Friday, May 6, 2016

Review: Captain America: Civil War (2016)

                          The Corrected 'Batman v. Superman'
            Sooo...that didn't take long to get the bitter taste of Batman v. Superman out of my mouth.

         Captain America: Civil War continues the story of Captain America (Chris Evans) who is being forced to being out under forceful watch by the government along with his fellow Avengers. But a divide starts to develop once he, along with other Avengers, isn't on board with being put in check, resulting in a battle amongst them all.

         I'll start off with the acting. Most of the actors are on their A-game and play off each other handsomely. Chris Evans, of course, is good as Captain America and in my opinion, his character is more fleshed out this time around. When he is reminded about the chaos that the Avengers tend to cause, including deaths of innocent citizens, he is aware that the cost is tragic yet is also concerned about simply fighting off the villains at hand. A few other standouts include Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow who is also on middle ground. While she may be on Team Iron Man, her alliance is sort of blurred. After watching this, I hope that Johansson finally gets the solo movie she deserves. I also loved Anthony Mackie as the Falcon, Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, and the two newest additions: Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther and Tom Holland as Spider-Man. Can't wait to see those two in their future solo movies.

         Another thing I absolutely loved about the film is its moral ambiguity. Even when I felt like I wanted to slap Iron Man or anyone on his side, I could still understand where they were coming from and why they wanted to be put under a watchful eye to prevent further chaos even as that goes to no avail. That brings me to my next point. Much like how Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a political spy thriller, Civil War works as a take on war and terrorism with the characters ending up in chaos as they try to contain it. Also, with the Avengers causing destruction as they prevent further destruction by fighting evil, it reminded me a lot of the drone conflict with people wondering whether they feel safe with a drone floating around in the sky that can easily strike its main target but at a potential cost.

       Next, I'll go into the film's main villain: Baron Zemo played by Daniel Bruhl who is a terrorist that adds fuel to the divide amongst the Avengers. To me, Baron Zemo is the best Marvel villain since Loki. What makes him a great villain is how he is very calculating with how he fuels the conflict between the Avengers, has motivation for doing so, and his appearance. The fact that he looks like an everyday person who can go from bombing place to place, going easily undetected, makes him very menacing.

       Lastly, even though the film deals with such heavy subject matter, there are thankfully moments where things get fun and humorous. That way it isn't always so dark and dreary which is probably one reason why Batman v. Superman disappointed so many people. It didn't have much vibrancy and everything was so serious.

      Oddly enough, while he has second billing behind Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr.'s performance as Iron Man felt quite off at times. There are moments where he's playing the traditional wise guy Tony Stark. Yet there are also moments where his character lashes out as if RDJ is thinking "I really act!" To be fair, his character undergoes quite a bit of stress over the course of the film. But his work was pretty inconsistent in my opinion.

      Also, Alfre Woodard has a very small role as a grieving mother who visits Tony Stark and serves as a catalyst to Stark's decision to be out under the government's watch. Yet I felt her character was nothing more than a plot device because her talent was quite wasted. If they had left her character out, the events in the film would probably have the same effect.

     Overall, Captain America: Civil War is an intelligent yet action-packed and worthy entry of the latest phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Even if it just a hare above The Winter Soldier, it is far better than the last two Marvel films.

Grade: A