Sunday, May 15, 2016

Theatrical Review: Captain America- Civil War

Date: Sunday, May 15, 2016
Location: Pocono Movieplex
Time: 11:30pm
Party: 3 (my mom & aunt)

Director: Joe and Anthony Russo

Duration: 147 minutes (+3  trailers)


Steve Rodgers/Captain America- Chris Evans
Tony Stark/Iron-Man- Robert Downey Jr.
Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow- Scarlet Johansson
Rhoady/War-Machine- Don Cheadle
Sam Wilson/Falcon- Anthony Mackie
Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier-Sebastian Stan
Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch- Elizabeth Olsen
T'Challa/Black Panther- Chadwick Boseman
Zemo- Daniel Bruhl
The Vision- Paul Bettany
Peter Parker/Spider-man- Tom Holland
Aunt May- Marisa Tomei
Clint Barton/Hawkeye- Jeremy Renner

Scott Lang/Ant-Man- Paul Rudd
Sharon Carter/Agent 13- Emily VanCamp
Secretary of State- William Hurt
Everett Ross- Martin Freeman

Audience and Previews:

Had a good crowd. A bunch of parents with kids. But probably wouldn't have known it wouldn't be a full house judging from the parking lot.
The movie theater used to be the only thing in the area, but the flea market and today something involving show cars... it takes parking spots away from movie-goers. Just a pet peeve of mine. It's why when I go by myself, I don't like to go on weekends because I don't like dodgy parking lots.

Three previews:

Doctor Strange lived up to its name. It looked "Inception"-trippy with all the visual effects and such. But with Benedict Cumberbatch playing the lead role, probably will go to see it.
Star Wars: Rouge One, I'd heard about, but this was the first I was seeing of it. Should be interesting, especially when Episode VIII is coming out the same month.
Star Trek: Beyond- should be interesting. A lot of thrilling moments in the trailer, but also had room for comedic moments.

I thought we'd be seeing another trailer for "X-Men: Apocalypse" but not the case. Considering Oscar Isaac is the villain, it might be worth looking into. He plays a good bad guy.


I'll cut to the chase immediately: this really was the best Marvel movie that they'd made since they created the Marvel Cinematic Universe with "Iron-Man." It lived up to all the hype and was a thrill from start to finish.
If there's one negative, it's the excess of action sequences. Certain people might tire of the quick pace and the special effects and things blowing up. But if you're in that, this is in your wheelhouse.

Considering the all-star cast (and it was hard to put the list together because I was afraid to leave anyone out- still adding people now), it's kinda hard to think of it as a Captain America movie. Unless you think of how much screen-time he has versus everyone else (slightly more) or how the feel of it was similar to "The Winter Soldier." But instead of just a political thriller, it was also psychological.

The cliff-notes/spoiler-free version of the plot goes like this:
After a mission in the opening scene goes array, the United Nations drafts an initiative called the Sovokia Accords (named after the Eastern European city where "Age of Ultron" took place). This asks the Avengers and other special powered individuals to register themselves and agree that their actions need supervision. Despite the bad guys they've stopped, that good doesn't outweigh the bad: the collateral damage inflicted on the cities involved.

Naturally, this is something that all of the heroes have an opinion on and wind up taking sides. So obviously conflict ensues... and continues to build throughout the film.

When the accords are about to be ratified in Vienna, the building is bombed. And the Winter Soldier (aka Steve Rodger's childhood friend, Bucky Barnes) is the lead suspect.
So the agenda building against him is something Captain America tries to stand against. Meanwhile, Tony Stark is on the other side, finally trying to do what he started in "Iron-Man"- have accountability about his actions and those of others.

After "Age of Ultron," where I left the movie saying that maybe Tony deserved to be punished for his actions... and considering how RDJ is the reason I am here at all, it was difficult to accept.

When this movie was first announced and they announced he would be in it, they said off the bat that Tony might be considered a villain.
I figured that I wouldn't know until I saw the movie if I'd be #TeamCap #TeamIronMan. After weighing the options and seeing where each of them was coming from, I wound up back on #TeamIronMan.

Real quick: there are two post-credits scenes, so stick around until the end.

Mild Spoilers Ahead...

Tony's going through a lot of difficulties when the movie starts.
Things are not good between him and Pepper- mainly because of his actions in "Iron-Man 3" and how he went against his word that he would retire from the superhero business.
He shows off some great new technology- as he often does, but this was a little more personal. Not to mention seeing a CGI'd younger version of RDJ in a simulation with the last moment he had with his parents before they died... I was even tripping out. Wondering if I'd seen this movie before and even trying to place what age Robert could have been. Technically, Tony was in high school or college at the time because his dad made a joke about his sleeping around. But Robert, considering how I know his movies so well, he looked like he was 37-38 and he'd just filmed the music video for Elton John's "I Want Love." [Worth checking out- his lip-synching is so good, you'd almost think he was the one singing].

One thing I can note about this movie is that some of it runs like a mystery from a detective show. More pieces start to come together as time goes on. But the biggest bombshell- I pieced it together within the first couple minutes simply because I know this universe so well. Especially with Tony Stark's history. And it's a doozy.

And he's the one who recruits Spider-Man, which explains why he's scheduled to appear in the next Spider-Man movie. I'm definitely on board with Tom Holland's version of the character, even though he's just another British guy playing an American. Especially in the battle scene- this kid is so funny.
It's funny seeing Robert and Marisa Tomei in a scene together because they've been in two movies together. One where they end up together. Thinking about how, in the past, he'd gotten other people to star in movies with him... I wonder if he did the same for her in this.

Daniel Bruhl is the main villain of the entire piece and he is VERY good at what he does. All I can say: being around him felt like being around Christophe Waltz in "Spectre"- the latest James Bond movie.
But this was better written and way more believable.

One interesting thing of the movie is that it's trilingual in places. 99% English, of course, but Daniel [who I first saw in "Inglorious Basterds"] knows German and we learn that Bucky is "activated" when he hears a sequence of Russian words.
Side-note: a couple of those words, I understood. For almost two years, I'd been learning Russian on and off, although most of what I understand is written. When Russian is spoken, I have a harder time [considering the reason I started learning- I hope to improve on that] and I can barely string a sentence together. And while the words I recognized here were mostly numbers... it's one of those mini-victories I like to savor when I can. It means I'm retaining at least some of it.

While on the international front, I love how we go all over the world, but my nit-pick was how they plastered the name of the city in big bold letters on the screen to let us know where we were.

I know some people have trouble reading small print, but that's just ridiculous.

Not sure if I mentioned it during my "Winter Soldier" write-up, but Falcon is an awesome character and I loved seeing all the tricks he can do in uniform in this movie. You never know what to expect and it's fun to watch.
And the Black Panther is great addition to the Avengers- great costume and abilities, but his motivation, while cliché, is good.
"Ant-Man" is the one Avenger movie I still hadn't seen yet, but seeing all the things his character can do when he was involved in the key battle involving all the Avengers (except for Thor and Hulk, both are MIA in this film)... it was exciting. At the same time, though, it was fun to see how all Avengers he goes after have a way to counter him.

The film overall has a good balance of drama and comedy. But the funniest comment came from Spider-Man who makes a "Star Wars" reference and a couple Avengers joke about how young he is because he called it "old."
The whole point of the reference- let's just say it was clever.

Grade: A+

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