This is a new thing I’m trying. In an effort to curtail my verbosity, I have decided that, along with my actual posts, I will post bite-sized reviews for those who don’t really want to listen to me blab for 1,000 words about how careful I’m going to be about avoiding spoilers. The goal is to cover everything that’s needed in 300 words or less. We’ll see how the experiment goes.
To kick this whole crazy thing off is the newest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
Captain America: Civil War
With DC’s superhero vs. superhero gloom-fest Batman vs. Superman finished with its time in the spotlight, It’s lovely to see Marvel lightening things up a bit with a superhero vs. superhero FUN fest!
The story: After a mission goes south, the UN and Tony Stark begin pushing for more accountability and oversight over the Avengers program. But when Bucky Barnes reappears under suspicious circumstances, Captain America faces the decision to do what is right versus what is legal, putting him at odds with a number of the Avengers (whose ranks have been growing for the past few films).
I wanted the schism that explodes all these long-standing friendships to be presented believably and I wasn’t disappointed. The characters are given room to develop amid all the biceps and explosions, and the overall showdown becomes something genuinely emotional by the end. I would have cried if I wasn’t fanboying all over the place.
This is the sort of balanced storytelling that was sorely missing from Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The MCU’s MO has always been to string audiences along with foreshadowing of future films, but it was nice that this entry doesn’t distract itself from the story’s core. There’s no talk of Thanos or gratuitous swimming in inexplicable caves. The filmmakers keep the focus on what’s happening in the present and the story’s core is stronger for it.
Aside from one perfect moment of joy-inducing Super(hero) Smash Bros insanity in an airport (that will make all your inner nine year olds grin like idiots), the story knows when to back off and let the characters be characters and not cardboard cutouts. But the fights/chases are rather bodacious, too.
It’s not deep complex art, but it’s so flipping entertaining that you don’t really care.
And yes, the new Spiderman is utterly delightful.