Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Ok, first off, unlike a lot of people I know, I wasn’t looking forward to seeing Captain America: Civil War (2016). Not because it was yet another Marvel or superhero flick to throw on top of the ever-growing pile, but because I’m a comic book fan and I have happily re-read Mark Miller’s Civil War (2006) storyline many… many times. Miller created a beautiful and deep storyline that involved not only the entire Marvel superhero group (from well knows to lesser know individuals), but also the non-powered people that lived in that world. In Miller’s story, the Superhero Registration Act was designed to have super-powered individuals work under official regulation, kind of like becoming police officers. The short version, you either signed the Act, which made you gave up your secret identity and work for the government or you went to jail… They told you where you were going to work (you could be relocated) and when (they decided what threat was important and needed action). Now, the reason I wasn’t looking forward to the Captain America: Civil War was, I thought, we didn’t have enough Marvel characters to do the storyline justice and there was no way they could just dump a ton of characters in a movie without explaining where they all came from. However, after watching Captain America: Civil War, I was pleasantly surprised! Yeah, things were changed, like the Superhero Registration Act was called the Sokovia Accords, but as big of a fan of the comic storyline as I am, I thought they did a great job changing and creating a movie version of the Civil War.

Civil War comic cover

Captian America: Civil War is an action/adventure/sci-fi that was directed by the Russo brothers, Anthony and Joe. The screenplay was written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, which was based on the Marvel Civil War comics by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven and characters by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Civil War has a hundred and forty-seven-minute runtime. It’s rated PG-13 for language and violence and here’s what the story is about. After all the times the Avengers have fought off a threat and saved the world, a price has been paid. Even though they’ve tried, not everyone could be saved, and with each battle, more lives have been lost. Who do we hold responsible for those lives and the damage left behind from those battles? A question that has slowly been brewing since the first time the Avengers stepped up to save the world and now there’s an answer. The government has decided to push a hero registration act called the Sokovia Accords, which would limit a heroes actions. The Avengers would work for the government and only answer to the threats the government deems necessary. Some of the Avengers believe this is the right call, while the others think it’s wrong. What was once a team of friends are now split into two groups, those for the act and those against it. Bottom line, sign up or give up the hero life, what’s the right call? A question that will be answered after the dust settles in a battle of friend versus friend…

When comparing the comics to the movie, the movie is like the abridged version of the huge comic storyline but very well written. Markus and McFeely did a really good job of bringing over certain elements that made the comic story so good and bringing it all to live. You get personal struggles, conflicts between friends and (the biggest point of the Civil War) a moral question of what’s right. Is giving up certain freedoms to save lives the right thing to do? Can the term “For the greater good” really be an excuse used to solve problems?

The playthrough was awesome. It caught my attention right off the bat and kept it the entire time. I was surprised because the films running time is like two and half hours, but it didn’t feel like it when I was watching. When it was over I actually wanted it to keep going. Mainly because I wanted to see some of those fight scenes stretched out. Now, the fight scenes were super cool, but the actual storyline is pretty solid and even though it slows down here and there, it didn’t really drag out or get boring at any point.

Some of the cast is: Chris Evans (Captain America), Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes), Sebastian Stan (The Covenant), Scarlett Johansson (Under the Skin), Chadwick Boseman (42), Anthony Mackie (The Adjustment Bureau), Don Cheadle (Crash), Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker), Paul Bettany (A Knight’s Tale), Elizabeth Olsen (Godzilla), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Emily VanCamp (Captain America: The Winter Solider), Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming) and Daniel Bruhl (Rush). I thought the cast did a great job and the chemistry between Evans and Downey Jr. really shined in this one. We’ve seen the friendship that has been building (in the films) between Evans and Downey Jr.’s characters, but it all comes together here and shows how well they work together. I’ve always liked Bettany’s work and still do, I think he’s done a killer job bringing the Vision character to life. Boseman was good, but we don’t really see the T’Challa side of his character much, so I’m interested in seeing what he does in his stand-alone film. However, seeing Black Panther on the big screen was awesome and long overdue. Black Panther is a cool comic book character and doesn’t get enough time in the spotlight.

Now, I can’t say I was on board with Holland taking on the Spider-Man role. Not because of Holland himself, but because it’s another version of Spider-Man (I’m getting tired of the Spider-Man reboots), but from the bit, I saw with him… yeah, I liked him. What I really liked about Holland’s version was it’s the Spider-Man that’s constantly bantering with who he’s facing off with. One of the few things I dug about the Amazing Spider-Man (2012) starring Andrew Garfield but was missing in the Spider-Man (2002) starring Tobey Maguire. Holland seems to have a good hold on all the elements I like about Spider-Man and now I’m actually curious to see his stand-alone movie.

The special effects were great, from the explosions to the heroes using their abilities. One of the few problems I had with the film was the cinematography. The camera work was constantly smooth and steady, which looked good. Then the camera work would get super shaky during the fight/action scenes. Yeah, I know they want me to feel like I’m right in the middle of the action, but instead, I felt like I was missing out on bits of the scenes while trying to take everything in as it was being thrown at me by the camera.

Side note: Some people who watched the trailer thought this was another Avengers film, but it’s not. It’s actually the third and final installment of the Captain America movies. However, this isn’t the last time we’ll see Captain America. The contract Chris Evans has with the company covers two more Avengers films, Infinity War (1 & 2), then we’ll see if Marvel Studios re-signs him or moves on. Even though Evans was reluctant to sign on as Captain America at first, he recently stated that he’s loved his run and is more than willing to re-up his contract if Marvel needs/wants him to.

Summary : Overall, this one is well worth watching and is a nice addition to the stack of Marvel films out already.

It's rated PG-13 for language and violence.