Thursday, May 5, 2016

Captain America: Civil War Review (Non-Spoiler)

Captain America films get better and better. The First Avenger was actually my favorite solo film from Phase One. The Winter Soldier is in a three-way tie for tops in Phase Two with Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man. Civil War begins Phase Three, and it sets the bar real high. Sky high. One thing I enjoy about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Marvel's ability to take directors with little to zero experience in action films, and they end up with these amazing popcorn flicks in theaters.

This is a loaded ensemble of characters.  The management of characters is near-perfect by the Russo Brothers. Supporting cast from non-Captain America films such as Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk bridge together and make Civil War as grand as it is. It might seem like an Avengers film on the outside, but the heart and soul in the story still falls on Steve Rogers and his friends, Bucky and Sam. That aspect is never neglected throughout the movie with all these other superheroes showing up.

Captain America's trilogy is arguably the king of raw action in the MCU. That gritty, looks as real as possible, hands-on combat is so good. Civil War is able to amplify that tone from The Winter Soldier in every action scene. Every superhero gets their time to shine in this film. That all falls under the amazing character management. There is one character that isn't really promoted anywhere except in Civil Wars toys that makes a giant appearance during the airport battle. It's my favorite part in the whole movie, especially since it was teased in the last MCU movie. 

Characters introduced in Civil War are done in relevance to Civil War's story. It isn't a "hey, here's Peter Parker and T'Challa, now let's get back to the story" type of deal. They appear because stuff is going down, and they want to have a say in it. Actually that's more Black Panther's deal than Spider-Man's involvement though. Spider-Man is kind of a "I need this guy on my team" type of recruitment for Tony Stark. Helmut Zemo is a decent villain. He manages to really tear apart the Avengers squad to make this movie possible. That's kind of an accomplishment, but there is room to grow concerning the character in future movies. 

The supporting cast spawned from Captain America films are my favorite. I guess reading older Captain America comics helps my appreciation of them. Sharon Carter get some character development, while the other Carter has a heartfelt conclusion. Sam Wilson is that super chill bro loyal to Steve. Bucky and Steve is something else though. You don't want either of them to get hurt -- or separated. They're the original best friend duo from WWII trying to move on in the modern day. Let's not forget about HYDRA, the coolest villain organization ever. They kind of appear in Civil War, but not in awesome Arnim Zola fashion in the Winter Soldier. 

My second viewing of Civil War will be in IMAX 3D tonight, so I'll do a slight follow-up afterwards on what I think about the 3D gimmick. Other than that, everybody needs go out and get their ticket to Civil War tonight! This will be a box office juggernaut for the next few weekends, so I wouldn't count on half-empty theaters until Memorial Day weekend comes around (weekdays are obviously a different story). Oh, before I forget -- #TEAMCAP :)

-- IMAX 3D Follow-Up --

I will say that the 3D is useful in very few scenes. Not once did I feel impressed with the 3D. It was around during action, mostly noticeable whenever Captain America's shield was flying around. Other instances weren't so memorable since I honestly can't recall them. This film deserves to be seen in IMAX, but preferably without 3D in your way.