OK this was a pretty awesome movie my friends. I will not have any spoilers in this brief initial response to my matinée screening at the wonderful Cinetopia. That GXL Dolby ATMOS 80 foot screen is brilliant!
This movie tackled some heavy subject matter and delivered some of the best action sequences of any superhero movie to date. One of the things that really makes Marvel so awesome is how every movie is connected effectively to the whole series of films. In this movie we all knew going in that a rift between Captain America and Tony Stark would open to a chasm. And it does; that’s not a spoiler because everybody knows that 😉 That rift began to emerge way back with the Avengers in 2012. Marvel has just been amazing with character development across a dozen or more movies.
This movie really brought some fantastic film making to the table. Not just superhero genre good, but ‘cinematically’ good. The Russo Brothers absolutely took this thing to the proverbial barn with well-balanced action and drama.
Part of the problem with these movies is the fact that there are so many films coming out featuring superheroes from Marvel, DC and other graphic novels and comic books. There is a bit of superhero fatigue that has dulled the experience just a little bit. That can make a great film like ‘Civil War’ seem like it’s less than the Avengers but may actually be better. I have been watching the older films lately and finding that some of that ‘buzz’ is gone. That simply means the novelty of the movie is lost and when measure purely against its cinematic qualities they are not as ‘awesome’ as I originally thought. All of that considered this film will find itself near the top of my chart.
The Russos generously employed that jerky-journalistic style of camera work in this movie. You know that hand-held camera. And lots of chase camera a-la-COPS. I liked it, but some of the action sequences were long enough that I felt a bit fatigued with that style. It was not so much as to detract from the quality experience of the movie, but enough to notice. It is kind of like J.J. Abrams and lens flare in the 2009 Star Trek. Just a little bit over played.
This was not Chris Evans best effort as the Captain. He was solid, but not as convincingly good as in the previous installments of Captain America or the Avengers. Robert Downey Jr. however, was a total stud, again. This was the deepest acting effort yet by Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. The character was written with a serious tone and deep conflict and conviction. He nailed it.
I think I am falling in love with Natasha Romanov. Seriously, I could watch a whole movie dedicated to Black Widow kicking ass. Even a 2 hour montage of every scene and ass whooping she has delivered since first appearing in Ironman 2. I’m not alone on this my friends, she manages to sneak into a lot of Marvel films 😉
The rest of the cast is the usual Marvel Good stuff. We will see the emergence of another marvel character not previously presented in movies. He is a badass. I am not telling who it is, no spoilers, remember?
Everyone knew that Spiderman would appear in this movie as well. This is one thing the movie did really well. Spiderman is secondary to the plot. He provides much-needed comic relief to this darker than average and more dramatic movie, darker at least for Marvel. Spiderman movie rights are actually owned by Sony, and Marvel had to get him on “loan”. That is no small affair. Intellectual property is closely guarded. Sony of course took advantage of an opportunity to introduce the new Spiderman for the upcoming movies beginning next year. And they get Tony Stark on loan for the new spidey flick. Tom Holland is just barely 20 years old and he delivers the goods as the traditional 1960s version of Peter Parker in High School. I am looking forward to next year’s release of Spiderman: Homecoming.
I was delighted to see Academy Award winner, Marisa Tomei playing Aunt May. Yes Marisa Tomei. If you haven’t seen ‘My Cousin Vinny’, go watch it NOW! Wait until after you’re done reading this. Seriously you haven’t seen that? OK anyway, Aunt May has been played in the last two trilogy’s by older women. Sally Field is lovely but she was well into her sixties when cast in the second trilogy. Marisa Tomei is my age, she turns 52 later this year. Really a hottie Aunt May? Yep!
Sometimes it’s those little in-between scenes that separate the good films from the great films. There is a scene with Tony Stark and Aunt May that is simple, offers a subtly funny and partly awkward moment that was absolutely brilliant. The Russo Brothers don’t deserve credit for shooting it, they deserve credit for keeping it in the movie! Those are the kinds of scenes that often get cut and yet they are the kind of scenes that are memorable, despite having little to do with the plot development. Bravo!
This movie doesn’t have a clearly defined villain. And I like that, it works here. The movie’s plot develops nicely and offers a few twists and reveals. Captain America: Civil War does a few things great and everything well. I don’t see the same movie in the theater that often, but I will likely be seeing this one again. Oh and stay all the way to the bitter end of the credits. There are TWO after credits scenes one early in the credits the other at the very end.
Be sure to check out the updated superhero movie list. This movie debuts in the top five on the all time list!
Also be advised Deadpool arrives on Bluray this Tuesday!