'Captain America: Civil War' is a better Avengers Movie than the Avengers movies

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One of the best movies I've ever seen!

I burned through all 90 something issues of Civil War in a couple of days or so back in ‘07 all that time thinking: “Man, comics are deep.Civil War opened my eyes to the fascinating and wide-ranging, complex and provoking stories the medium can deliver. Civil War made me love comics, and I’ve essentially been looking forward to the movie adaptation for the past decade! And to my delight, Captain America: Civil War was fan-freaking-tastic!


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Tony vs. Steve
Government oversight vs. Freedom to choose

After a botched operation in foreign soil, the autonomy of the Avengers comes into scrutiny. The UN passes the Sokovia Accords – an act compelling the Avengers to operate under a UN body. Pragmatic heroes like Tony Stark agree with the ruling, they do have to be kept in check, but the Steve Rogers, who believes whole-heartedly that their freedom to choose which battles they fight is fundamental to their being heroes, is very much against it. When Captain America goes rogue and Iron Man is forced to bring him in, superhero civil war ensues.

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Team Iron Man vs. Team Captain America

A well-adapted and powerful story

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Much like The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War moves away from the usual cartoon-y plots to echo real world themes. That in itself is reason enough for the latest MCU entry to stand out among the rest.

The writing was near perfect. Its story was single-minded and tightly bound, not a single throwaway scene; had a flawless balance of humor, drama and superhero action; was believable and organic in its development of the overarching discontent between former friends and allies. The movie may not have reached the argumentative depths of the comic books (such is the limit of the two hour movie), but the basic points were clear and easily digestible and most importantly, it was FAIR. Both sides had valid points and were simultaneously hero and villain in the story.

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The broad strokes of the comic books were there – an inciting incident, government oversight, conflicting ideologies, questionable detainment, and a massive superhero fight - but the details were altered to fit the cinematic universe’s current status quo and give everything a bit more legitimacy. The Winter Soldier central piece, and Steve’s loyalty to his friend, for example, worked well as a framework for Steve and Tony’s fall out. The UN signing off on the Accords made a lot more sense that it being a solely US initiative, AND it gives the directive added weight and credibility. Cinema Tony wasn’t the hate-able character he was in the comics; it never feels like he went out of line. Similarly, Cap wasn’t as hardheaded about his beliefs either, at one point he was even about to sign the accords already. This is exactly how you want your adaptations to be – faithful to the source material, accurate in the things that matter, while also ironing out the rough edges and still being a fresh and surprising experience for everyone.

Well-written and acted characters

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Leads Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr.

This was Tony and Steve’s finest hour. CW comes out with a darker Tony and Downey Jr. conveys it with stark (pun intended) clarity. Tony’s sadness and frustration brewed from underneath his skin and is underscored by the absence of his distinctive retorts. With everything that happens to him through the film, it’s easy to sympathize with this Tony’s campaign.

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Ooooohhh, you dun'it now!

Chris Evans is again the definitive good guy. He’s got this inherent charm that makes him an even more captivating Captain America than the actual Captain America in the comics! He radiates physical and moral strength, but maintains a calm, kind vibe like a proper gentleman.

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My arms felt ashamed after seeing Cap take on a helicopter.

There was no clear villain in either of the two. Both seemed to struggle fighting the other, knowing that this isn’t what either of them wanted but it’s what was needed. Watching them fight was like watching your parents fight – it’s hard to side with anybody and you just want it to stop!

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The Russo’s also did a wonderful job juggling the films considerable roster. Everyone fell just into place so naturally. With the focus on Steve and Tony, there was no pressure add unnecessary side stories or screen time. (e.g. Age of Ultron) Every character had a reason for being there, and they were only there for the amount of time that served the story.
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Forget Cap and Iron Man, Spidey was a one man show!

And finally, I just have to mention this, but minor as it was, every second Tom Holland’s Spidey was on-screen was an absolute delight! Glaring CGI and pitchy voice aside, this Spidey was true to younger versions of the character – innocent, virtuous, wisecracking, and occasionally annoying. He stole the show, much like Quicksilver did in DOFP.

Incredible action romps

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That airport scene tho.

Sure, a couple of the earlier fights suffered from a bit of choppy editing, but for the rest, it was heart-pounding, fist-pumping, and adrenaline-fueled action that only the Russo brothers can deliver!

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What's better than superheroes fighting each other? TEAM UPS!

But the real center piece of Civil War was the epic airport skirmish. It wasn’t a brief gimmick; it was an honest to goodness superhero vs. superhero smack down! Every move was thought out – from each character’s unique abilities to their logical team ups. It was GLORIOUS! My brain turned to mush from sheer ecstasy! Captain America: Civil War entered a new level of awesomeness that my tiny little mind could not comprehend!

A few, final notes before I go:
  • New character interactions were a lot of fun to watch. Sam and Buck, Wanda and Vision, Tony/Steve and Peter, and Scott with everyone.
  • That helicopter scene likely impregnated women left and right. Chris Evans is really just BICEPS with a face (and perfect teeth)!
  • A million nerd points for recreating that climactic comic book frame in such spectacular fashion!
  • Black Panther’s tribal, ninja, fighting style was as vicious as it was fresh.
  • …And it was also a nice surprise how essential his side story was to the whole film.
  • Now this is how you use a superhero’s mom in a story!
  • I still can’t get over Vision’s sweater. 
  • Happy to have Spider-man in the MCU!
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Powerful debut by the King of Wakanda!

It’s hard to fault Captain America: Civil War for anything, really. (Probably only that this shouldn’t be the LAST Captain America installment. ‘Coz you can’t do an Empire ending and leave us hanging.) They made a great concept even better with perfect execution. The action, story, characters, drama, and flare – the Russo Brothers were master conductors and Civil War was their symphony.

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Definitely deserves a re-watch!

Even with only 12 characters, the scale and impact on the MCU was very much felt. The rifts between friends and former allies were heart-breaking; I tried my best not to cry my nerdy little heart out. Nothing will ever be the same again after Captain America: Civil War, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

MICMIC RATING: 9.5 / 10


PS. Here you go ladies.




2 comments:

  1. I was flailing the whole time. Great write up! *high five*

    ReplyDelete