Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War

Marvel has hit its superhero sweet spot with this entertaining and well thought out instalment in The Avengers series. 

Despite its name, make no mistake - this is very much an Avengers film (there are twelve), and equal billing could easily be shared. The casting is solidly stacked with great actors, and there is no weakest link in the team. 

What a pleasure to watch competent actors deliver intelligent dialogue in a seamlessly directed film. Whether you are a fan of this genre or not, this is good film making, and should be celebrated.

Despite the notable absence of Thor and The Hulk, most of the favourite characters are back, as the story opens with the team out to make wrong things right. Battle ensues, and when unplanned civilian casualties occur, it seems to be more than the world can take, and the Avengers are taken to task as more than a hundred countries sign a "Sokovian Accord" that will put the superheroes under U.N. control.

Rather than spoiling the plot for you (you can read elsewhere, if you want to know story details), suffice to say that not all team members are on board with signing away their autonomy. 

The team gets divided into six for and six against the accord, and a super battle occurs in an evacuated airport where, thankfully, we don’t need to bother ourselves with pesky details like civilian deaths, and the director can just let the heroes have at it. 

And my, oh my, the battle is indeed epic and everything you might hope for (made extra fun with the comedy relief of Ant Man and a very inexperienced Spider Man).

Where this film succeeds, and the strangely similar Batman vs. Superman failed, is that we, as an audience, feel equally torn over which decision is the right one to make. Much as a parent hates to see their children fighting, it is an odd and unsettling feeling to watch these characters battle against each other, and it is impossible to choose a side. 

A lot of back story is revealed in this film, which means that we have a much deeper perspective as to why the various characters feel the way they do, and it is this depth of knowledge that makes us feel invested in the outcome. In Batman vs. Superman, there was no deep history, so their rift just seemed vague, petty, and trite.

The writers of Captain America: Civil War have a really fine grasp on each of the characters, and we are treated to some very pithy and funny dialogue that speaks volumes. 

Some favourite moments take place in a queen’s apartment, when Tony Stark is convincing the gawky high school Spider Man to join his team. He refers to Spider Man’s outfit as a “onesie”, noting that he is in need of a “serious costume upgrade”. 

Another very funny moment happens when Bucky is sitting in the back seat of a VW Bug and asks Falcon if he can move his seat forward. Falcon contemplates, then simply responds “No”. 

Bravo to the writers for creating a villain with whom we are able to empathize. No spoilers here, but his actions become almost forgivable as we come to understand his own history. 

Huge kudos to the CGI department for the startling realism of a young Tony Stark. His teenaged self is shown in an extreme close-up as he goes back in time to have a moment with his deceased parents, and we really believe that we are actually looking at a young Robert Downey Jr. It’s freaky and unsettling, and I loved it.

I also really enjoyed the jerky hand-cam style used in a great number of fight scenes. We’ve seen all of this stuff before, and the occasional use of this technique brought an enhanced, chaotic realism to the action.

When we went to see this show, I noticed several young children in the audience. Be aware that this is most definitely not a movie written for young children (it is rated PG-13, and for good reason: Liberal use of foul language, torture, the gruesome murders of Stark’s parents, as well as the bombing of the UN meeting where a son cradles his dead father, are all more than young ones can process, so please consider this when selecting this movie.

Unlike last week’s movie, at 2 hours and 27 minutes Captain America: Civil War is a thoroughly enjoyable sit, and is definitely the most fun I’ve ever had watching a Marvel film.

I give this movie 4 hearts

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About the Author

Kim Foreman-Rhindress is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and London Western Conservatory of music for piano and voice. 

Kim has been performing in theatre and film for over 30 years in Canada, NYC, Palm Beach, Los Angeles, and the Netherlands. She has written several plays which have been produced in Canada and the U.S., and is the founder of Kelowna Voice Lab - helping people find their voice, be it singing or acting. 

A working musician, she performs regularly in Kelowna with her husband, Jim Rhindress, in an acoustic duo Smitten, and with her vintage trio Kitsch 'n Sync.  

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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