Hey gang, Valkor here. “Batman v Superman” was the film that I had hoped would kick off my “summer of films” (even though it was released in the spring); the film was, in my eyes as well as many others, the most anticipated film of 2016, bringing together two iconic characters on screen for the first time. And yet, I felt the film was something of a letdown, however, I still enjoyed it to an extent. This brings us to our next film, which I feel truly kicks off the summer of films - Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War”. It’s loosely based on the comic by the same name and it’s the one film YOU DO NOT want to miss! There are some spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t seen the film yet and you wanna go in fresh, then look away.
Oh, and before I delve into this review, I just want to point out that while I do mention BvS, I will not be comparing the two – side by side or any other way, shape, or form. I rate each film individually because each film must be able to stand on its own merits.
“Civil War” kicks off something like the comics – with an explosion. But in this instance, it was a series of events, involving serious collateral damage that has pretty much pissed off the world. So the UN has devised what is known as “The Sokovia Accords”, which is a registration act for superhumans that would not only put them under government supervision but make them accountable for their actions. Plus, the heroes can't act unless dictated. While there were previous events that helped push the act forward, which includes the events in Sokovia (Age of Ultron), the attack on NY (Avengers) as well as helicarriers dropping from the sky in “Winter Soldier”; it was an Avenger’s mission in Lagos, which took a disastrous turn for the worse that was the spark set things off. On the side for the act is Tony Stark, who feels personally responsible because he created Ultron, which in turn caused the mess in Sokovia. And on the side of against the act is Steve Rogers, who feels the government shouldn’t have a handle on such matters, especially when it comes to beings with superpowers (which would give the government too much power). Unfortunately for Captain America and anyone who sides with him, if they don’t sign the act they’ll be arrested.
The Sokovia Accord’s ratification takes place in Vienna, where we’re introduced to members of the Wakandan family, mainly their king T’Chaka as well as his son T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman). But an explosion is set off just as the act is ratified by what appears to be Winter Soldier aka Bucky. The blast kills the T'Chaka and sets off T’Challa aka The Black Panther on the path after his father's killer. This brings us to Helmut Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), who is also Bucky’s handler; he gets hold of a book that contains a list of words that puts Bucky under his command to do whatever he bids. However, Cap is able to capture Bucky and keeps him locked away in a secret facility. And if you sat through the end credits of “Ant-Man”, then you’ll realize that the first half of Civil War pretty much explains how Cap, Falcon, and Bucky got to that point. I should also point out that a key character from the “Winter Soldier” film also makes an appearance at the film's opening, albeit brief. And it's due to his actions that's part of the reason why the Lagos event is key to the registration act.
But the true battle, when The Avengers face off against one another, starts when Cap and Falcon, along with Ant-Man, Scarlett Witch, and Hawkeye decide to go after Zemo. But their actions aren’t without opposition as Iron Man has gathered his forces to help stop Cap and his crew, which includes Black Widow, War Machine, Vision, Black Panther and, welcoming him into the MCU, is none other than Peter Parker aka Spider-Man! The two forces duke it out in one of the best on-screen battles in cinematic history – this was one event, while not as big as the comic, doesn’t let down. And there are tons of surprises that warrants multiple viewings just to see this battle again and again. But in the end, Cap and Bucky barely escape, while the others are captured and sent to a Super Max prison. And I’ll stop there because I’d have to backtrack some just to tell the rest of the story, which delves into some serious spoiler territory. And I’d like to save some surprises such as why Buck and Cap fight it out with Iron Man in the trailer. There’s a reason behind that and it’s not because of the registration act, but something even more emotional.
Before “Civil War” released, Anthony Mackie aka “The Falcon” touted the film as “Avengers 2.5” and at its heart, it really does feel that way. However the film does enough to keep Cap and his cast of characters at the forefront, but giving enough screen time to get its point across as it pertains to its comic book counterpart. But ultimately, does the film do the books justice? It certainly does! And I’ll tell you why in the TOV Breakdown.
When it was announced that Captain America 3 would be subtitled “Civil War”, I was mad skeptical about it because “Civil War”, in the comics, was a HUGE event encompassing much of the Marvel Comic Book Universe. Obviously, the film couldn’t tell THAT story, but what it does accomplish is to create a unique experience while sticking with the book's core, perfectly utilizing the bulk of characters introduced into the MCU from the jump as well bringing along fresh faces to make things interesting. In short, "Captain America: Civil War” is all kinds of awesome, jam-packed within 150 minutes of film that warrants you see it again and again just to catch anything and everything you might have missed or to enjoy the experience all over again. The film rips all of the important bits from the book such as events that kickstarted the registration act as well as showcasing the conflict between Tony and Steve, weaving it all together into one tightly bound story that’ll captivate you from start to finish. And while the story will hold your interest, it’s the action that’ll have you on the edge of your seat. And there’s plenty of comic book-style action that's a feast for the eyes, especially when it gets to the really big battle midway. These dudes hit hard and pull off some incredible moves while giving each character just the right amount of screen time to showcase their unique abilities. I was completely in awed at all the eye candy whizzing by across the screen and I was floored by the surprises that popped up. I won’t spoil it, but you might already know what those surprises are and I’m not only talking about the Spider-Man appearance. And speaking of which, welcome home web-head as his appearance totally compliments the film! "I don't think "Civil War" would have been as much fun as it was without you and Tom Holland was perfectly cast for the role. His initial appearance felt a bit shoehorned, but given that much of his appearance involved last minute dealings, then it’s completely understandable. But his emergence into the MCU left a positive impression on me and seeing Spidey in action, mixing it up with Cap and company was the most fun the film brings to the table. Holland has the look and the character showcases everything you enjoy about Spider-man from the comics truly brought to life. Chadwick Boseman also deserves some accolades as he nails the role of T’Challa aka The Black Panther! Nails it as BP is such a bad ass! At the jump, he has a quiet, low-key air about him. But when the action kicks in, dude tears it up! And not to leave anyone out, but everyone puts on stellar performances and I do mean stellar. Ultimately, there’s nothing I didn’t love about this film – nothing! I enjoyed every moment of “Captain America: Civil War” and I can’t wait to see it again!
“Captain America: Civil War” is still making the theatrical rounds and if you haven’t seen the film, then you’re doing yourself a disservice because it’s all kinds of awesome that needs to be seen. Thus far, Civil War is the best franchise has to offer overshadowing everything before it and yet… it fits perfectly in the MCU! And out of TOV 5 stars, “Captain America: Civil” has earned its well deserved 5 stars of perfection!