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Civil War’s Not Civil. At All.

 

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Black Panther. Winter Soldier. Spider Man. Ant Man. Vision. Crossbones. Scarlet Witch.

And that little terrifying woman down there:

 

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Move. Or you will be moved.

 

Those are just a few of the reasons to see Captain America: Civil War. Again and again.

The thirteenth film from the extended Marvel Cinematic Universe, Civil War is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo – the brothers behind the runaway box office hit Winter Soldier.

Interestingly, these guys only had two directorial credits before doing Winter Soldier – and with the departure of Joss Whedon and the critical failure Age of Ultron was, they’ve been tapped to direct Avengers Infinity War I & II.

When you’re good, you’re good, no?

Elements from the 2006 comic Civil War were taken, but where that was a Marvel Universe-wide event, Captain America: Civil War is self-contained. Based on a script written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, The Avengers track some biochemical weapon to Lay-Gos Nigeria (Ofili and I wonder how long it would take someone to teach those guys how to properly pronounce Lagos) and things go south, with Scarlet Witch; in trying to protect Captain America and some civilians from a bomb Crossbones activated in his suit, ending up killing more civilians.

 

That; and a number of other catastrophes lead the world’s leading nations (the UN; headed by King T’Chaka of Wakanda no less) sign a ‘act’ called The Sokovian Accords (2006 Superhuman Registration Act in the comics) which empowers a special UN Panel to oversee and control The Avengers. While the discussion is ongoing, Captain America gets news that Peggy Carter has passed on.

Meanwhile, big bad Tony Stark is having a crisis of conscience. 1; he was too proud to tell his parents he loved them the last time he saw them alive, 2; he’s lost the love of his life because of his massive ego, 3; his plan to create an AI that can oversee and protect the world backfired horribly, and now he’s seeing firsthand just how out of control the team he helped build can get. Surprisingly, he’s the first to sign the act. And Captain America, who was created to follow orders simply refuses – because, after the events in Winter Soldier, he’s come to realize the safest hands are his.

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Man; I so wanted to see this punch…!

Thus, the stage is set.

Every action film has a basic formula; start with incredible action that does one of two things; establish the lead character(s) as badass, or establish the conflict in the story by taking us forward (as we saw in Deadpool) and Civil War is no exception. The Lay-Gos scene was actually shot in Atlanta – but the elaborate details paid to the set (look for the MAGGI banner on display and the Malta Guinness can abandoned on a nearby table) is way noteworthy. There are a lot of kick-down-drag-out ass kicking sequences and scenes – watching Black Panther kick Winter Soldier’s butt gives me some kind of perverse pleasure.

 

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You know what else gives me pleasure? The way the cinema audience gasps the first time Black Panther removes his mask and it’s T’Challa under there.

Read a comic, people!

The emotional balance/themes are handled impressively well too. Captain America came back from the ice to find his sweetheart 102 years old – and then, he’s briefly reunited with a childhood friend who is still as young as him. And then, the childhood friend disappears – only to reappear, but this time wanted for murder.

What would you do?

Having just lost Peggy, Bucky remains the one thing in his life that hasn’t changed (not so much) after seventy years. He ‘discards’ everything he’s ever known and holds onto that friendship with both hands. It’s what keeps his grounded throughout Civil War; that unwavering loyalty to Bucky.

And he was right.

I love Winter Soldier (played with effortless panache by Sebastian Stan) in this movie. The man came alive – and even though he was getting beat most of the movie, it was fun to watch.

Captain America has a girlfriend!

Spider Man was just awesome. Youthful exuberance has it’s place, and he would be a wonderful addition to the Avengers (at least on screen; he’s an off-and-on member in the comics). Tom Holland, just like Peter Parker uses punch lines and jokes to ease fear and tension when fighting (he tells Winter Soldier; “You have a metal arm?! Awesome!”) and he absolutely rocks. Don’t miss his second post-credit scene; don’t miss the still-sexy Aunt May. Paul Rudd’s Ant Man also packed more than a couple surprises – I like how he was star-struck to meet the Captain.

Am I the only one who doesn’t see a Black Widow movie anytime soon?

You know, Black Widow’s a huge part of the Daredevil mythos; they actually dated for a while before and after Karen Page (Matt’s a Yoruba Demon too!), but I don’t see Scarlett Johanson fitting into Netflix’s Hell’s Kitchen; do you?

Thought so too.

This is the most humble I have ever seen Robert Downey’s Stark, admitting he was wrong, admitting they have been wrong, being willing to submit himself to ‘higher’ authority. He ends the movie feeling the pressure of responsibility, feels some sort of angst like he betrayed his friends, but gets closure from –

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Just watch it.

It was also delightful for me to watch Vision struggle with his feelings for Wanda (Scarlet Witch). This is a guy who is the ultimate android (he was created by Ultron after all), he can create a formula for almost every situation – but cannot understand his feelings for  ‘dangerous damsel in distress’ Wanda.

Paul Bettany’s confusion is amazing on screen.

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What else can I say about how amazing this movie is? The bad guy was boring; Baron Zemo is reduced from a man who is older than Steve Rogers (Captain America; for those who don’t know) and hates Captain with a passion to some guy who hates the Avengers because his family died in  Sovakia. The ending was some kind of anti-climax for me – I would have loved to see the other Winter Soldiers in action.

Maybe they wanted the twist because the other ending was expected – but I saw it coming either way. Still; watch it over and over. It is an amazing watch.

PS: Don’t bother doing 3D. It’s a waste of funds – and there’s NO difference between it and 2D. I wonder where they missed it.

No time like now to watch Captain America: Civil War.

Trust me.

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