Josh and Violet share their spoiler-free male vs. female perspective reviews of Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, and featuring a star-studded cast that includes Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and many more!
Josh’s Movie Review of
Captain America: Civil War:
It is finally here: Captain America: Civil War. The film was directed by the Russo brothers, and stars a whole slew of actors: Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Anthony Mackie as Falcon, Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Elizabeth Olson as Scarlet Witch, Paul Bettany as Vision, and the list goes on. The film centers around a conflict that arises between Captain America and Iron Man–should the Avengers, the super-team that was formed to take down the bad guys, be free to act independently, or should the United Nations have control of how the Avengers act?
Captain America: Civil War does a good job of setting this conflict up. Arguments with a good friend have certainly proved that, given that we both have pretty differing opinions on who is right. That is what made this movie so compelling though–It was a superhero movie where it is very difficult to choose a side. This is a bit refreshing as most superhero movies do not have a lot of grey area. They’re usually cut and dry–good guys get beat up by the bad guys, until the good guys figure out how to take out the bad. In Captain America: Civil War, however, we have debates where most people can see both sides to their argument, and when things finally come to blows, it is not only exciting, but a little sad at the same time.
The action scenes in Captain America: Civil War were amazing. There is one exception though–the Lagos scene really overused shaky-cam effects. The Russos were probably trying to up the intensity of the scene, but much like the Transformers have done, the shaky-cam effect was over used to the point of it being difficult to see what was going on. The other action scenes, I had no problem with though. They were beautifully done, with seamless CGI for the most part (A big issue I mentioned in our Age of Ultron review was the CGI, which did not seem to be done as well as even the first Avengers).
The conflict between the two parties is escalated very well. Tony presents a solution he feels will put the Avengers in a good place with the government while at the same time Captain America questions the exact method that the U.N. would be able to use him. Things of course get out of hand between the two, which has each character drawing a line in the sand, some out of principle, others drawing their line more so because of who they are closer to. It is an interesting dynamic, seeing how these characters interact with each other, and how they choose their side. And again as mentioned earlier, it is both awesome and saddening seeing your favorite heroes go full blast at each other. Unless you’re watching Spider-Man and/or Ant-Man. Then it is just amazing.
Spider-Man and Tony Stark’s interactions are great. So much so that I look forward to seeing them together in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther was done extremely well. Everyone does such a good job in this film, that it feels more like an Avengers 2.5 than a Captain America sequel. It is not necessarily a bad thing, but Steve seems to get lost in the massive cast to an extent.
There are some problems with the movie. There are some things that some characters do that seem completely out of character, which seems to solely be done for the sake of moving the plot forward, which is bothersome. Additionally, there is a specific plot device that seems to be very popular for some reason that is really being overused lately. Unfortunately, it is a big spoiler to the movie, so I cannot go into details, but suffice it to say, it is being overused lately.
Additionally, the movie puts a plot point forward but in the end it sort of fizzles out into nothing. The way the movie appeared to be going towards the end of the episode sounded like it was going to be really entertaining, but then that never comes to pass, and we are left wanting.
But still, it is hard to pick this movie apart too much. It has an intelligent debate wrapped up with a fun action/superhero/comic book movie. There are even a few nods to the comics done in the film, showing iconic panels from the comic book, alive on the big screen that can’t help but put a grin on your face.
I am not ready to say Captain America: Civil War is better than The Avengers, but that could be because there is a bias towards The Avengers given that it was the first ensemble movie. Out of a score of 10, I would give Captain America: Civil War an 8. It is really good, but there are a few bothersome story points that didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Again, it is nitpicking a really good movie, and having basically an Avengers 2.5 was a lot of fun.
Violet’s Movie Review of
Captain America: Civil
After Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (“MCU”) concluded with last year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, Phase 3 kicked off with Captain America: Civil War. The film is directed by the Russo brothers, Anthony and Joe Russo, who also directed the previous Captain America movie, 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. With a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and an all-star cast featuring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, and more, Captain America: Civil War opened to big numbers at the box office in its opening weekend, pulling in an estimated $181.8 million. This secured the film the ranking of fifth highest opening weekend, after Avengers: Age of Ultron, which made $191.3 million its opening weekend.
If you’re a big superhero movie fan, then chances are you’ve probably already seen Captain America: Civil War, and possibly multiple times already. But in the off chance that you have had the chance to see the film yet, I’ll keep this review spoiler-free.
Despite this being billed as a Captain America movie, it doesn’t focus on Steve Rogers like the previous Captain America movies did. Instead, it feels more of a sequel to Avengers: Age of Ultron in that the film is largely about the decisions that all of the Avengers make. Well, the ones that are still around, anyway. Captain America: Civil War opens with a scene of several members of the Avengers out on a mission that doesn’t quite go as planned. In response to this, along with previous actions of the Avengers that have caused chaos, world leaders want the Avengers to be limited to the actions they can take. To do this, a document called the Sokovia Accords is introduced by the United Nations, which will essentially sanction the Avengers to only go on certain missions as deemed necessary by the United Nations. When the Sokovia Accords are presented to the Avengers, Steve Rogers and some of the other Avengers are against it, while Tony Stark and some of the other Avengers support it. This disagreement causes a rift within the Avengers, especially when Bucky Barnes, aka The Winter Soldier, resurfaces. Each side believes they are doing the right thing, and are willing to fight for what they believe in.
You might go into this movie with an already established side of Team Captain America or Team Iron Man. Or you might go into it as Team Switzerland and need more information before you choose a side. Either way, you’ll find that Captain America: Civil War does a good job of presenting the arguments for both sides, and really makes you think. Any movie that can achieve the result of being intellectual while still entertaining you is a good one, and that’s just what this movie does. It’s a good mix of political or personal discussions, along with exciting action scenes, as would be expected in a superhero movie. It also packs an emotional punch, in more ways than one. Despite featuring so many characters, the film pulls off a good balance of screen time between the characters, and even manages to introduce a couple of new members to the team, Blank Panther and Spider-Man, without making the cast seem too bloated.
However, Captain America: Civil War suffered from the same problem that many Marvel movies suffer: a weak villain. I felt like this villain wasn’t very menacing, and although he had a decent backstory, it seemed like the Avengers fell prey to his manipulations too easily. I was also disappointed by the way the ending played out with the villain, and felt like things could have been much more exciting.
In any case, Captain America: Civil War delivered what was promised: a Civil War between Captain America and Iron Man, along with the Avengers that support each side. Although you don’t really want to see these friends fighting each other, it is pretty epic when you see them go head to head using their powers on each other. The effects were pretty awesome, and I have no complaints about any CGI. Everything looked amazing on that front. My only complaint about visuals is that some of the action scenes looked really jerky, like they were using shaky cam, which not only causes me to not be able to really see what’s going on in that action scene, but started to make me feel a little sick. I’m not sure why filmmakers insist on using this effect. If I go to see a movie, I actually want to see what’s going on in the movie.
Other than that, the acting was spot on, as usual in the MCU. We have seen most of these characters in action in previous Marvel movies, so that was expected of those characters. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man and Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther were the big question marks coming into this movie, especially with a solo Spider-Man coming out next year, and a solo Black Panther movie coming out in 2018. However, these two characters lived up to, if not exceeded, my expectations, and I am more than confident in their abilities going into their respective stand-alone films.
Overall, Captain America: Civil War was a fun action movie that also makes you think and consider what you believe in, and how much you’re willing to stand up for that — while also showing that things aren’t always black and white.
My rating: 8.5/10