Captain America: Civil War (review)

Captain America: Civil War left me with a number of questions. First on the list: How many reviewers have compared this movie to making paprikash? Seriously, how many?

Anyway. What Joe and Anthony Russo managed to pull off with Captain America: Civil War wasn’t so much a miracle, as much as it was good, old fashioned common sense; which is sorely lacking in Hollywood. They weren’t out to reinvent the wheel (or make the shiniest one) as much as making it run straight and true. I’m not saying the Russo brothers are more craftsmen than artists; I’m saying their art is underappreciated, because they don’t draw attention to it. In other words: it speaks for itself.

Joe and Anthony Russo aren’t the only ones to thank for making the lastest Captain America movie a success. Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely kept the story tight, and didn’t throw in anything superfluous. This could have turned into an Avengers movie, or worse–it could have gotten away from them. Markus and McFeely–along with editors Jeffrey Ford and Matthew Schmidt–made sure Civil War was a Captain America movie, while never shortchanging any character. Not even Hawkeye. And cinematographer Trent Opaloch made all the pictures look pretty.

Do I even have to discuss the plot of Captain America: Civil War? I think the 107 trailers and TV ads took care of that. It all boils down to each of the Avengers having to choose sides: #TeamCap or #Team100PercentDick er, #TeamIronMan. It’s obvious whose side I’m on. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) makes some good points, but if you have been keeping up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you can understand why Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) was a bit wary of having to answer to higher ups. The two of them recruit others to their respective sides, and Cap wound up with Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner). As for me, I’m #TeamHawkguy all the way.

I really like how T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) had the basics of his backstory handled in a few lines of strategically placed dialogue. I wish more filmmakers/studios trusted the audience to put 2+2 together.

The attention to detail in Captain America: Civil War is second to none, and the minor details added to my enjoyment. Whenever someone went to a new location, there would be an establishing shot, and the name of the city would appear in large letters in the center of the screen. It felt as if I was watching an European art film, or a Wes Andeson movie.

There are those that say Captain America: Civil War didn’t need an actual villain, but I didn’t mind one bit. Helmut Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) is one of the more interesting baddies in the MCU. Zemo isn’t a villain with an over the top scheme, he was someone whose motivations fit into the themes and tone of the movie.

Finally, let’s talk about Spider-Man. I won’t go out on a limb and proclaim Tom Holland (not to be confused with Tom Hollander) is the best cinematic Peter Parker/Spidey thus far. I will say that my interest in Spider-Man: Homecoming has increased–if that is possible.


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