First Captain America: Civil War reviews come rolling in
The first reactions to Marvel's upcoming CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR were almost overwhelmingly positive but as we experienced with BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, those early reactions aren't necessarily going to be in tune with what the critics say. Fortunately, those who were hoping that CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR will live up to the extreme hype will be pleased to know that many critics are calling this Marvel's best film yet. It seems Joe and Anthony Russo have managed to achieve the near-impossible by juggling an enormous cast successfully but still finding time to give each member their time to shine, all while telling an effective story. Keep an eye out for our own CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR review later tonight, but in the meantime, check out what the other outlets are saying about what's sure to be another big hit for Marvel.
Remarkably outshining both 'Avengers' films in its deployment of superhero pyrotechnics and credible, amped-up character conflict, “Captain America: Civil War” is finally the fully realized team-up movie Marvel has been striving to make all these years. - Somehow managing time to introduce both Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and a new version of Spider-Man (Tom Holland) without overstuffing the plot, the filmmakers maintain a consistent focus on their own particular exploration of the "with great power comes great responsibility" concept and craft one of the few satisfying end-game battles in Marvel's cinematic canon so far.
The Russos handle the action with growing assurance and impressive range, shooting the early fight scenes with an almost “Bourne”-style handheld intensity, in contrast with the more classically framed skirmishes that follow. Even more impressively, the film feels sincerely invested in the questions it raises about freedom vs. responsibility, heroism vs. vigilantism, and what those distinctions say about the individuals making them.
Captain America: Civil War is the best Marvel Studios movie yet. There, we said it. First, and most importantly, it does what the best Marvel films do: juggling multiple characters so each is allowed its moment in a story that pushes forward the series’ overall continuity, while also forming and concluding its own cogent plot.
These enhanced humans are still human and have relationships with one another that exist beyond the boundaries of global crisis. Given permission to be more than objects resisting other objects against a green screen, the cast members give themselves to each other, their screen clan generously expanding to include newer characters like Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). And Evans’ performance — it’s his character’s film, after all — is the center; his story line is the one most beset by internal conflict, and his empathy for the torn loyalties of Cap is moving in ways that don’t derail the action’s urgency or pull focus from the otherwise ensemble nature of the larger project.
Without a doubt, Civil War’s airport battle sequence is the best superhero brawl ever depicted on the big screen. It is a comic book fan’s wet dream, with every character getting a moment to shine in battle. Spider-Man gets his quips and licks in, Panther throws down in a style all his own, and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) gives both of these new additions a run for their money in some of the set-piece’s most nerdgasm-inducing moments. This is the superhero movie fight scene people will remember and geek out about for years.
Between the political issues, explosive battles and a nefarious plot by new villain-on-the-scene Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl), Civil War is overflowing with story. It's a gold mine for Marvel nerds that may be dizzying for the rest. Yet the central conflict between superfriends Steve and Tony stays in focus, even escalating in a real and tragic way as the plot progresses and weaves in Winter Soldier’s history of breaking bad to tear them apart even further. Rather than rooting for the fisticuffs, it hurts to watch these men, brothers in a sense, punch and blast each other into oblivion — a testament to two actors totally on their game but also to audiences’ investment in these characters paying off in dramatic fashion.
In a surprisingly substantial appearance, 19-year-old Tom Holland not only makes a case for being the best screen Spidey so far, but also threatens to steal the entire film. His Peter Parker is perfect – nervy, goofy and instantly endearing. In the airport fight however he's truly spectacular, holding his own against the best the MCU has to offer, using his webs in entertaining and creative ways, while his motor-mouthed (and charmingly naive) wisecracking couldn’t be better. “There’s usually not this much talk,” says Falcon. You’ll be grateful there is, and desperate to see more of Holland’s sensational web-slinger the moment you leave the cinema.
the latest Marvel extravaganza furthers the studio’s cross-pollination of action franchises in a way that’s sure to satisfy devotees. Posing serious questions about violence and vigilantism while reveling in both, Captain America: Civil War is overlong but surprisingly light on its feet. It builds upon the plotlines of previous Avengers outings, bringing together known marquee quantities and introducing the Black Panther and a new Spidey in winning fashion.
Captain America: Civil War is a classic case of having your cake and eating it too. There is lots to love and much to appreciate in its thoughtful and deeply personal narrative. At its best, it acts as a repudiation of the MCU playbook. Oh sure, it is as much a table-setter as a stand-alone movie, and there are moments of unabashed fanservice that don’t really serve the film, but it takes its story to its natural endpoint with minimal compromise. If that sounds like a spoiler, it’s not. Because if anything this film relishes the opportunity to rub our noses in our own preordained expectations.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR is due to hit theaters on May 6, 2016.
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