One of the best superhero flicks that hits almost all notes... almost
It's the year of superheroes going at each other due to different ideologies — you shouldn't kill versus you should, murderous vigilante versus power of mass destruction, and now this one's about being governed or not. In Batman v Superman, it takes one to be stubbornly blind and the other to be blackmailed to start a fight while in Daredevil Season 2, it's the titular character's forgiving religion against The Punisher's "full measure" on crime. Well as for Captain America: Civil War, it has other side stubbornly blind as well, but it's far better developed and paced.
After the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron where millions of innocent lives in Sokovia died during the superheroes battle against the villain, Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) believes the fault lies on himself and his colleagues and initiates "Sokovia Accords", an agreement that would allow a governing body to monitor, control or retire all members of the Avengers. Steve Rodgers/Captain America (Chris Evans) disagrees and believes otherwise, especially when his friend James "Bucky" Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) is threatened by the government to be hunted down and killed on sight. Captain America assembles his group of allies to save and protect Bucky while Iron Man assembles his to fight Captain America's team who are now considered criminals, and capture Bucky. And triggered the Civil War among the Avengers.
Directed by the Russo brothers (Captain America: Winter Soldier, You, Me and Dupree) and screenwritten by Markus-McFeely (Captain America: Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World), the film allows sufficient development in the storytelling to show the ideology of both sides (although the representation of the government is pretty typical) with a lot of high-level action sequences between as well. Although there are plenty of shots involved in a single fight sequence, there are quite a few spectacular wide angle shots of the characters battling it out. However, there are also some annoying shaky camera technique used that no audience would approve of. In between these action scenes, there are hilarious humour as well, completing the well-rounded, crowd-satisfying entertainment. The trailer may have spoiled quite a bit of the cool moments, but fortunately the film still has plenty of surprises to offer, and literally the biggest one comes from Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd).
Despite the build-up and the substance behind the War, it never feels like it could get truly bloody and nothing really gutsy happened in the end, like The Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, forgive me if you don't get what I mean. Many were suggesting that Iron Man's team is very overpowering compared to Team Cap's, but the film does establish how the fight balances out, even though the newly introduced young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and King T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) are on Iron Man's side, who're both awesome in the film as well. Fans would be pleased with how well the action sequences are choreographed with each unique abilities utilised on each other. One thing though, I don't recall them explaining why Wanda Maximoff/Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) could control Vision (Paul Bettany)? And why doesn't she mind-control Iron Man as well? Oh yeah, too easy. Also, why do Americans still think it's cool for characters to be in love with the offspring/relative of the character's former love interest? Sorry for the minor spoilers, by the way.
Personally, I don't think this is the best comic book-based, live action superhero movie of all time but it's definitely up there. Sure, the action sequences are superior that most, if not all, within the genre (it's the latest one, so it had to be anyway) but I had tiny bit more fun with the first Avengers film (2012) and Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight (2008) remains to be the most intelligent, complex game-changer for the genre while Civil War avoids being too deep and dark. But of course, neither of those had the same level of action and fangasm as Civil War. The real king of all superhero films remains to be seen. Infinity War, hopefully? Ha-ha, yeah right.
What I would've named the film: "Team Cap vs. Team Iron: Dawn of T-shirts"
Malaysia censorship: It's rated P13 here and yet I noticed a minor jump in a scene at the end of the second act.
To watch in 3D? Watched it in 3D IMAX and felt it's quite unnecessary. The action movement is laggy as well, like HD televisions on display. The production used IMAX 2D cameras and converted the film into 3D in post-production. Maybe that's why?
Second opinion: My girlfriend said that she didn't expect to like it as much as she did — she enjoyed it very much.
Verdict: It'd be a lie to say that it's not one of the best superhero movies.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Based on: Marvel's "Civil War" comic
Genre: Superhero, action
Running Time: 148 minutes
Director: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
Screenwriters: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chadwick Boseman, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Scarlett Johansson, Frank Grillo, Jeremy Renner, Daniel Brühl, Paul Rudd
Malaysia Release Date: 28 April 2016
Local Distributor: (no info)
Production: Marvel Studios
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