Captain America: Civil War

I didn't expect the movie to be what it was and that's a good thing.  It turned out to be more than watching Marvel mastur... well, let's call it self -gratify (after all, this is a public site) onscreen.  It was surprisingly poignant and even a little - very little, but still - thought provoking.  It stood clearly in contrast to the X-Men franchise where evil was very clear and had a clear face, it flies in the face of Superman v Batman in only as much as it appeared to accomplish the mission whereto it was sent out into the theaters.

The spoiler alerts will start in a quick second, so... there's the obligatory warning.


Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (Chronicles of Narnia, Pain & Gain, Thor: The Dark World) - Writers
Anthony & Joe Russo (You, Me & Dupree, Captain America: The Winter Soldier) - Directors

Chris Evans - Captain America/Steve Rogers
Robert Downey, Jr. - Iron Man/Tony Stark
Scarlett Johansson - Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff
Chadwick Boseman - Black Panther/Prince T'Chala
Don Cheadle- War Machine/Lt. James Rhodes
Paul Rudd - Ant Man/Scott Lang
Martin Freeman - some government dude
Tom Holland - Spiderman/Peter Parker
Anthony Mackie - Falcon/Sam Wilson
Paul Bettany - Vision
Jeremy Renner - Hawkeye/Clint Baron


Captain America: Civil War starts with an event that is basically nobody's fault, but due to the actions of these "enhanced" humans like like Captain America and Scarlet Witch, there is collateral damage in the form of human casualties.  Several of the victims happen to be Wakandan citizens.  (Wakanda, of course, is the fictional nation in Africa known for it's technological prowess and for being basically the only place on Earth where enterprising thieves and thieving nations would go to steal... Vibranium.  But you all knew that.) Remember, Shield has fallen - which is important because it means I finally get to see a movie without Samuel L. Jackson in it... You can't tell me God doesn't answer prayer. Can I get an Amen!?  

Anyway, Wakanda aint happy about the Avengers running around the world with zero supervision and little oversight - neither is the rest of the world.  After Thor's appearance, and Ultron, and the Avengers involvement in an incident where a whole city dropped out of the sky, and the New York invasion thing, Thor's appearance, etc., the world has had enough of Capt. America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Thor, and the Hulk jacking crap up. Much like Batman's fake beef with Superman in their movie, the United Nations have a problem with extremely powerful people not being held accountable for the damage wrought on their respective citizenry.  But Civil War is significantly better than Dawn of Justice. It is not quite as clever as Iron Man (I) or Avengers (I), and it's not remotely as funny as Deadpool (although, that would be a really tall order).  

The world backs the Stankonia Accords (I think the actual name is Sokovia, but I prefer Stankonia).  Iron Man then tries to sway his friends to sign the Accords which would subject them to the authority of the United Nations.  All of these enhanced individuals would only go where they were sent and would be held accountable for their actions.  Those who continued to conduct unsanctioned activities would be subject to arrest and branded criminals.  The dividing line is between Iron Man and his new found willingness to cooperate with the world's leaders, believing that they failure to do so makes the Avengers no better than the bad guys they fight, and Captain America who thinks that decision making coming from a governmental body like the U.N. doesn't mean the decision will be the right one.  Cap thinks it would be better for the Avengers to manage themselves.  Fair points all around, easy to find agreement with either Tony or Cap, hence... the Civil War.  

Captain America enlists Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, the Winter Soldier, and a few others, whilst Tony brings heavy hitters like Vision, War Machine, Black Widow and Black Panther.

BY FAR, the highlight of this movie is the newly anticipated stand alone Black Panther film. Chadwick Boseman (who has played Jackie Robinson in 42, James Brown in Get On Up, and Thurgood Marshall in the upcoming biopic Marshall) was excellent as Black Panther. From what I remember about the Black Panther character, he was a real bad ass.  He had toys like Tony Stark and the finances to match, he had skills like Captain America, but he wasn't genetically enhanced; he's just naturally superior.  (Can you tell I'm raising a black fist in the air right now?)  As far as I'm concerned, you can call this movie.. Captain America: Introducing Black Panther.  They downplayed his badassery, so as not to upstage the others, but they managed to give him his due.

So, long story, slightly shorter... They fight... A LOT.  Most of it is cool.  Not the long fight sequence in the beginning.  Some of those moves were the chopped and sped-up to the point of ridiculousness (yes, I am aware of the irony of calling something ridiculous in a movie that has a paramilitary sniper guy who only fires arrows, a witch, a kid bitten by a radioactive spider and capable of catching cars, two men flying around at supersonic speeds in metal personal suits and lights on their hands, feet, and chests, and a woman who looks like Scarlett Johansson and does what she does exists - all bananas, I know).  Unfortunately, as much fun as a good fight scene is, I know I have mentioned it before, I like a good villain in my action movies.  The villain in this movie was not up to par for the level of damage he helped usher along.  He was junior varsity at best and somehow managed to baffle major league players like Tony Stark (with all his security and tech).  Good actor.  Actually, all the acting was laudable.  It's the story that was a bit difficult to accept.  You get the explanation of the opposing sides, but you don't really walk away caring or disliking the position of either of them.  I would have preferred them to go-in, but it felt like the characters and writers were all pulling their punches up until the very end of the movie - and then when they could have really done something dramatic, they pulled the final punch instead of letting them swing like Gennady Golovkin.  They incorporated a fair amount of superheroes in this including Spider Man and Ant Man, but there were a few that were noticeably excluded.  I can only assume that the budget for the including big, angry green guy would have broken the bank.  There were no X-Men, Hulks of any gender, Punisher, Fantastic 4 or really anyone significant in the Marvel Universe aside from Spidey.  It would probably have been tough to give them all something to do.  But what they did do was mostly fun to watch.  

This was a decently crafted story with some real emotional gravitas that you don't expect. In no particular order, the best things about this movie were 1) there was NO Sam Jackson; 2) Spiderman was a fresh set up for a relaunch that even had Marissa Tomei as Aunt Mae; and 3) T'Challa/Black Panther got busy in this flick!  It's good enough to see in IMax.  Hell, it's good enough for you to pay for at least one additional 3D IMax ticket.  It's not perfect, but it's a nice way to start the summer blockbuster season (looking forward to Z-Men: Apocalypse, Star Trek: Beyond, Now You See Me 2, and even The Final Master). 

IMTHATDUDE gives Captain America: Civil War: 4

5 = You should be about halfway to the theatre by now… Well… GET!
4 = Definitely worth the bread. Niiice.
3 = I won’t cuss anybody out and demand my paper back.
2 = Somewhere SOUTH of under-whelmed./I know it has a pulse, but…
1 = Not a good look. They played me AND I played myself.

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