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Chris Kavan's Movie Reviews (3243)

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Captain America: Civil War 
A War for the Ages
3.5/4 stars

Enjoy this while you can - it's probably the last time we're going to get a lot of these heroes together until 2018 when the Infinity War films start up. And I have to say, it's a fitting film to send off a lot of these heroes, because it's pretty much everything you could want in a superhero film: lots of action, a good storyline, some new introductions, humor, passion and it spells some long-reaching implications for the future.

While the Civil War series wasn't the most popular in the comic world, the film doesn't get bogged down by trying to make things too dark (hello Batman v Superman) and instead makes the rift between Iron Man (and the pro-registration) and Captain America (in the anti-registration team) quite serious, but still maintain a big of light that made the first Avengers film such a hit. My biggest worry was that with so many characters the film would ultimately be too scattershot to have much of an impact. It's true, I wish I could have seen more of some characters but, overall, I think the film did an admirable job of exploring the feelings each character was going through and why they choose the side they did. I especially was interested in the relationship between Vision (Paul Bettany) and the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olson), as well as how a family man like Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) decided to become involved after his "retirement". And let's not forget the introduction of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) - both of whom should have a big impact on the MCU going forward.

The film starts off with a mission that goes wrong, leading to the deaths of several innocents. Combined with the alien invasion in New York and Ultron's destruction in Sakovia - now Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) presents our heroes with the Sakovia Accords - a multi-national attempt to essentially hold our heroes accountable for their actions and put them on a leash. They can't go where they want - a board of members decides when and where our heroes can be deployed. The initial reaction is mixed and things only get more blurred when Captain America's old friend and sometimes enemy Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Solider (Sebastian Stan) is accused of a a series of attacks culminating in a bomb that takes out several members of UN council voting on the issue (including Black Panther's father, Wakanda's King T'Chaka).

This leads Captain America on a mission to help his old friend, even as the vast majority of the government wants to take him out at all costs. This is the core of the film - Captain America thinks our heroes can take the best course of action themselves - without interference. Iron Man (perhaps still stinging after his creation of Ultron) is more inclined to believe that they are better off with some kind of global check in place. I'm inclined to side with Mr. America if only because he makes the most valid point: people always have agendas - and who is to say what that means. Heroes aren't perfect, but I would trust them to make the best choice over a committee (and probably a lot faster, too).

The rest of the film is one side versus the other - with both sides having valid arguments but neither side being completely right or wrong.But, hey, at least it leads to what I think is one of the greatest smack-downs in cinema history. The fight scene between our two groups is simply amazing. If there is one thing that makes the film worthwhile it's that scene. Okay, there are also some pretty great lines - both moving and funny - and our new characters really do make some standout introductions.

Overall, Captain America: Civil War is the type of superhero film that every other film should aspire to be. It has the right mix of action, humor, character and emotion. Could the film have been trimmed down a bit? Sure - but I would say other than a few pacing issues (and somewhat weak villains) the film is pretty much exactly what I wanted.


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