You probably think we opened a toy store to make money selling toys. You’re wrong. Really, we opened a toy store so that we could get enough people to support Have A Blast so that movie studios will invite to me to movie previews before the public release date! That way, I can write these reviews like all those lucky early movie goers.
And what a movie to see early! If you aren’t a first weekender and want to see “Civil War”, go forth! Echoing a few other reviews, this is the story you wanted Batman v Superman to pull off. Heroes debating their place in the world, with resonating reasons to fight one another, which balance the demand of having a lot of marque players together in the same movie.
To throw in one negative, “Civil War” is not thematically as good as “The Winter Soldier”, for those watching it as a sequel. “Winter Soldier” told a more personal story. Captain America does carry this movie (it’s his movie, after all), but having a whole lot of heroes on the screen unavoidably waters down the character development.
Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans do a great job of fleshing out the frenemy aspect of their relationship seen in the prior Avengers movies. Watching them play off each other makes the movie worth the price of the ticket. Their accountability vs freedom conflict believably spreads to the split members of the New Avengers team (sans Hulk and Thor, for obvious overpowered reasons). Hulk does get a name check, though.
Black Panther, Ant Man, and Spiderman (!) make up the key new players to the Avengers rotation (not the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), as Ant Man has his own movie). They’re all fantastic! Chadwick Boseman carries the idea of a regal superhero with an effective royal demeanor. He has a personal agenda that serves as nicely short origin story and expands the MCU into the next layer of storytelling. Ant Man and Spiderman bring the comic relief to the hero fight, but they also shine as individual contributors in their brief screen time.
It will sound like hyperbole, but best… Spiderman… ever. If you ever get confused about how Marvel has pulled off this long run of comic movie success: Tom Holland’s casting. Watching his interactions with both Iron Man and Captain America are moments of pure delight.
There are three memorable action sequences. None of them feel slow or unnecessary because they each advance the story. The directors did a creative job with the choreography of the big hero fight. It conveys all the problems of a “Civil War” including broken friendships, friendly fire, betrayal, and consequences.
It’s a short review and hopefully spoiler free. The Russo brothers have pulled off another incredibly entertaining Captain America story. They have also set up the next wave of the MCU in a way that actually excited me (as opposed to the ham-handed technique in Batman v Superman). Get your popcorn and coke, folks it’s time to go to the movies!