REVIEW – Oh captain, my captain – you and your friends have given us a great movie

…on the heels of DC’s financially successful Batman vs. Superman movie comes one that is guaranteed to blow it out of the water: Captain America: Civil War (duh).

Leave it to Marvel to shine once again, and confirm its place in the superhero film market.

The gang’s all here in Captain America: Civil War: Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/The Black Widow, Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, and…you get the idea. There are also new characters we get a good look who have their own upcoming franchises, like Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/The Black Panther, and Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spiderman.

In this go-around, we’re sort of picking up where we last left off: it’s been at least a year, give or take, since the events of Ultron, and our grand cast of characters is in Lagos trying to obtain some kind of biochemical weapon/hazard that’s fallen into the wrong hands. While they are successful, there are dozens of casualties in the process. As we delve deeper into the movie, this isn’t the first time – and, as many of the world’s leaders see it, it won’t be the last we see innocent people die. This propels our heroes into the realm of a bigger question: do we abide by the request of bureaucracy to be called into action only when we superheroes have permission? Or, do we act as we see fit?

And that’s where we get the whole “united we stand, divided we fall” thing going. Team Iron Man (bureaucracy) vs. Team Captain America (no bureaucracy). Boom. 

I am absolutely sold on Chadwick Boseman as The Black Panther, and I can't wait to see what he brings in the role. He'll get his own movie in 2018. (YouTube)
I am absolutely sold on Chadwick Boseman as The Black Panther, and I can’t wait to see what he brings in the role. He’ll get his own movie in 2018. (YouTube)

The third installment in the Captain America series is basically a rip-roaring good time with an engaging story, and compelling characters. It’s the Royal Rumble reserved for superheroes, and it is worth every penny of your time. I have to applaud Marvel, which has taken the time to develop characters with a lot of personality (yo, Zack Snyder: take note). Don’t let the trailers fool you, either: this is not some moody movie where every second hero is pondering the thoughts of the universe (remember that time someone set one of the first trailers to Adele’s ‘Hello?’ Yeah, the film is WAY more mutli-dimensional than that): there is a great blend of humour, anguish and, to some extent (if you’re really not paying attention at all), shock.

I won't spoil it for you, but this is a shot from one of my favourite scenes in the movie, which I felt truly captured the 'divided we fall' line the film has been shipping since the first trailer dropped. It brings up a lot of relevant thematic questions, and also calls to mind risk and reward.  (YouTube)
I won’t spoil it for you, but this is a shot from one of my favourite scenes in the movie, which I felt truly captured the ‘divided we fall’ line the film has been shipping since the first trailer dropped. It brings up a lot of relevant thematic questions, and also calls to mind risk and reward. (YouTube)

What’s more, this is a solid window into Marvel’s future over the next at LEAST five or so years where other super heroes are concerned. I’m not familiar with the Black Panther series, but watching Boseman in the role is enthralling (he’s slated to star in his own movie; that’s coming out in 2018).

I’ve been one of many complaining about the new Spiderman reboot that will be shipped out over the next few years, but Tom Holland is promising (his first movie in the new reboot is supposed to come out next year) and this film has changed my mind about him. Like his version of Spiderman, Holland has a lot of heart and humour in the role. I’m also excited to see him in a movie that is coming from Marvel (which is Spiderman’s home base, of course) and NOT Sony Pictures (which has owned the rights to the Spiderman franchise for ages). I also have a soft spot in my heart for Paul Rudd’s Antman, who was refreshingly witty, charming, AND an ass-kicker in his debut film – just as he is here (even though he doesn’t have TOO much screen time). It’s hard to find a character in this film you can’t feel something for.

I do have a bit of a bone to pick with the slight lag before the crazy fight between the two sides, but I feel like that might have been a build-up to all the action you get gobsmacked with during the multi-hero sparring. I was also skeptical about all of the story lines we could have potentially had from the writers. For what it all turned out to be, it wasn’t bad. The story was pretty clear, and, as I mentioned earlier, they did a really good job shaping a lot of these characters so that you had, at the very least, a decent introduction to them if you’d never seen any of the Captain America/Iron Man movies. Mind you – it was a little predictable for my tastes; I didn’t experience any major twists to this movie where my jaw dropped to the floor. However, I did laugh a LOT more than I expected (with the characters, not at them – and certainly not at any dumb writing/acting/etc.), so Marvel gets bonus points for that.

DC will really need to step it up if they want to keep up with these guys – Marvel is going to have the market cornered if they keep going at this pace.

This is definitely one of the best Marvel/Captain America movies I’ve seen in a while. I strongly recommend you see it. 4-and-a-half divided superheroes out of five. Absolutely worth it to go see in 3D or IMAX. Don’t wait.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the trailer.

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