#Pick #A #Side–Captain America: Civil War Review

Captain America: Civil War is a thematically confused mess of a movie.

Ok, maybe that was coming off a bit harsh. As many gripes as I had with the movie, the things it did well were enjoyable. Newcomers Spider-Man and Black Panther felt comfortably familiar to the series and were able to be of oddly large amount of use to the movie’s plot. The big superhero fight the title alludes to was stupid yet gratifying to watch (seeing Spider-Man piggyback off War Machine was just one of its many highlights). And on the whole it made me excited for the future of Marvel’s movies rather than anxious over the burnout that you’d expect come thirteen of these movies over the course of 8 years.

That said, there was plenty wrong with Civil War, too.

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“Rehd-ee to keehl some Not-sees?” Captain America: The First Avenger Review

Having not seen the Thor movie, but hearing the disgustingly large amount of praise it received, I assumed the following Captain America movie would be to the Hulk as Thor was to Iron Man—an alright movie that suffered from having followed a better superhero movie before it. Skimming early showing reviews only helped support my theory. Having said all that, though, I love it when all that is proven wrong.

Going into the movie, the extent of my knowledge on the good Captain was that he was a “super soldier” created in an effort to bring World War II to an end, having originally been an average Joe that was too scrawny to even be considered for the army. Based on that, I thought the movie would go the typical route of the hero losing sight of his original morals only to gain them back after having suffered a terrible loss. Thankfully, the movie takes a different direction than expected.

Unlike other superhero films that claim to have your average run-of-the-mill guy transformed into something extraordinary only to have the blender of Hollywood casting ruin the effect by casting someone disgustingly good-looking, Captain America takes a slightly different approach of putting the already buff for the role main actor in a scrawny CG body. The effect has had some mixed reactions, though I personally didn’t find it distracting at all, probably due to the fact that the last time I saw the actor was in the Fantastic Four movie which I’ve by now erased from my mind entirely.

Rather than taking advantage of the one super soldier created, the Captain is treated no different than he was previously; still acting like the noble American that hates bullies more than anything. This sort of theme carries on throughout the movie, the Captain eventually taking on his own ragtag team of abandoned outsiders with good hearts for one mission: taking down Hydra, who apparently puts Nazis to shame. While introduced somewhat late into the movie, the ragtag team of characters is made up of quite the ragtag team of characters, each of them with their own little quirks that you can attach to. And while the Captain is clearly at the forefront of all the action, others do have their moments as well, Cap’s signature shield even being used by someone else on more than one occasion, giving off a sense of synergy between the super-powered and ordinary that I haven’t seen since Spider-Man 2.

Other secondary characters are also surprisingly made use of. Besides the Captain’s Merry Men, you have the tinkerer Howard Stark behind the creation of the Captain’s suit and shield. And while mentions of Stark Enterprises are present, references to Iron Man aren’t made to a disgusting degree and are just enough for people to make the connection between the franchises. Love interest Peggy Carter also has quite the strong role, being more than eye candy, holding her own in a fight, and working well alongside Tommy Lee Jones (playing every other role he’s played), acting as his foil of sorts.

But what really makes the movie is the fact that it takes place in the ‘40s. Aspects of the period are captured perfectly, from streets riddled with kids in suspenders, all cars being the same model, people dressing up to go to the movies, ladies getting away with overly red lipstick… it just screams of the different culture at the time, and I love it. On top of that, with all the hype about the following Avengers movie, you’re hard-pressed to find a fan that isn’t aware of the fact that ol’ Cap is frozen, being later found in the present time to eventually buddy up with a certain awesome eye-patched black guy. The 70 year gap leads to a number of possibilities for the plot, and makes the likelihood for the bad guys succeeding being that much more believable.

With Captain America: The First Avenger as the final movie to set up The Avengers movie, there exists some pressure to have it succeed and set the tone for what’s to come. Thankfully, Cap not only whets our appetite for Marvel’s next big movie, but stands well on its own as an interesting take of what a superhero in the good ol’ days would result in.

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