were really well done as was the web humor. He nailed the landing just fine.

 

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Black Panther

 

Before I say anything else, Boseman was made for this role. He has a regal, spiritual air about him. And I really dug Black Panther as a character and his arc. Initially hell-bent on revenge only to have a change of heart. He came out of the carnage objective. And got to deliver one of the most kickass lines in the entire film: “The living aren’t done with you.”

 

The Stan-meo

 

Stan. Fricking. Lee.

 

Tony. Stank.

 

Enough said.

 

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The Dark Secret

The twist was good. The setup to the twist? Satisfying. It was just so cleverly crafted that I actually didn’t see it coming (fully aware that a lot of people saw it coming from miles away). It brought everything full circle. Back to the very beginning of the film with Tony’s re-imagined memory bank demo. Back to Bucky’s brainwashed past. Back to the motivations. *mic drop* (because I started this review about motivations…) *carefully picks the mic back up*

 

#TeamIronMan or #TeamCap

 

I understand this is Cap’s film. His name is in the title… But… After semi-processing everything that went down, I think I have my left toe across the line for #TeamIronMan. That is a pretty dark secret to be keeping from someone who you considered a friend. I get that Bucky and Cap were friends first and hey, I would go to the ends of the earth for my best friends, but a Dear John letter doesn’t fix my flipping broken heart, Rogers. It just doesn’t, okay?!

 

*ahem*

 

Let me just end here by saying this, bring on the films formerly known as Infinity Wars!

 

Congrats! You just survived what was left of my brain exploded onto a Word document review of Civil War! You probably could write a better one. No, you definitely could write a better one.

 

Prove it in the comments below 😉

 

P.S. To the Tony Starks out there in the verse, I have a few projects that you could fund. We can talk.

 

‘Til next time,

 

Rach

 

Civil War, After Credits

Two bonus scenes setting up two very big films: Black Panther, and…

 

Spider-Man will return.

 

Well played, Marvel, well played.


    3 Comments

  1. AndreaMay 7th, 2016 at 1:04 am

    This pretty much sums up what my thoughts were a few hours after seeing the film. I loved the movie and I think the Russo Brothers did everything right with this one. The introduction of T’Challa and Spidey was well done and I liked them immediately. As you said, their motivations are well done and I can see where they’re coming from, which I always appreciate in such movies.
    To be honest, from the moment we saw the Car Accident Scene for the second time I was like *gasp* nooooo….. nooo you didn’t, oh my gooooood.
    Yeah. It was heartbreaking.
    Anyway, what I especially love about it, is how well the trailer is done? I mean, I watched it and was like, Oh okay, now I see why Tony wants to beat the crap out of Cap.
    But looking back now, it’s not that at all. I honestly thought it was because Bucky shot Rhodey out of the sky. But it wasn’t Bucky.
    Nice review, Rachel. I think it’s well done. 🙂

  2. KansasGuestMay 9th, 2016 at 10:40 am

    I’m Team Cap because of the way the UN oversight played out in the movie. “Naive” is not a word usually applied to Tony Stark. But, that’s the way he came across when the Secretary of State said they needed to be under the UN’s thumb. Oh, really? The guy who maintains the Avengers training complex, built Stark tower, and whose tech created Ultron (then saved the world thru Vision) can be cowed into taking a subservient role to someone who could theoretically be replaced in gov’t every 4 years? Er, I don’t think so. The UN needs Stark (& the Avengers) a hell of a lot more than he needs them. And, they’ve saved the world too many times to be treated like the Suicide Squad. They are not misfits or vigilantes.

    There’s a big hole in CA:CW though that I can’t wrap my head around. The Winter Soldier is shown asking Cap what he did after being triggered by Zemo (implying he gets amnesia). But, then when fighting with Iron Man, he admits he remembers everything, including Stark’s parents. So, which is it? I would have hoped that Bucky Barnes, remembering everything he did, would voluntarily surrender himself because he IS guilty of murdering countless people. That’s not something that should get a pass, and it bothers me that Cap thinks it should, and chose the option where he hid the truth from Tony Stark to let that happen.

  3. KansasGuestMay 9th, 2016 at 10:43 am

    I’m Team Cap because of the way the UN oversight played out in the movie. “Naive” is not a word usually applied to Tony Stark. But, that’s the way he came across when the Secretary of State said they needed to be under the UN’s thumb. Oh, really? The guy who maintains the Avengers training complex, built Stark tower, and whose tech created Ultron (then saved the world thru Vision) can be cowed into taking a subservient role to someone who could theoretically be replaced in gov’t every 4 years? Er, I don’t think so. The UN needs Stark (& the Avengers) a hell of a lot more than he needs them. And, they’ve saved the world too many times to be treated like the Suicide Squad. They are not misfits or vigilantes.

    There’s a big hole in CA:CW though that I can’t wrap my head around. The Winter Soldier is shown asking Cap what he did after being triggered by Zemo (implying he gets amnesia). But, then when fighting with Iron Man, he admits he remembers everything, including Stark’s parents. So, which is it? I would have hoped that Bucky Barnes, remembering everything he did, would voluntarily surrender himself because he IS guilty of murdering countless people. That’s not something that should get a pass, and it bothers me that Cap thinks it should, and chose the option where he hid the truth from Tony Stark to let that happen.

    IMO, Black Panther is the answer to finding the middle ground between the two, and bringing Cap & Stark back together again.

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