I have been eagerly waiting for this movie since the moment that MARVEL Studios announced that they were going to adapt the “Civil War” comic book event into a film.
“House of M”, “The Road to Civil War” and “Civil War” were my first introductions to the MARVEL comic book universe as a whole, and I loved how they forced readers and fans to choose sides based on the ideologies that Captain America and that Iron Man embraced.
Of course, I knew that they were not going to be totally faithful to the source material, as there are a lot of things in the book that do not exist in the MARVEL Cinematic Universe (MCU), such as the whole secret identity part, as it was a big factor in the book.
However, as soon as I started reading interviews and speculation pieces on how they would change things to stay true to the essence of the book, while seamlessly integrating it into the MCU, I was totally on board.
I was also pretty excited about how they would be handling the characters of the Black Panther or T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man or Peter Parker (Tom Holland), and I was not disappointed at all.
In fact, as of the moment, “Captain America: Civil War” is one of the best comic book movies of all time, second only to “Avengers”.
It has heart, emotion,wit, action, and everything that one would expect from a comic book movie and a thriller. The Russo brothers definitely hit it out of the park again, and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for fans and viewers alike for “Infinity War Parts I & II”. (I must confess that I am also excited for those films because Carol Danvers, or Captain Marvel, will also be in it).
Also, I love the fact that despite the number of characters they had on the screen, the Russo brothers were able to keep the film balanced, thus, it did not feel overstuffed.
However, at the end of the day, this movie is undoubtedly a Captain America movie, with Avengers level events that happened as a consequence of Captain America’s (Chris Evans) choices and his relationship with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), the Winter Soldier.
I entered this film on Iron Man’s (Robert Downey Jr.) side, and came out of still on his side, although there were moments that I felt for some characters on Captain America’s side.
That being said, let us now delve into spoilers territory, so from here on out, if you have not watched the movie, please stop reading here. You have been warned.
WARNING: SPOILERS UP AHEAD!
One of the things I loved about the comic book event and the film is that one is forced to take a look at oneself and the ideals that one cares about when choosing a side. Team allegiances aside, the movie was able to give enough background to see exactly why each Avenger chose a particular side.
Also, I liked the fact that fans who loved the book were able to draw parallels between the book and the movie.
For those interested, the catalyst that triggered the beginning of the “Civil War” event was the explosion that happened thanks to a bunch of younger and untested superheroes, the New Warriors, who were filming a reality show near a school. Things went south as they tried to go after a villain, which resulted in a nearby school getting blown up. Afterwards, a Superhero Registration Act was drawn, in which superheroes were required to register their powers and receive proper training before seeing action. Another big figure was Miriam Sharpe, a mother of one of the boys who was killed in the blast, and who lobbied fiercely for the Superhero Registration Act to be passed.
In the film, the explosion is comparable to the explosion that happened at Vienna, and the Superhero Registration Act are the Sokovia Accords. Alfre Woodard portrayed Miriam Sharpe.
Going back to the film, I loved how they were able to make the “Civil War” happen as a consequence of Captain America’s choice to help Bucky, and as he also believed that too much oversight is not a good thing, especially with the events of “Captain America: Winter Soldier”.
However, one could definitely see Tony Stark’s evolution and why he was firmly for the Sokovia Accords. For me, it was a mixture of his character arc throughout the films, and the fact that he knew that it was better to be on the government’s side first, as at that point, they still have a little bit of wiggle room.
Hawkeye’s (Jeremy Renner) coming out of retirement, Black Widow’s (Natasha Romanoff) reluctant joining up with Team Iron Man, War Machine’s (Don Cheadle) conviction that the Sokovia Accords were the right way to go, Falcon’s unerring loyalty to Captain America, the Scarlet Witch’s (Elizabeth Olsen) apprehension regarding the damage her powers can bring, and Vision’s (Paul Bettany) beginning romance with her were all handled well.
Sebastian Stan did well as the Winter Soldier, and at times, I just really felt bad for him, and was amazed at Captain America’s loyalty towards his best friend.
Paul Rudd’s scenes as Ant-Man were consistently hilarious, and I loved how they somehow went the running gag currently being done in the comics- that not a lot of people recognize Scott Lang or Ant-Man as an Avenger or as a legitimate superhero.
The way that they introduced Chadwick Boseman as the Black Panther or T’Challa was unbelievably amazing. From his regal countenance, to the authority that his presence gives off, to his action scenes and to his more emotional scenes, Boseman embodied who T’Challa is. Aside from this, they gave us enough of Wakanda and his retinue to make viewers excited for the upcoming “Black Panther” movie.
Peter Parker’s or Spider-Man’s (Tom Holland) introduction was perfect, albeit the fact that Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) is now younger and prettier, and Holland is the perfect embodiment of who Spider-Man truly is.
This came out even more during the airport scene, which was nothing less than a twenty minute action sequence that seemed as if it was literally lifted from the pages of a comic book.
That scene managed to have enough dialogue and enough screen time to balance out everyone. From the sheer power of the Vision and the Black Panther, to the wisecracking wit of Spider-Man, to the surprise that was Giant Man. (I cannot believe they pulled that off!)
Personally, in my seat, I was laughing, being giddy and excited, and crying at the amazement of it at the same time.
I also cried after War Machine fell and bravely began the rehabilitation process at the end of the film, and my heart broke after the Vision felt bad about hurting War Machine due to the fact that he got distracted by the Scarlet Witch.
I also loved the part with Tony fighting Bucky and Captain America, after learning from Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), that Bucky, as the Winter Soldier, had been the one who had killed his parents. The look on his face is one that I cannot forget, especially when he told Captain America that he did not deserve to wear the shield that his father forged for him.
My only gripes with the film is that the beginning sequence in Nigeria was a little bit too shaky for my liking, and Baron Zemo was underdeveloped as a villain (yet again).
All in all, this movie is one of the greatest comic book movies in history, and has everything and more that one would expect out of a superhero movie.
I am excited to see where the Avengers goes from here on out, as it looks like Captain America’s team will be operating as if they were the “Secret Avengers”.
Also, it was fun to see Martin Freeman in another franchise where Benedict Cumberbatch is, and I cannot wait to see more of him in the MCU in the future.
I also know that there are eagle-eyed fans who spotted several easter eggs,but my favorite bit was the fact that I recognized the “Ant-Man” post-credits scene in the middle of the movie, before Hawkeye brought Ant-Man into the fold.
This is a movie that I recommend that you also try watching in an IMAX theater, and it is definitely worth buying the Blu Ray of.