Captain America Civil War Review

Entertainment Value: 10/10

Critical Value: 7.5/10

 

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This film is off to a great start at the box office and with critics, which is no surprise. I may be a little tardy to the party but here is my review of one of 2016’s most anticipated films.

 

As a brief overview, Civil War revolved around a new set of laws known as the Sokovia Accords, which are a proposed measure to monitor and register all superheroes. These accords are proposed after numerous incidents of collateral damage, from New York in Avengers 1 to Sokovia in Avengers 2.

 

The Avengers and superheroes as a whole, are then split on whether to support or propose the act. While Tony Stark believes the laws will help people feel safer and make heroes more accountable, Steve Rogers believes that governmental control of superheroes will ultimately lead to superheroes being puppets to government agendas. The conflict between these two eventually escalates into all out war between Team Cap and Team Iron Man.

 

I will say that reading the comic does affect my perception of this film. I know some people may say that is unfair, but we must realize that any adaptation will get compared to its source material. I will not tear the film apart simply because it didn’t follow the comics page by page but there are some things the comics touched on that I would have loved to see in the film. However, Civil War is still a great film. I have heard many people say it is the best MCU film or even the best superhero film ever. I would disagree with the assertion that it is the best superhero film ever, and in terms of the MCU it is still beat by The Winter Soldier.

 

Firstly, the film is ridiculously entertaining. The running time flew by and the action sequences continue to get better with the Captain America films. I felt that every character truly got a chance to shine, whether they were older characters like The Falcon and Bucky, or newer ones such as The Black Panther.

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The film does a great job of seamlessly integrating the different characters and bringing them together. This was one of my biggest worries and it was good to see that for the most part, character introductions didn’t seem rushed. The one exception is Spider-Man. Spider-Man is my second favourite comic book character so I wanted to make sure I was objective about his appearance in the film. His intro and the wrap up of his storyline did strike me as a bit tacked on. From what I have heard, the Russos said they always planned on Spider-Man being a part of the film. However, Spider-Man’s scenes could have been cut out and the film would still pretty much be the same. A character that is integrated better is The Black Panther. Boseman plays the character with an African accent, and I am probably not suited to judge how well he pulls it off. The accent did seem to make his dialogue more stilted when the script required him to speak in longer sentences. Despite those criticisms, I will say that Spider-Man and The Black Panther were both amazing additions to the universe and I look forward to seeing their solo films.

 

The performances are good for the most part, which was something I wasn’t worried about. While I did criticize Boseman’s accent and delivery, Elizabeth Olsen takes the cake for worst accent. Her character’s Sokovian accent comes and goes at will, just like it did in Avengers: Age of Ultron. One criticism I do have for the film is that I felt certain plot threads could have been developed more. Scarlet Witch’s character is one that I felt could have been fleshed out more, especially since her character does play an important role, arguably being the main impetus for the conflict between Iron Man and Captain America. Obviously that is expected when a film incorporates this many characters but I can’t dismiss underdeveloped plot threads simply because the film has a lot of characters. This will always be a concern for any ensemble cast. Overall, Civil War handles it well but Winter Soldier still beats it due to the cohesiveness of its story.

 

While the humor in some Marvel film falls flat, I always thought the Captain America films did a better job balancing it with seriousness. Generally, the Cap movies also had better written jokes. That holds true here as well but there are times when the humor fell flat. One example (very minor spoiler)- Stan Lee’s mailman character delivers a package for Tony Stark but says “Tony Stank” instead. That is the joke, that his name was spelt as Tony Stank. While my audience was dying with laughter, I sat there thinking that the joke was the definition of kiddy humour. Fortunately, jokes like that are pretty far and few in between. Spider-Man and the other characters help to add more enjoyable comic relief that fits their characters.

 

The end is somewhat open ended but gives a satisfying conclusion to the film, while also raising questions about the future of the Avengers. I did have an issue with the ending fight scene. Not due to the fight itself, but the impetus for the fight. As a minor spoiler, the last fight scene relies on two different characters being at the same location at the same time. However, it brings up the question of how the villain knew that the two characters would appear at the same time.

 

However, that did not ruin my enjoyment of the film and I still give Captain America: Civil War a 7.5/10 for critical value and a 10/10 for entertainment value.

 

Updates

This marks the third day of my commitment to blog everyday, so far so good, but there are still plenty of days to go.

Although my novels are science-fiction, my blog has always explored a range of subjects. I write about movies and comics, but I also write about race and politics. I know that may dissuade some people but it is who I am. I am not diluting my interests for the people who may feel threatened by the views that I try to express in a rational manner.

When it comes to my daily post, I often write about what is on my mind. An article, a comment by a friend, anything can end up being the inspiration for an article. Since it is Friday now, I figured that a lighter blog post was in order. I’m checking out Captain America: Civil War tomorrow and I am excited. As I expected, the film has already been met with near critical acclaim. Although I love Marvel and DC I can’t help but feel somewhat apprehensive since I know the Marvel brainwashing is very powerful.

However, I’m still excited. I have dbox seats for tomorrow and will be putting up a review tomorrow night or Sunday at the latest. I am planning to do a written review as well as a YouTube video. I’ve been avoiding any promotional videos since the first trailer came out because I don’t want too much spoiled. I hear Tom Holland is amazing as Spider-Man so we’ll see what he brings to the table. I haven’t heard much about Chadwick Boseman as The Black Panther but I think he’ll kill it and hopefully build some hype for the Black Panther film.

Full Circle -From Comic Book to Film and Film to Comic Book

I originally wrote this piece for comicommand

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With the plethora of comic book films currently gracing the big screen, it is obvious that comic books have greatly affected film and mainstream entertainment as a whole. However, a less obvious feature of this golden age of comic book films, is the impact that comic book adaptations have on their own source material. Comic book Superman didn’t fight for “The American Way” until after 1940s radio broadcasts said he did. Superman also didn’t fly until the radio series added that feature. Additionally, characters such as Harley Quinn and Terry McGinnis made their first appearances in animated television shows such as Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond before entering the comics. These events bring up the point that it is unavoidable for adaptations to influence their properties to some extent. I originally considered writing this piece as a pros and cons article, but I realized that the list of benefits would be counteracted by only one very obvious con.

When films begin affecting films more, then financial motives can quickly overpower the values of storytelling and creativity. Characters such as Star-Lord now have new solo titles (Legendary Star Lord). It seems unlikely that the series is not somehow related to the success of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Film can allow more obscure characters to shine, breaking through the monotony of superhero films. However, this can also help to usher in monotony. Each “phase” of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) is pre-scheduled to focus on certain characters and certain stories.  Marvel currently has all its filmsmapped out until 2019. Marvel also has general plans for phase 4, which begins in 2020. Of the next ten films, five are introducing new characters into the MCU. One will be the first solo film for the MCU’s Spider-Man, the rest will introduce Captain Marvel, The Inhumans, Black Panther and Doctor Strange.

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With four new characters being introduced, the spread between new characters and old seems fairly even. Since Black Panther comics are currently struggling, according to Marvel’s editor-in-chief, a boost in sales from a movie could do the franchise wonders. However, what happens if Marvel comics start to focus on the comics that have had popular films, or are about to? I doubt this would be the first time this has happened, but with the MCU’s prevalence, the impact could be much more drastic. Marvel could devote more resources and better writers to comics that have a movie coming soon. Meanwhile, other properties could be left to either stagnate or remain doomed to relative obscurity, until Marvel Studios decides to adapt them to film. This could potentially create a system where comic book publishing is essentially dictated by film-making. This suggestion may seem drastic at the moment, but it is important to consider that the MCU is only eight years old. The MCU did not invent comic book adaptations and older ones such as Blade (1998) and X-Men (2000) are just as vital to the success of comic book films. However, as I’ve discussed before, the MCU is the most saturated and popular engine for comic book films.

Steven Spielberg predicted comic book movies will reach a saturation point and go the way of the western, dying out and making way for a new hierarchy for tent pole films. It’s possible that Spielberg is right since it seems obvious that people will become fatigued from superhero films and desire less of them at some point. However, it is important to realize that Westerns thrived in mainstream Hollywood for decades before they became the anomaly they are now. For all we know, the MCU could thrive for twenty years before unsatisfactory box-office totals start to necessitate a change in Hollywood. In eight years we have already seen some of the effects of films on Marvel comics, what could twelve, twenty or even thirty more years of box-office domination lead to?

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