After re-watching it a few times, I feel like it’s time to express some of my thoughts on “Civil War”.
First off, let me say this won’t be just a normal review for “Civil War”. I’ll be comparing it to “Batman V Superman” and I’ll be giving my thoughts as a comic book fan AND a film critic. That’s why this is titled “Discussion/Review” and not just “Review”.
“Civil War” follows Captain America and Iron Man on opposing sides because of an act called the “Sokovia Accords”…oh yeah and Bucky. Because of the deaths in the past MCU films-that they’re just now acknowledging thirteen movies in-during battles like Sokovia-“Age of Ultron”-and New York-“Avengers”-the government cannot tolerate The Avengers just doing whatever they want. So The Avengers choose sides and fight and there are quips and no stakes, OK!
Unlike “Batman V Superman”, “Civil War” received much love from fans and critics. It’s a lot of fun and…yeah, it’s a lot of fun. Let me say I don’t hate “Civil War”, I like it a lot, I just don’t think it’s the, “Best superhero movie of all time masterpiece”, some make it out to be.
Let’s talk about acting first. Robert Downey Jr., of course, is great as Tony Stark/Iron Man. I will say Chris Evans slips up a few times, but he’s good most of the time. Sebastian Stan is great as Bucky Barnes as he was in “The Winter Soldier”. Chadwick Boseman and Daniel Bruhl are the standout performances to me. Don Cheadle is okay, he’s not great like most of the cast but he’s fine. Everyone else is good too. I also think Tom Holland is the perfect Spider-Man.
The cinematography is just fine, as it is in most Marvel movies. Nothing special, just fine. There are a few good shots but most of it is pretty bland.
The score is really bad, as it is in most Marvel movies. It’s not memorable at all, and doesn’t add much to the movie. Some of the score doesn’t really match the tone of the scene it’s used in either. I want to see a Marvel movie take a risk with it’s score for once. Holding out hope for “Doctor Strange”.
The film starts off with an amazing action sequence. But it causes the death of Crossbones, who was pretty much wasted. The opening action scene is pretty much the only action scene that doesn’t have a million cuts when delivering one punch. This is just a nitpick but I hate it when Falcon shoots the explosives at Crossbones’ men. It just doesn’t seem at all heroic, but that’s just me.
Now let’s talk about the villain “Zemo” for a second. Personally, I think Zemo is the best villain Marvel has ever had on screen. He accomplished what he set out to do and his motives were clear and made sense. But his plan however is pretty incoherent and has way too many coincidences. I guess 2016 was the year when comic book movie villains had stupidly overly complicated plans. But I’ll let it slide because Zemo’s characters is so well developed and rich. Daniel Bruhl is great as Zemo also. But I don’t think a villain was necessary is “Civil War”. It could’ve been the same without a villain, focused on the Sokovia Accords more and it would’ve been great, maybe better.
To me, “Civil War” is great in it’s first act, but drops off in it’s second, then picks back up in it’s third. The first act is much like “Batman V Superman”. It’s a fantastic political thriller, though I do think “Batman V Superman” did it better. It takes it’s themes seriously in the first act, and I love that. Then in the second act it’s: Quips! Jokes! Spider-Man! Fun! Orange slices!…I still don’t get that. And no doubt it IS fun, but fun doesn’t equal good. It just irritates me how The Avengers are being torn apart and they all act like they don’t really care, because jokes! Tony literally says, “I’m trying to keep you from tearing apart The Avengers”, then immediately after that comes, “UNDEROOS”! I can’t take this movie’s themes seriously if only half the time the characters in the movie can. I’m not trying to say it needs to be just plain depressing like “Batman V Superman” but I don’t need jokes every two seconds. And not everything has to be “fun”.
Moving on. During the big airport battle the CGI on Spider-Man’s costume is pretty bad. They literally had a capable costume made that Tom Holland actually WORE while filming that they just CGI’d over! What the hell, Marvel? And the suit they actually made looks way better than the CGI one! That’s worse than when “Superman Returns” CGI’d Brandon Routh’s Superman flying entirely just because?
Now let’s get to the third act, which is the best part of the movie for me. The performances go from good to great; everyone steps up their game. The final fight between Cap, Tony, and Bucky is fantastic and heartbreaking. The scene between Black Panther and Zemo is probably my favorite scene in the movie because of it’s pure emotion. The fight between Cap, Tony, and Bucky ends perfectly with Tony saying Cap doesn’t deserve his shield. Then we cut to Steve writing Tony a letter about how if he needs help he’ll be there. That’s when I lost my sanity. The movie just forgets about everything that just happened because the filmmakers think they’re audience is too stupid to figure anything out. This is a problem I had with “Batman V Superman”. WE KNOW THE AVENGERS WILL GET BACK TOGETHER! WE KNOW SUPERMAN IS NOT DEAD! But no, everything has to be spelled out for the audience. The filmmakers are treating their audience like incompetent toddlers.
A lot of people say that Cap should’ve died, but I don’t necessarily think that. I think they should’ve just killed someone off. It would’ve had more of an impact and made the movie more emotional. I’m not saying Iron Man had to murder Cap, but if Crossbones would’ve assassinated someone like he did Cap in the comics I think that would’ve been a better ending than the letter Cap sent Tony…
Overall, I really like “Civil War” but I don’t think it’s the masterpiece that people make it out to be. It only takes it’s themes serious half the time, and it’s bland cinematography and score bring it down a lot.
What did you think of “Civil War”? Let us know in the comments below!