- on Monday, 02 May 2016 08:53
- by Christopher Symonds
So begins Marvel’s continued domination in the costumed hero department, as their Phase 3 comes out swinging in high style. After the Russo brother’s proved their talent with Cap in The Winter Soldier, it seemed they replaced former Marvel golden boy Joss Whedon as the go-to guys for their mash-up movies, with the announcement they would not only direct Civil War but also the two part Avengers magnum opus Infinity War. Was Marvel’s resoundingly confident endorsement of them to do another three films deserved?
In this, the third Cap adventure, they take two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s heavy hitters and force them on opposite sides. Based loosely on the Marvel comic storyline of the same name, the film sees what happens when the governments of the world question the actions and autonomy of the Avengers. In the wake of several of their world saving adventures and the collateral damage that followed, the governments suggest (read: insist) the Avengers be made legally answerable to the people of the world and those that govern for them. At the head of this initiative, Thaddeus Ross (mercifully retained from The Incredible Hulk) now the Secretary of State, brings this to a head. Iron Man says yes, Cap says no… and then shit hits the fan. It divides the members of the superhero community, hurts them emotionally, and sets them down a destructive and dangerous path.
The central ideology of this film is different from the books that spawned it. (In the books the government want a superhero registration enacted.) But what the Russos chose, especially in the effect it has on the characters, works equally well. The repercussions, the cost, of what these characters have accomplished in all the films leading up to this call payment due within the first ten minutes and make for a compelling narrative.
If there is any question in your mind if the Russos can manage a LARGE roster of characters as well as Whedon did, it will be gone by the end of the credits. They give almost every character an arc and pay it off in an entertaining and satisfying way. Having said that it isn’t perfect. The Russos made a claim recently that this is definitely a Captain America movie, and that it wouldn’t feel like an Avengers film. While Cap is in it plenty, it spends equal time with several other characters. This is not a complaint, as it’s done very well, but it does in fact play exactly like an Avengers film and many of the story threads are tied tightly and directly with those films. This reviewer also took issue with the antagonist for two reasons: his ultimate motivation for messing with our heroes (and it’s a good one) is told in dialogue, not shown (which is usually a filmmaker’s big no, no) and the plotting and density of characters makes him fade a little too much from the film. Come the finale his plan to injure our protagonists certainly pays off, but he’s lost a bit in the noise.
Special effects are as always spectacular. The newer roster of characters expand the visuals in ways that haven’t been seen before, as their unique powers fill the frame in colourful, imaginative ways.
Spider-man, certainly one of the big questions on everyone’s minds: Tom Holland brings youth and unique characterisation to the web-crawler that his age alone presents as something we have never seen before. He’s in the film plenty and the rest I will leave for you to enjoy on your own.
Special mention should go to Sebastian Shaw’s performance and the scenes he shares with Evan’s are a good book end to their three-film relationship as Cap and Bucky. Scarlett Johansson is also well overdue for her own movie. Chadwick Bosman also impressed with his Black Panther debut.
This is a solid film through and through, and an abject lesson to the DC filmmakers in how to do a versus movie (and this is from and lifelong Batman and Superman fan). Its filmmakers used and very large roster of characters to compelling, emotional effect and delivered plenty of surprises, even if you’ve read the comic. A fun, excellent film, worthy to start another phase in Marvel’s seemingly endless golden run.
MPAA Rating: PG-13.
Runtime: 147 mins
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson
Genre: Action | Adventure
Tagline: United we stand. Divided we fall
Memorable Movie Quote: "So, you're the Spiderling. Crime-fighting Spider. You're Spider-Boy?"
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Official Site: http://marvel.com/captainamerica
Release Date: May 6, 2016
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: September 13, 2016.
Synopsis: Captain America: Civil War picks up where Avengers: Age of Ultron left off, as Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain.
Available on Blu-ray - September 13, 2016
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD-50)
Region Encoding: A
As usual, Walt Disney has done a superb transfer of the film. Captain America: Civil War's AVC encoded 1080p transfer (in 2.39:1) video transfer is simply amazing. Shot digitally, the transfer is crisply detailed and both shinnies and shimmies its way into your body and soul with its version of Marvel's Civil War . The colors are bold and, complete with deep blacks and pulpy reds, offer a nice depth to the picture. There's a good reflective sheen to the some of the costumes and a nice layer of saturation, too. The transfer has sharp textures and details throughout. Even deep in the clash of the titans at the runway/hangar scene, the attention to detail is specific and pretty glorious. No artifacting is found anywhere in the feature presentation. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track is the perfect complement to the hard-hitting action.
- Got a question or two about the movie? Like did they speed up the action scenes? Anything at all? Directors Joe and Anthony Russo and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely discuss EVERYTHING you could possibly ask in the lively commentary track included with the purchase of this release.
Cough up the dough and get the upgrade, folks. Loaded with more supplemental items than the regular blu-ray release, the 3D version is the one to get. Along with a sneak peak at Doctor Strange, you get a two-part making of the movie. Cast and crew discuss the storylines in the movie and beyond. There are solid looks at the shooting locations, the props, and individual roles in the movie, especially Vision and Spider-Man. Other supplemental items include looks at the characters of Iron Man and Captain America and their path to the central conflict in the movie. Deleted and extended scenes give us a bit more of the Peggy Carter Funeral. A gag reel rounds out the collection. A digital copy of the movie is also included.
- United We Stand, Divided We Fall: The Making of Captain America: Civil War (45 min)
- Captain America: The Road to Civil War (4 min)
- Iron Man: The Road to Civil War (4 min)
- Doctor Strange Sneak Peek (4 min)
- Deleted & Extended Scenes (8 min)
- Gag Reel (3 min)