Generally speaking, Japan is a terrible place to live if you want to stay current with movies. For example, Deadpool still isn’t out here and will be released to theaters here at roughly the same time the US gets it on dvd. But sometimes Japan gets a slight advantage. Yeah, I got to watch Captain America a week before it is out in the States. Small victory, but I’ll take is.
Captain America: Civil War
Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus
Quick Review: No doubt, this movie is Avengers 3. It is an awesome, thrilling, charming adventure ride of a movie, but there is a part of me that still would have liked it better if it were called Avengers 3. Sure Cap is at the heart of it, but in a way so is Tony. Still, if my main complaint coming out of the theater is the title, that means it was a pretty good flick. Because not only is it those adjectives I used above, but it is a movie with heart and it is a movie about friendship.
Spoilers Lurk Below
Analysis: First off, the Russos and Markus did a fantastic job of balancing the huge amount of characters. While there were certainly characters that I would have liked to seen more of, everyone got a moment. I came out feeling I knew more about everyone and where they fit into the world. At least out of the superheroes. I do think there could have been more done with the two Rosses, Thunderbolt and Everett. As they were presented here they might of well of been two random pencil pushers.
Those little moments of how these characters fit together are the glue that bind this movie together. There are great moments between Bucky and Sam. And the affection between Vision and Wanda. These are characters that have feelings for each other. They aren’t just smash-bang effects on wheels. It gives the movie such heart.
If you are wondering about Black Panther and Spider-Man in this movie, they nail it. Especially Spider-Man. I’ve already seen reports that this is the best iteration of Spider-Man yet, and I gotta say, that is going to be hard to deny. He is the quippy, baby-faced science kid that we need to get people excited about a Spidey in high school film. And part of me really hopes it has Cap in it as his mentor.
Black Panther is also very nice, but he wasn’t the homerun Spidey was. There is a lot of love in his treatment, and an appearance by a Dora Milaje, but there is just too much unrevealed about what they might do next with him. Peter Parker is a known property, and a fairly straight forward one. Black Panther exists in a world of tribesman and super science. And while there are hints at the super science angle, and despite the charisma of Chadwick Boseman, he was still just a fighter in a very cool looking suit.
Which is another thing about the movie. Everything looks great. I love the texture in the suits. I love the way Vision is both human and artificial and wears sweaters. Okay, so there was something about Spider-Man that felt a little to CGI at times, but it never really bothered me, perhaps because of the superb characterization.
And the story, yeah, I dug it. Also, I’m glad that I avoided almost all of the trailers. Because otherwise things might have been a bit too straightforward. Because while Winter Soldier was a bit of a spy-thriller, this is less so. There are aspects of that there, but there is also a lot of spectacle, a lot lot of great performances and some wish fulfillment they helped me just enjoy the movie rather than thinking about where it was going. For example, there is one aspect of the movie that could be considered a twist that is pretty obvious when you see the pieces out there. But partly how the movie is made and partly because I was so enamored with what was one screen I never even attempted to add the two parts together.
Wrap Up: This flick was a tremendous amount of fun and is possibly the strongest this installment in a long, long time. Marvel did a heck of a job setting this up to not only make me want the next Captain America movie, but also get me geared up for all their other projects. Because of this movie, I also really want there to be a Vision and Scarlet Witch flick.