Captain America Civil War: Finally something to cheer about

For too long, I’ve been sick of superhero films feeding me the same inherent good triumphs evil trope. Superheroes are glorified through ethos while villains are debased and stripped of their humanity. The films which transcend this obtuse formula are few and far between. The Dark Knight is to be treasured and X-Men: Days Of Future Past holds its own. And notice how the two films spin a larger narrative behind the capes and masks. For one, this film has loads of that. Death claw, red capes, red skin, webbed suit, vibranium black…cats claws, redwing and star-spangled shield…these are a few of the extra things. Civil War’s action galore is a treat and cameos somehow seem to fit in very perfectly, but the movie’s greatest achievement was investing in as many characters as it could.  And for once, The Avengers tears away the suited armour to reveal all that makes and breaks a man.

With this film, I finally start to see where The Avengers might be heading. Interesting fact: Other than Scarlet Witch and to some degree The Vision, all the other characters are basically human beneath. Sure Capt has been genetically modified. And Bucky’s gone through some hell. But it doesn’t take a genius to notice that the Avengers Universe is consciously grounding itself in the everyman. The human side, it’s flaws and imperfections and moral contradictions…all of this is only really fleshed out in this film. I’m not complaining but damn did it take a long time. I’m impressed with how the movie made almost every character significant in some way. Their paths crossed with lots of action and drama but their individual growth was just as powerful. The Russo Brothers and writers have created a film that Batman V Superman could only hope to be.

Packing in the occasional joke and trifle, Civil War is still a film that means serious business. Iron-Man’s surprising support for government intervention whilst Capt America’s strong stance for freedom may sound polarizing but you’ll realize the film isn’t asking you to pick a favourite. At the heart of the fight, The Winter Soldier is often a point of contention. Even though I found the character the least layered, he often puts the others in difficult positions which offers greater depth in characterization. It gets even more impactful because there is no actual villain in the film – Yes, I felt just as much sympathy for one as I did with another.

With moments like Ant-Man’s OMG moment, Spidey’s light-hearted and humourous cameos and sparks of intimacy between two heroes who are still figuring out their own identity, Civil War is just adequately scented with enough chill moments to balance the severity of its themes. Falcon’s quip to Spiderman ‘I don’t think you know what you’re doing. There isn’t usually this much talking during a fight.’ reminds us that Marvel is always the funniest. Vision’s perplexed reaction to a ‘pinch’ of paprika while reading a recipe is a quirky and yet ironic moment given his supposed ‘know-it-all’ nature. And don’t think for a second that Vision is simply AI re-imagined with a consciousness. Even he begins a transformation of his own.

The throbbing action belies a world of conflicted natures. And it’s interesting to see how the cracks in consistency start to occur. The heroes start to vascillate within their own moral spheres; Each one affected by a unique circumstance. While Capt’s idealistic vision for autonomous control is to be desired, the world is far from the utopia that he envisions it to be. And freedom has its bloody price. I personally find Tony Stark’s support for democratic oversight and accountability noble (for a rebel like him too!), yet the film makes it harder for us to distinguish the boundaries between the polar opposites.

In the end, I’m fascinated with how the film never gives in to glorifying its heroes. It also never wants to reconcile their wounds with easy resolutions. There is finally a real feeling that not only are our heroes extremely flawed, but a sense of futility and consequence replaces easy catharsis; A rare superhero film that comes to terms with lasting scars. Overall, Captain America:Civil War an extremely entertaining watch with more for you to think than most of its ilk. I didn’t expect it so it was a really nice surprise 🙂

Rating: 8.3/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Wendell says:

    It is indeed excellent. I agree that the film makes a serious attempt at grounding itself in something resembling reality. It does so without being completely, and unnecessarily, dour like BvS. Somehow, it also has many more characters and plot lines going than that movie, but feels far less cluttered. As you said, they invested in each character. I’m looking forward to where all of this is going. And yes, The Dark Knight is to be treasured.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jwforeva says:

      Hey man! Glad you agree, it was a thoughtful film and I really loved how they wanted to make every character significant in some way. True, the vision (pun intended) is clear even with many characters at play. It was a nice surprise because I didn’t like Ultron.

      Like

  2. bloggeray says:

    Managing so many characters, that’s where the Russos and Marvel have scored over DC and, as early reviews for Apocalypse have it now, Fox.
    Very nicely analysed post. Well-done.
    Happy blogging. God bless 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jwforeva says:

      Thanks!! Yeah, it was quite outstanding. I grew up watching DC cartoons so it’s still my favourite superhero universe. The cartoons had this real feel about them and it was pretty grand and dark which I liked. BVS just overdid everything and the thing was it wasn’t even dark or deep or entertaining. With snyder and affleck directing the justice league, I have serious worries about where they’re headed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. bloggeray says:

        DC are aeons ahead of Marvel as far as the animated universes are concerned. The darkness of the plot of BvS wasn’t off-putting for me, it was the unnecessary build-up for Justice League that I had an issue with. Plus the CGI-heavy climax. And also, what they did to Supes in the end.
        Affleck isn’t directing Justice League. He’s writing/directing the Batman solo movie. And I have high hopes for that, given his past record with crime films (Gone Baby Gone, The Town). Justice League, I’m not quite sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. erinb9 says:

    I’m glad to hear this movie is so good because I’m sure I’ll end up seeing it (since my husband loves superhero films so much). I like it when a film doesn’t follow the predictable script.

    That was why I enjoyed The Avengers and Iron Man–they had a sense of humor and gave the superheroes flaws. I don’t have enough comic book background to weigh in on whether they were accurate, but they were definitely fun. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jwforeva says:

      🙂 I like it too because it isn’t cliche. I didn’t like Avengers:Age Of Ultron, I thought that they were things like Ultron’s destructive complex that they just brushed aside…how he’s programmed without feelings…his views that humans cause far too many problems and need to be eradicated. I think they didn’t do his character justice/validate his perspective. But I like Marvel’s humour 🙂 I’m glad this one was both thoughtful and humourous 🙂

      Oh don’t worry, me neither! Have you seen X-Men days of future past? That’s one of my favourites haha I tell everyone to watch it if they haven’t. But you should see X-Men First Class before so you get the full picture, both are really good. Have a great weekend Erin 😀

      Like

  4. Mariza says:

    Nice review! I enjoyed your approach. Have you ever written for any movie sites? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jwforeva says:

      Not really, I mainly write on my blog 🙂 I have submitted a handul of my reviews on some websites though
      Thanks :))

      Like

  5. Mariza says:

    Great. If you’re interested I could help you get your writing seen on Moviepilot.com. Shoot me an email at mariza@moviepilot.com for more information

    Liked by 1 person

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