Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Sometimes, you’ve just got to let them fight.

After years and years of constant controversy over their extreme efforts to stop evildoers in the world, the Avengers are now facing public scrutiny. So much so that now, the government wants to find a way to intervene with their ways in how they go about stopping the evil, while also making sure that no innocent, kind citizens get killed in the process. This new rule sets the group apart; while Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is all about it for the sake of still being able to stop villains from taking over the world, Captain America (Chris Evans), on the other hand, doesn’t feel the same way. Of course, there are others in the group who feel the same as either side, but they’re coming to a point now where they don’t know if they can stay together as a single unit without someone getting hurt. And now, what with Bucky (Sebastian Stan) back in the picture, Cap wants to protect him in any way he can, even if that means having to take down fellow friends and confidantes that he could once trust.

I know someone in DC who could probably beat all of them....
I know someone in DC who could probably beat all of them….

Which means, yes, they all brawl.

A few months ago, there was a huge backlash against Batman V. Superman. Most of the reasons had to do with the fact that it basically just sucked and that was about it. Of course, none of these people were ever wrong, but for me at least, I was a tad bit kinder on it because it set out to make a superhero movie that, yes, was ultimately messy, but asked certain questions and toggled certain ideas that we don’t typically see in superhero movies. Should there be superheroes in the world in which we live in? And if we can’t help the fact that they are, what can we do to stop them, or better yet, decrease their power and danger to our society? Get rid of them altogether? Or put little rules and guidelines for them to follow, so that they don’t go around killing thousands and thousands of citizens as if it was, yes, 9/11 all over again.

Obviously, these are the same kinds of questions and ideas that Civil War plays with in its own mind, but where BVS screwed-up with, they actually deliver on. Not only do they ask the goddamn questions, but they also seem interested in solving it, even if the only way to do so is basically through fist fights and banter-battles. For once, we see characters and superheros who, for the past few years or so, have been nearly untouchable and almost too close to being perfect, but somehow, Civil War finds a way to have them all shine in different lights. Even though this is supposed to be his movie, Captain America actually comes off more like an unlikable child here who doesn’t get his way, so therefore, has to resort to punches, kicks and throwing his shield.

Then again, nobody else is perfect here, either. And well, that’s sort of the point of this story.

Falcon punch!
Falcon punch!

What the Russo Brothers do the best job of here is that they allow for the story to do its usual checklist of things we see in these kinds of superhero movies, but does them way better than those movies. While new characters and subplots are being brought to our attention, the Russo’s never allow for it to get too jammed-up to where we have no idea what’s the conflict with which character, for what reasons, and when we can expect it all to get resolved. In Age of Ultron, the movie was admittedly way too overstuffed and overlong to really make sense of its mayhem and therefore, it suffered. The action itself may have been fun and well-done, but because there was just so much going on, with so many damn people, it was hard to really care for any of it, especially when you’re still trying to pinpoint who matters and why.

The Russo’s, thankfully, don’t have that problem. Even though they’re working with a wide arrange of characters and stories to work with, they somehow are able to have it all work together in a cohesive manner, that when the action does eventually come around, you care. Not only do these characters get their opportunities to shine and show why they’re genuine ass-kickers, but give us a little background on who they are and their personalities. Even for characters like Hawkeye and the Vision, who you may feel have overstayed their welcome, still come around to show us that they’re around and actually matter to a story as overcooked as this.

Does this make Civil War perfect? Nope, but it definitely makes it the best Avengers movie since the first Avengers.

Which is saying something, because all of the Marvel movies have been fine and done their jobs well. That isn’t to say that they haven’t all felt like they were doing the same things as the one that came before it, but regardless, it still doesn’t matter, because it seems like Civil War gets Marvel right back on-track. Though a lot more is left up in the air this time, the feeling that everything has changed and gotten a whole lot more serious with this universe and these characters is still around and it’s what makes me genuinely excited for what’s next to come.

Cause yes, obviously, we’re going to get more of these movies, whether you like it or not.

Consensus: Exciting, tense, smart, and believe it or not, interesting, Civil War does everything that Batman V Superman tried to do, but hits every nail on the head and reminds us why this universe can be so great to be apart of when they’re firing on all cylinders.

9 / 10

Hey guys, I know you're kicking ass and all, but 2-on-1 ain't cool. Let's fight fair here.
Hey guys, I know you’re kicking ass and all, but 2-on-1 ain’t cool. Let’s fight fair here.

Photos Courtesy of: Aceshowbiz


  1. I thought this film was very very good (still think Winter Soldier is a better stand-alone movie overall, tho) and this review nails the good and bad I found with it. nice work dude. So glad you guys in the US have finally caught up with the rest of us! LOL

  2. Great review Dan, I was glad to see Civil War deliver as I hope it would be. Definitely ‘up there’ with Winter Soldier as one of the best Marvel films.

  3. This is an excellent review. I do have one point that I cannot go along with. I disagree with the Captain America “unlikeable child who doesn’t get his way” statement. As a Team Cap supporter, I can actually support it without just using the “because he is better than Tony Stark” argument. (Although he is). Without being a spoiler comment- or at least warning it could be— The script balanced the “Bucky is my friend” with “the truth is that really the only people the Avengers can trust is themselves” argument. The minute they put their power into the hands of any government and especially 117 such governments – there was bound to be real evil twisting and creating the situations( the lies, the wars, the media- and as always governments run by selfish people suck) I think the statement is so true of the world we actually live in today with the actual countries we have. Sadly we don’t have to make up names of this country and that country to place the manipulation and evil on in our actual world, but I digress. I never believed for one minute that Cap was only doing this because Bucky was his friend. I knew and believed- with him -that the moment they gave up their orders to another “general/ captain”, they would be screwed over. Ultimately, it was the line in the sand that tears them apart.

    What I didn’t see coming was how painful it was to watch them fight. The movie watchers already knew Hydra was responsible for the death of the Starks from Zola. The little plot twist the Russo brothers threw in the movie caused me to let out an awful and audible ( quite loud) sob. It was too much, and it was heart wrenching. My 11 year old reached for my hand- it was so incredibly painful for him to even take in. Tony Stark had to avenge those emotions and had to avenge his parents, but Cap is ultimately right in taking the stance to defend. ( This is incredibly difficult to write without spoiling. ) Those particular scenes of the three of them fighting which were released in the trailers are so much more intense in the context of the plot- once we actually know the plot. It is like ultimately watching three brothers almost kill one another. ( Granted one of them is definitely the outsider, but blood is blood is blood.)

    When I left I texted this was as good as The Winter Soldier, but in the morning’s light- it was better. Having read the comics ( which lead me to prepare for things that didn’t happen), having been Team Cap since 2011, and ultimately wanting to stay true to the morals his character represents- this movie shows that in the end all you have in this world is yourself, your beliefs, and if God so blesses, your family. You often have to stand up for what you ultimately believe is right and it may strain and tear families apart, but you fight for what is right- but you never ever cut that family member out. You always leave the door open, and you don’t change your number in case they want to work it out.

    Your reviews and your continued desire to follow your own path – makes me so incredibly proud of the young man you have become. It renews my faith in this very broken world. Well done, Dan, well done. ( I typed this on my phone beware of typos.)

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