Monday, May 9, 2016

"Captain America: Civil War" Review by Tim Hellman

'CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR': Five Stars (Out of Five)

The third installment in Marvel Studios' 'CAPTAIN AMERIA' film franchise. The sequel also features many other superhero characters from the 'Marvel Cinematic Universe' (especially the 'AVENGERS' films), and the story deals with Captain America taking on Iron Man; in order to protect his friend Bucky Barnes. The movie stars Chris Evans (reprising the title role) and it costars Robert Downey Jr. (as Iron Man), Sebastian Stan (as Bucky, AKA The Winter Soldier), Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Chadwick Boseman, Daniel Bruhl, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Jeremy Renner, Emily Van Camp, William Hurt, Paul Rudd, Tom Holland, Frank Grillo, Marisa Tomei and Martin Freeman. The film also introduces the classic comic book characters Spider-Man and Black Panther (Holland and Boseman), in their Marvel Cinematic Universe feature film debuts. Anthony and Joe Russo returned to direct the movie (they also helmed 'CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER') and Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely returned to write the script (they also wrote 'WINTER SOLDIER' and co-wrote 'THOR: THE DARK WORLD'). It's received rave reviews from critics and fans alike, and it's (of course) a huge hit at the Box Office. I loved it as well.

Due to the large number of civilian deaths, as a result of The Avengers' battles with various super-villains (over the years), the United Nations wants to form an international governing body, to control the superheroes' actions. Captain America (Evans) is against it, since he thinks they have better judgment than corrupt government officials, whereas Iron Man (Downey Jr.) supports the supervision (due to guilt over creating Ultron, and other tragedies he's responsible for). Other Avengers divide in the conflict, forming two different factions. At the same time Bucky Barnes (Stan) is framed for a bombing in Vienna (which kills a Wakanda King). Captain America wants to protect his friend, while government officials want to kill him. A civil war between the superheroes erupts.

This film gets everything right that 'BATMAN V SUPERMAN' did (one of my other favorite movies this year); it's very dark, dramatic and full of rich character development (all things 'AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON' got wrong). The plot is involving and the action actually serves the story; rather than vice versa! The action scenes are also really cleverly done, and exciting; something increasingly hard to pull off, in modern blockbusters. Downey Jr. actually gives a really good performance again (and he doesn't deliver any horrible jokes, for a change). It's also interesting to see his character as the antagonist; I know he was more of a villain in the comic book, but I think it was smarter for the filmmakers to make the drama (in the film) more nuanced. The movie's politics are also timely and complex. It's just a grade A film all around; I think it's my second favorite Marvel Studios film (after 'GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY'). It's one flaw is that they got Spider-Man wrong though; they made some major changes to the source material, that any fan should be pissed about. I think his character is the worst of the three movie adaptations (and he deserves his own fucking movie to debut in, he's not second banana to 'THE AVENGERS')! Overall the film is fantastic though.

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