This Civil War movie is a timely release to our current presidential election. No one trusts the government anymore. Though the “trust issues” Captain America and the heroes that back him have with government aren’t grounded in neo-fascism/white supremacy, nor does the other side backed by Iron Man believe in this either. They simply believe with great power comes the great responsibility of being in the employ of the government and taking orders from it rather than doing what they think is best. There’s an argument to be made for both sides, which is done in the movie, but if you want to know which side this reviewer would come down on, I’d side with Cap.
Collateral Damage (i.e. civilians) is what this is about. Man Of Steel (2013) and Batman V Superman (2016) addressed collateral damage, but Marvel’s Civil War focuses primarily on it and it’s ramifications, if you want your super heroes “shackled to laws” and not “going rogue.” And the straw that breaks the camel’s back happens right in the beginning as Cap has his team are tracking Crossbones, aka Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) in Nigeria when he strikes, attempting to hijack a biological weapon from this lab. Like the scumball terrorist he pretty much is he’s wired up with a suicide vest and during his fight with Cap (when it’s obvious he’s on the losing end) he tries to take the both of them to hell with it. Scarlet Witch contains the blast with her powers but she doesn’t get him high enough into the air with her telekinesis and Rumlow blows up next to a building killing everyone on those floors.
The government (aka Thunderbolt Ross who’s Secretary Of State now) comes knocking days later with the Sokovia Accords, and demands all the heroes sign up with the government so they can no longer make their own decisions about who they combat, where it happens and when. Those who do not are recommended to retire. Clint retires for a while. Iron Man, Black Widow, War Machine and Vision sign on with the government. Cap, Falcon, and Hawkeye do not. Later on they’re joined by Ant-Man, while Iron Man recruits Spider-Man. Those who do not retire are basically arrested and thrown in the kind of super prison they make super villains for. Clint would have been all right had he not gotten tired of retirement, but he did and long story short ends up in prison after the big airport rumble later in the movie.
Once sides are chosen a subplot unfolds. While Widow is at conference with the King of Wakanda and his son, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), a bomb goes off killing the King, and it appears the Winter Soldier was responsible! T’Challa becomes the Black Panther and vows revenge. Cap goes looking for Bucky too, but what unfolds is nothing less than a plot to exact revenge on the Avengers for what they did in Age Of Ultron (2015). Enter Helmut Zemo who lost just about everyone in Sokovia.
What I liked about this Captain America entry is nothing is black and white, it’s all shades of gray. You can understand everyone’s reason for the sides they choose, why Zemo wanted revenge, and why the final battle between Stark and Rogers happens. But there were three main heroes who stole the show in this entry. First and foremost, Spider-Man, played by Brit Tom Holland, and for me this is the most accurate portrayal of Peter Parker the movies have ever done. For one thing he looks more age appropriate for being a kid in high school who’s only been the wall-crawler for six months. We get a quick flash of the costume he’s been using in that time before Stark hooks him up with a costume that to date is the best looking Spider-Man suit the movies have ever done too. Secondly, Black Panther! This is his live action movie debut and again the actor they chose, Chadwick Boseman, was just as perfect, not to mention his costume, which looks pretty much like it does in the comics. And thirdly, Ant-Man! Of the three he’s in it for the shortest amount of screen time, but he makes the most of it at the airport battle. This is the highlight of all the action scenes and also where Spider-Man shines as well. Incidentally Peter Parker doesn’t come into the movie until the 1-hour, 17-minute mark. That airport battle is awesome in its spectacle as well as being hilarious thanks to Spidey and Ant-Man, the comic reliefs of the movie. Giant Man’s cameo is the icing on the cake as Ant-Man goes big figuring that’ll give him the edge. It does for a little while, but then Spidey shuts him down with a technique he saw in The Empire Strikes Back.
Having said all that I still think Winter Soldier (2014) is the best of the Captain America movies, with Civil War coming in a hair away in second place. The First Avenger (2011) did nothing for me, I’m sad to say.
On September 13th Walt Disney Studios releases Captain America: Civil War on DVD, Blu-ray and 3D Blu/Blu-ray/DVD editions!
Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1080p 2.39:1 high definition widescreen—7.1 English DTS-HD Master Audio, 2.0 English Descriptive Audio, 5.1 French Dolby Digital, 5.1 Spanish Dolby Digital—English SDH, Spanish, French
Extras included . . .
- United We Stand, Divided We Fall: The Making Of Captain America: Civil War, Part 1 & 2 (22:25) (23:17)
- Captain America: The Road To Civil War (4;11)
- Iron Man: The Road To Civil War (4:27)
- Open Your Mind: Marvel’s Dr. Strange Exclusive Sneak Peek (4:02)
- Audio Commentary With Directors Anthony & Joe Russo And The Screenwriters
- Gag Reel (2:52)
- Deleted & Extended Scenes (4 Scenes in all/Play Separately or All At Once)
Good extras on this! Tom Holland also played the CGI Spider-Man. There’s behind-the-scenes shots of him in a motion capture suit, so it’s all him in one form or another. Gag Reel is good to. I love Gag Reels. Oh, and this still makes me laugh hysterically!