Sunday, May 22, 2016

An Ode to Captain America

Captain America: Civil War, the moment you have waited for.  No, not because it follows up the ridiculously popular and amazing Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  No, not because of its stellar critical reviews, including a 90% score on Rotten Tomatoes.  No, not because it's the longest running Marvel movie to date.  No, it is the moment you have waited so long and patiently for because it leads to my fantabulous (fangirl) review.  So here we go. (Apologies for the lateness.)

Like its predecessor, Captain America: Civil War explores political questions, specifically about government control in a world of "enhanced" people.  The film handles with masterful dexterity the question of whether or not the Avengers should fall under the United Nations' jurisdiction.  As much as I love Cap, I came into the theater thinking I might agree more with Iron Man's ideological side.  It's hard to argue against any regulation when you think of the Avengers' catastrophic collateral damage.  However, both Captain America and Iron Man were very sympathetic - both in terms of their characterization and their beliefs.  They have very clear scenes showing why they're approaching this issue the way they do.  These scenes make their conflict feel inevitable, but also understandable.  I'd explain the scenes in more detail, but I'm trying not to give spoilers.


I find it hilarious looking back at myself in 2014 when I thought Captain America 2 was a little violent for my taste.  Watching this movie, I cheered every time Cap kicked a man off a building or Black Widow did her classic thigh grab, or Iron Man got punched in every conceivable fashion.  I'm in so deep it's not even funny.  The action scenes are on point every time, which is especially important considering the plot revolves around conflict between superheroes.  Hardly a scene goes by without major ass-kicking right and left, up and down, sideways and diagonally.  (Whoever coordinated the fights deserves an award.)  People never stop jumping off bridges or buildings.  Captain America even prevents a helicopter from taking off with his unfairly large biceps.

The movie also has its funny moments, although most of them are not exactly witty or quippy like in previous Marvel films. The characters were more amusing in their humor, especially Spider-Man and Ant-Man.  Those two are bae.  Who am I kidding, everyone in this movie is bae!  Black Panther had a brief but stunning introduction, which I hope intrigues enough people to watch his standalone movie.  Civil War also expands on some of the heroes' powers, including Scarlet Witch and Ant-Man.  If these guys get any cooler, I won't be able to stand it.

Seeing a story as multi-faced as Civil War with as many characters as it has, I knew it could have no neat, solid ending.  Any ending that tried to repair a rift that has existed between Captain America and Iron Man since Avengers would have felt rushed and inappropriate, so I'm glad the movie didn't go there.  Despite me having this opinion, and even after a 2 hour 27 minute runtime, I discovered I still wanted more of the fun, more of the characters, more of the plot.  I had such a fun time watching the movie - not just because of the nonstop action (though that was awesome) or the nuanced political theme (though that was awesome too).  What I loved most was watching the characters grow into their best and worst selves as they struggle with their relationships with each other and the harsh world around them.  Captain America, you did good.  In conclusion for my review, I leave you with a simple poem:

An Ode to Captain America: Civil War

O Captain! my Captain!
With your patriotic spandex and your little metal frisbee,
You have defied all logic and raised fangirl havoc everywhere
You took on Iron Man to stand for what you believed in
While you were kicking ass and taking names,
You never lost your faith in your best friend Bucky
Or your ability to jump off twenty story buildings
O Captain! my Captain!
You have the best sequels in the MCU
Civil War is no different, as all the critics agree,
Tackling superhero battles with finesse and skill
And not being a mess like DC's BvS
O Captain! my Captain!
We salute you, dear Captain!

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