The past two years have been a sequence of highs and lows for fans of comic book movies. When Avengers: Age of Ultron hit theaters, we saw it in droves, sure of ourselves that Marvel would be able to continue the momentum it had garnered in the previous years. Ultron was a movie, while not without some merit, that seemed content with providing fan boys with simply a sequence of cool moments while ignoring obvious plot flaws and wasting what could have been one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s greatest and most complex villains. After almost a year, we were greeted with another film with the potential to be the best we had seen from the genre, Warner Brother’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and once again we left theaters disappointed and deprived of the chance to fulfill our exponentially growing expectations. As a result, I entered the theater to watch Captain America: Civil War with a great deal of excitement and consternation. I am glad to report that the trepidation I was feeling was unwarranted and unnecessary. Civil War is not only Marvel’s finest effort since Guardian’s of the Galaxy, it may be the best movie in the company’s catalog.
The action in Civil War is simply outstanding. The hand to hand combat is sublime. Showing different fighting styles and techniques that feel real and unique to the characters performing them, the Russo brothers and their fight choreographers give us much of the same excellence we have come to expect after Captain America: Winter Soldier. In this film however, they show that they are more than capable of directing combat on a much grander scale. The result of this effort is one of the most amazing battle sequences ever seen in a super hero film, for the sake of not spoiling I won’t go into any further detail, but you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it. While at a run-time of two hours and 27 minutes, the movie still moves at breakneck speed. I never found myself looking at the time, wondering how much longer I had, in the way that I did with BVS or Age of Ultron. The CGI in the movie’s main conflict scenes blends seamlessly with the surroundings and never distracts from the conflict between the characters.
I am as big a fan of great action as anyone, but without great characters and real stakes it can feel hollow and unnecessary. Luckily, that is one of the points where this movie truly shines. The movies two leads, Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man and Chris Evan’s Captain America, give outstanding performances and this is the most I’ve liked Tony Stark since the first Iron Man movie. Both of these men have strengths in their convictions and they do a fantastic job of not making you jump back and forth between who you think is right in this philosophical divide. The supporting characters are on point as well. Falcon and War Machine both play the role of the main lead’s sidekicks without making it seem like they are simply yes men that are unable to think for themselves. Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man stands out and connects as a character in this film in a way that he was never really able to in his stand alone effort. Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther is a welcome addition to the MCU. He is one of the characters who keep the plot moving forward, and this movie made me very excited for his solo film in 2018. Spider-Man/Peter Parker, as played by Tom Holland, may be the best incarnation of the wall crawler we have seen on film. He is able to be an impressive hero and a naive kid at the same time, and feels like the comic book Spider-Man brought onto the big screen. The one complaint I really have about the movie is that Spider-Man’s inclusion feels a little forced, but his performance more than outweighs this fault.
Civil War had a lot of hype forced upon it and much like 2012’s The Avengers it succeeded in meeting but surpassing these expectations. This film works as its own stand alone film, but works even better as a continuation of Marvel’s franchise. It is definitely the best comic book movie of the year thus far, and any movie hoping to surpass it has its work cut out.
The Geeky Bugle Rating: Must See Movie
Now go see the damn movie and come back for my spoiler filled review plus easter eggs and cameos, same Clock Dodger Time, same Clock Dodger Channel.