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BBP’s Running Reviews of – CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

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Last weekend, the next of the big large-popcorn, comic book superhero, cinematic-universe-builder blockbusters dropped into movie theaters everywhere – Captain America: Civil War! How did it stand up to the other dozen Marvel movies, or even that other superhero fight flick, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? Something tells me it did a little better than that latter film…

Based on the celebrated Marvel Comics mini-series Civil War, this culmination of the first twelve Marvel films pits six of Marvel’s greatest superheroes against six other of Marvel’s greatest superheroes. This is it, folks, the big one. What did we think of it? Let’s find out.

Over the course of the day, Biff Bam Pop! writers will give their high level take on the film. Check back regularly, as more contributions are added to this post of reviews that are sure to run the gamut of praise and maybe even derision. So meet us after the jump, our reviews of Captain America: Civil War are only a giant step away…

Glenn Walker:

I’m going to say it right away. I think this is the one, the best Marvel Cinematic Universe movie so far. The first Avengers film and Captain America: The Winter Soldier come close, but this is it. I wanted to be dazzled, and I was.

Based on the Civil War Marvel Comics mini-series, this tale doesn’t really need to manufacture an event to kick off this war, the elements are already there working in the universe. There have been problems, oversights, international incidents that might bring about a United Nations order to regulate powered humans as weapons of mass destruction. The Scarlet Witch’s error in judgment at the start of this film is only the cherry on top of that crap sundae.

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The Avengers, old and new, split up into factions, one led by Captain America and one by Tony Stark, and they go to war. Ultimately that’s all you need to know. That said, there are very reasonable arguments behind each group. What really amazed me about the film, and the Russos directing especially was how no one character was given short shrift here. Everyone had their part, their spotlight, and their big scenes and lines – and yet, one never, ever, loses sight that this is primarily a Captain America film.

Some characters do get more of a spotlight than others however. I love the Black Panther and was blown away by his depiction here. I cannot wait for his solo film in 2018. Peter Parker as Spider-Man is also introduced in the film to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and finally I think they got him just right. Previously I couldn’t have cared much about this, but now, count me in line when Spider-Man: Homecoming is released in 2017. Yeah, the kid was that good.

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The old crew gets a lot of screen time as well. The Falcon gets better every time he appears on screen, as does the Black Widow. I know there are whispers of a possible Widow solo film, but hey, how about the Falcon? My favorite Avenger (in powers at least, he’s Scott Lang, not Hank Pym) Ant-Man gets a major game-changing upgrade during the mid-film battle at the airport when he becomes Giant-Man. Did you hear that cheer in the theater? Yeah, that was me.

I also liked that the big battle between one dozen superheroes was the center piece of the film, and yet it happened mid-way through. The climax of Captain America: Civil War is quite personal, and involving only a few characters. Zemo, although I wish he was closer to his comics counterpart, is at the center of this fight between Cap and Stark with Winter Soldier and the Black Panther on the side. It’s not a pleasant ending, but it is satisfying. Now I can’t wait until we see these characters again.

This is an amazing film, easily one of the best superhero films ever done. Bring on the Infinity War!

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Andy Burns:

For me, Captain America: Civil War was what Avengers: Age of Ultron should have been – a dynamic interaction between the world’s greatest heroes. Not to say I didn’t enjoy AOU because I did, and I like it more with repeat viewings. But coming off of the epic storytelling that Captain America: The Winter Soldier gave us, something about the team’s second go around was just lacking for me.

With Civil War, Evans, Downey and company got the chance to work with a stronger script and real world concerns, which gives the film the sort of gravatas that I think Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was going for but couldn’t quite find (and for the record, I liked that movie too).

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For me, Civil War is just slightly below The Winter Soldier in terms of excellence, and that’s only because the ending felt a little too sudden and unresolved for me. But that’s a very minor quibble at the end of the day. The highlights are just outstanding – a young Spider-Man who feels real; the regal way in which Black Panther carries himself. The logic that both sides present in battling for and against the Sokovia Accords. It’s all great stuff, and I can’t wait to revisit this Civil War again.

JP Fallavollita:

This is the way it needs to be done!

When you’ve got a cast of fan-favourite characters as disparate and as expansive as what Marvel/Disney and the Russo brothers had for Captain America: Civil War, you do the only thing possible: have them face off against each other in a mind-blowing blowout brawl.

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But to have a strong film, these characters need to all be given their own beats, their own moments. And that’s the inherent strength of the third movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to feature the “Captain America” name – even though it truly is an Avengers film starring the titular hero. Sure, it needs a full 147-minute run time to accomplish this feat, but it does so with aplomb, gravitas, and even a fair bit of comedy. “Sometimes I want to punch you in your perfect teeth” a frustrated Tony Stark tells an immovable Steve Rogers. It’s an instant classic of a line, that sheds so much light on both characters, while also making the audience giggle like a long-time third friend at the table. Later, in the final act, Rogers (with his busted up face) echoes the one line that exemplifies everything about his sense of self. Whether it’s righteousness or pride, implacable beliefs or faith, Rogers wears his heart – and his character – on his sleeve. Never one to give up, “I can do this all day”, he tells Stark in the middle of a winner-take-all fisticuff that he’s certain to lose. Many fans will remember the line from the first film in the trilogy, Captain America: The First Avenger. It encapsulates everything good about Steve Rogers and it’s the reason why he’s the hero of this story. I’m #TeamCap all day, every day.

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Of all the surprises and the myriad of characters starring or co-starring in Captain America: Civil War, Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther steals the show. In the handful of scenes he’s in, which are more than I would have ever thought he’d be in, Civil War is as much about T’Challa as it is Captain America and the other members the Avengers. It’s a shame we’ll have to wait two more years for a Black Panther fronted film.

Younger theatre-goers may get a little anxious in their seats through the first two-thirds of the film as there’s plenty of disagreeable conversation between Rogers, Stark and their compadres, but the last third is an action-packed payoff. For those of us that are a little older, we may wonder at story details and the motivations and capabilities of the film’s singular antagonist, Helmut Zemo, and how he could possibly get so far ahead is his strangely personal plan – if not for the Avengers constantly getting in their own way. Still, Captain America: Civil War, although not as focussed as it’s predecessor, the astoundingly brilliant Captain America: The Winter Soldier, is a great popcorn movie and a worthy edition to the MCU. And probably as good an Avengers movie you’ll ever get to see.

Until Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 comes out in a few years time – with the Russo brothers back behind the lens!

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Sarah Hawkins-Miduski:

What I learned about myself by watching Civil War:

I would be a terrible hero. There seemed to be two options, either the supers sign the accord like nice superheroes, or don’t sign the accord and mark themselves a government enemy. I would pick a third option. I would move somewhere tropical, maybe Tahiti, I hear it’s a magical place. Then the next time some narcissistic god from another dimension decides to take over the world, I’d chill in my hammock, sipping my drink from a pineapple, and laugh as the government tries to fend for themselves. Sounds like a solid plot for a fourth Avengers movie.

I am a bad friend. This movie was heavy with bromances. I like my childhood friends, but if they ended up becoming brainwashed super soldiers that wanted to kill me and my other friends, I’m not sure I would betray everyone else in my life to save them. I was with Iron Man on this one. Weren’t the rest of the Avengers Cap’s friends too? Didn’t they fight beside each other countless times? I would bet during any number of battles other members of the team have saved Cap’s butt, just as much as being pulled out of a river.

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I love girl power. I had to be reminded several times that this was a Captain America movie, as I felt like the ladies didn’t get enough attention this time around. I assume I’ll be waiting forever for my fantasy mash-up movie where Black Widow goes back in time to kick butt with Agent Carter.

I like Spider-Man again. I think everyone can agree that the new Spider-Man is awesome. I dig fun, enthusiastic superheroes. Dark and brooding is overrated.

The movie was great. So far the Russo brothers have yet to disappoint.

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About Glenn Walker

Glenn Walker is a professional writer, and editor-in-chief and contributing writer at Biff Bam Pop!. A blogger, podcaster, and reviewer of pop culture in all its forms, he's done stints in radio, journalism and video retail. Ask him anything about movies, television, music, or especially comics or French fries, and you’ll be hard pressed to stump him or shut him up.

Posted on May 13, 2016, in Andy Burns, Captain America, Film, Glenn Walker, JP Fallavollita, Marvel, sarah hawkins miduski and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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