Friday, May 13, 2016

Captain America: Civil War

   After the devastating events in the Age of Ultron, the world has begun to lose faith it the heroes of the Avengers. As a result, the United Nations issues a set of accords that would place Earth's Mightiest Heroes under their command. Tony Stark is all for the venture while Captain America feels that this loss of autonomy will eventually mean that the Avengers would become puppets of the UN. 

   As representatives from across the globe gather to sign the proclamation into law, a terrorist blows up the proceedings, killing the king of Wakanda. The suspect is reported to be the Winter Soldier and global law enforcement is instructed to kill on sight. Steve Rogers believes that his old buddy Bucky is being framed and risks everything to save the Winter Soldier and clear his name. But it won't be easy as the Black Panther of Wakanda is on Bucky's trail and swears vengeance for the death of his father.

   Captain America: Civil War starts off like Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace. There's a great action scene at the beginning and then some talk of diplomacy- a lot of talk about diplomacy. I was getting a bit disappointed as Civil War wasn't starting out as good as Captain America: the First Avenger or Winter Soldier did. I actually was feeling a little ho-hum about the picture until thankfully, someone came to save the day.

   Enter: Spider-Man and welcome to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Web-slinger. Young Peter Parker and his guardian Aunt May actually saved the movie. Both characters, played by Tom Holland and Marisa Tomei, had heart, soul, and humor, something lacking from the first 45-minutes of Civil War- I can't wait to see more of their quirky chemistry in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming feature. 

Paul Rudd's Ant-Man also helps to salvage the film, adding an extra dose of humor, but really the film's savior is Spidey! Billy Elliot's Tom Holland brings something to Spider-Man that's never been done in live-action before- he brings youth. All of the previous actors to play Spidey in live action, including the Electric Company, were well into their 20s. Holland was 18 when filming began and his age brings a level naivete to the character that has been missing from the characters. Plus, Holland's star-struck quality of being on Iron Man's team organized to incarcerate the Winter Soldier and Capt, was perfect. Spider-Man is known for being a wiseacre when he fights villains and this Spidey is just like in the comics and it was about time.

   About just over 2.5 hours, this is a lengthy film. But once Iron Man and Captain America's ranks start filling out, Civil War becomes much more fast paced. Some of this is due to the lightening quick wit of the superheroes (Marvel exceeds at banter!) But, the tempo is also due to much more dynamic action scenes that take place in the last half of the film. 

    Though not my favorite Captain America picture, I did like this film somewhat more than Avengers: Age of Ultron. I honestly have no idea where Marvel is going to take these characters next after everything transpires, but the two bonus scenes during the credits give a good hint at some the fun that awaits. I just hope that the writers lay-off the swears. There were much more in this Marvel film than just about any movie prior and it's just a tad unsettling to this old-school Marvelite to have his beloved heroes talking like sailors on leave.

   Worth Consuming

   Rating: 8 out of 10 stars.

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