I’m
going to say this up-front: this review is going to be 100% unabashedly, embarrassingly positive, across the board, so sorry if that annoys
you. What Marvel has put together with Captain America: Civil War is
something of a miracle, on the same level as the first Avengers film,
but actually better in my opinion. Civil War is definitely a Captain
America movie (rounding out a great trilogy that keeps getting better
and better) but is absolutely an Avengers movie as well. Just about
everyone but the big green man and thunder boy are here for this one,
and directors Joe and Anthony Russo juggle all of them with the finesse
of master filmmakers. Civil War is the best action blockbuster in years,
and in my opinion, the best superhero film yet created.

One
thing that I couldn’t help but do during Civil War, is viewing it with
the context of Batman V Superman in the back of my mind. The two movies
are quite similar in many ways, but wherein that movie failed on almost
every level in my opinion, this one succeeds in every way. In talking
about Marvel movies, I always go back to the same reasoning as to why
they almost always succeed: the filmmakers never lose sight of the
characters and their motivations. A LOT of stuff is going on in Civil
War, but the great characters are always there to act as anchors for the
audience. Sure, these people have powers, extreme abilities, and wild
costumes, but they’re otherwise just like us. Even thought this movie
pits them against one another, we never lose sight that they actually
like each other. That both sides of the argument are valid, and that
they don’t want to fight. Civil War is more about friendship than
anything else. This is something that Batman V Superman threw out the
window almost immediately.

I
really dislike comparing it to BvS as much as I am, but this is the
last thing, I swear. Civil War is overflowing with fun. From probably
the first frame to the last post-credits scene, a huge dumb smile never
left my face. Even though the movie handles big themes, and a surprising
amount of darkness, the Russo brothers and writers Christopher Markus
and Stephen McFeely keep the jam-packed Civil War focused and
entertaining throughout. Even when setting up and introducing the new
characters amidst all of the other plot lines, they handle it with
nuance and care. Those new characters, by the way, are probably my
favorite part of the new movies. Black Panther and Spider-man are just
PERFECT. I won’t go into spoilers for them, but nonetheless I’m
incredibly stoked for their individual movies. In my opinion, Spider-man
especially is simply the best version of the character ever put on
screen.

There
are so many elements of the movie to gush about, but I’d like to shout
out the action direction and choreography for being especially amazing.
Civil War has some of the best action scenes that I’ve ever seen in a
movie. The Russo brothers take their visceral and brutal directorial
style from Winter Soldier and amp it up to 11 in this movie. Aside from
that, there’s a scene at an airport during the second act that will go
down in history as the best superhero fight scene done yet (probably
until their next movie, Infinity War, I’m sure). Every character gets a
moment to shine, and although the choreography is amazing, the writers
never lose sight of the characters doing the fighting. They utilize
their individual skill sets during the fight in different and
imaginative ways to awesome effect. It’s just a perfect action scene
from beginning to end.

I’m
going to wrap this up, but I really can’t believe just how good this
movie came out. Civil War is practically impervious to hype, because
even with my crazy high expectations, it blew them out of the water. If
you’re not already on board the MCU hype train, I’m not sure this will be
the movie to jump on, as it assumes the audience has seen most of the
previous films in the series. ┬áThat being said, it’s the most rewarding
film in the series yet for that exact reason. The MCU is practically an
extremely high budget TV series at this point, with dozens of characters
being developed concurrently. Nobody will argue that Marvel’s
experiment in long-form storytelling is a smashing success, but at this
point they’re becoming fully realized, and I can’t wait to see how Phase
3 comes to a close.

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