Captain America: Civil War (2016) – Review/Best Bits/Not Best Bits

They sure pack a lot in on this one. In many ways, this is the kind of film only Marvel could have made at this point. A over a dozen comic book characters with no easy way in. It pushes an existing storyline, and leads to more films. That this ambitious film works at all is a miracle. That it is really good is just kind of insane.

The Russo Brothers have really made this work. There were a lot of abandoned ideas, and it looks like they took away a lot of what is not essential. They just about give all the characters a moment to shine. And they didn’t forget this is a Captain America film. Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan deserve a lot of kudos. They hold down the emotional heart of the film. This is their film.

For a franchise that is about punching people, the Russo delivered two of the best fight sequences in the MCU. The chase/fight in Berlin, and then the airport fight, are never boring. The action is interesting and inventive. It rises and falls, and leads to a climax. And then the final fight between characters we love, upending expectations of yet another set of explosions.

Black Panther and Spider-Man hey generous introductions. We really get to know these legends, and again the Russo’s played with audience expectations. And the central question of the film – that argument between Tony and Steve – get real time to fight it out too. How the hell did they get all this in? I guess this is a long film.

There are nits to pick. We don’t get any real character development with the existing Avengers. What do these people do with their spare time? What Vision does, and what Scarlett Witch does, is still confusing. The film is long, and dense. It just about works, but they really could have cut around a third of the cast. But they would have lost the spectacle.

But maybe we would have gotten more human moments. Everything Falcon and Bucky are so great. We get so little of Sharon. Zemo barely seems a threat, more of a plot device. The main criticism really boils down to wishing this was more of a Captain America film.

This is still a thrill, and it seems even more vital to the MCU than Age Of Ultron. This film is an incredible feat, and moves the MCU into exciting new places. Marvel at the top of their game.

Best bits

  • Chris Evans. Our Captain.
  • Airport fight – and Giant Man
  • Spider-Man and Black Panther
  • Bros Bucky and Falcon
  • Very solid screenwriting

Not best bits

  • Lots of Avengers who just get punched around. Did we really need Hawkeye?
  • Zemo and Crossbones get shortchanged
  • This is a long film. They do a good job of not having another big dumb fight at the end, but gee it was still long by that point.
  • And dense. Is this anyone’s first MCU film? Does that make sense in any way?
  • There’s a lot of setting up of future films. I guess one MCU does that ever phase. Iron Man 2, Winter Soldier, and now this.

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