When I first saw the original trailers for Captain America: Civil War I was bummed. I mean, we all love the Avengers. But we love them united. Am I right?
I have to admit that I wasn't sure they could pull off an Avenger Civil War without turning one of the original heroes into a Really Bad Guy. So I kept my expectations low and let myself be surprised, pleasantly or otherwise.
Full disclosure: I was also seriously skeptical of the 146 minute running time. But I went into the theater with popcorn in hand, basically sitting back and saying, "All right. Bring it."
And boy did they bring it! It was all-out-rock-em-sock-em chases and fight scenes while still having enough dialog and believable politics to keep the story moving at a nice clip.
The struggle between our heroes is all about conceding to big government vs retaining their autonomy. And also how difficult it is for a group of "powered people" who are all leaders in their own right, to stay united. Civil War handles that so much better than Age of Ultron did, because they take the time to set up each character's motivation. And crafting an exciting and believable story is where Marvel shines. *slow clap*
It turns out that superheroes destroy a lot of things and hurt innocents in their quest to protect and save innocents. That's a tough gig. So the government steps in to try and regulate The Avengers.
Captain America (Chris Evans at his most earnest) still has fresh memories of The Third Reich and wants the Avengers to remain free of government interference. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr. at his angsty best) is overwhelmed with guilt (again) at what his weapons have wrought in the world and surprisingly decides to become accountable and support the government's oversight of the Avengers.
The introduction of Tom Holland as Peter Parker / Spiderman adds the element of surprise and much appreciated comedy relief to the warring factions. Again, there's no guesswork as to why he ends up on the side of Team Ironman.
Fractured as they are, it's easy to see both their points of view. Once you've got that established, grab your popcorn and buckle in for a wild ride of fun and excitement.
The fight scene at the airport between the two warring teams is one of the most delicious in cinematic history. Here's where our heroes (all of them!) really cut loose and show what they're capable of. I wish I had a re-wind button to play it again and again. (Note to Self: Get this movie as soon as it comes out on DVD.)
Also, there's this...
If I was giving thumbs up, Captain America: Civil War would get all of them. It has all the elements that you want in a Summer Blockbuster: action, adventure, conflict, and humor. Thank you, Antman (Paul Rudd at his goofiest).
Of course, I must remind you to sit through all the credits for additional Marvel surprises.
Also, I'm still unabashedly Team Cap. Go see this film and let me know what team you end up on.
Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters everywhere, today, May 6th, 2016.