Okay. Okay, breathe Rach. You are okay.
Me too, RDJ, me too…
Thanks to my dear friend and movie passes magnet, Kevin (@djkastle), I was lucky enough to go to the press screening of some little comic book film… something America… something war? (still working on finding a sarcasm font, stay tuned)
In all seriousness, I don’t know how this review is going to unfold so bear with me. It’s only been an hour since viewing and there are just random brain synapses firing that I didn’t know I had.
*NOW ENTERING THE REALM OF SPOILERS – FINAL WARNING – ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED*
If there was one thing that could possibly take down this film it would be this: motivations. I had to know where each side, each character was coming from. If the motivations were flawed or lacking, the entire film would fall apart. And the Russo brothers did just that. Some of the key players were done better than others but overall I was pleased considering the scope of the film. Obviously it’s impossible to delve too deeply into all the characters but I sympathized with the decisions that were made. And that is no easy task when you’re juggling such a massive cast.
With Stark’s inner turmoil over the loss of a young man in Sokovia, coupled by his own personal problems at home and still being haunted by the memory of his late parents, you would think he would be all dark and broody billionaire (sorry Bruce). Thank goodness he still kept his arrogant, sarcastic wit. Come to think of it, there was just a lot of death and sadness to deal with for a few folks… Cap, Sharon, T’Challa, even Zemo… *hands out the tissues*
Speaking of Zemo, (my one and only decent transition in this review, score) what I really thought was exceptionally well executed was that the “villain” had legitimate motivations for his actions (only a crazy person could analyze this and say: the psychotic killer, I get where he’s coming from). The answering machine message from his wife hit uncomfortably close to home and he had all the emotion you could ever want from a performance. Brühl shone in the role. You couldn’t ask more from a baddie.
I could go through everyone motivations but it’ll take too long…
Iron Man: Guilty conscience
Cap: My own hands are the safest
Black Panter: Revenge
Scarlet Witch: Was grounded
Winter Soldier: Cap’s bestie
Falcon: Cap’s other bestie
War Machine: Stark’s bestie
Ant-Man: Cap fanboy
Spidey: Stark fanboy
Hawkeye: Sick of retirement?
Hulk & Thor: Too soon?
Oversimplifications aside, I think that’s pretty much the gist of things.
I will say, the person that I most identified with throughout the entire movie was Black Widow. Trying to make peace, trying to hold things together, trying to decide on a team. She was caught between a shield and a hard place *rim shot* *cringes* (that was bad, undo, UNDO!)
The Sokovia Accords
1. Regardless of which side you are on (#TeamSigned, #TeamUnsigned), I for one am not a big fan of politics and bureaucracy. As good as it sounds in theory, this damn phonebook is going to be causing trouble in the near future.
2. Are the accords typed up in *gasp* Garamond?!
Yes! Yes they are! *squee* I have my priorities straight.
Let’s move on to why we all went to see Civil War in the first place… For the gratuitous bicep shots.
I mean… Action. I meant action. There were some great fight scene stuff <insert superior verbiage here>. The infamous airport scene was indeed beautifully choreographed. And how can I forget the gloriousness that was Gigantic Ant-Man <insert something about the David and Goliath allusion here>. Although, I’m still trying to figure out why Hawkeye was running when he has arrows… Oh wait, climatic pre-shitstorm run. Gotcha.
I digress. The action was awesome on the non-combat side as well. Massive shout-out to the bike stunts team for two super slick bike stunts, one for Bucky and one for Black Widow that were wow.
The theme of friendship and loyalty played a big role in the insanity that went down in this film. I do have to say it was the quiet moments that really made the biggest impact on me. The tenderness between Vision and Scarlet Witch made my heart explode. And Black Widow and Cap… And Tony and Rhodey… There was much love interspersed throughout the war. And a lot of funny too. The broment between Cap, Bucky, and Falcon after Cap’s kiss with Sharon. Actually just any scene involving the (ultra covert) VW Bug was amusing. Also can somebody just give Falcon a one man comedy tour? His delivery of his one-liners gave me life.
You were probably wondering why I’ve pretty much left him out of the conversation. Well, no more. The introduction (or rather re-re-introduction) of Peter Parker is probably one of my favourite introductions of a superhero ever. Don’t get me wrong, the Tomei/Downey Jr. chemistry game was Only You strong but Holland/Downey Jr. stole the show. Spider-boy. The Value Village costume. The hidden ceiling hatch. The banter. The realness. The everything. Also, baby Spidey is just a precious chipmunk in his hero ineptitude and I actually really liked the Starkified suit more than I did when we got that first glimpse of it in the trailer. The action scenes with Spidey were really well done as was the web humor. He nailed the landing just fine.
Before I say anything else, Boseman was made for this role. He has a regal, spiritual air about him. And I really dug Black Panther as a character and his arc. Initially hell-bent on revenge only to have a change of heart. He came out of the carnage objective. And got to deliver one of the most kickass lines in the entire film.
“The living aren’t done with you.”
Stan. Fricking. Lee.
The Dark Secret
The twist was good. The setup to the twist? Satisfying. It was just so cleverly crafted that I actually didn’t see it coming (fully aware that a lot of people saw it coming from miles away). It brought everything full circle. Back to the very beginning of the film with Tony’s re-imagined memory bank demo. Back to Bucky’s brainwashed past. Back to the motivations. *mic drop* (because I started this review about motivations…) *carefully picks the mic back up*
#TeamIronMan or #TeamCap
I understand this is Cap’s film. His name is in the title… But… After semi-processing everything that went down, I think I have my left toe across the line for #TeamIronMan. That is a pretty dark secret to be keeping from someone who you considered a friend. I get that Bucky and Cap were friends first and hey, I would go to the ends of the earth for my best friends, but a Dear John letter doesn’t fix my flipping broken heart, Rogers. It just doesn’t, okay?!
Let me just end here by saying this, bring on the films formerly known as Infinity Wars!
Congrats! You just survived what was left of my brain exploded onto a Word document review of Civil War! You probably could write a better one. No, you definitely could write a better one. Prove it in the comments below 😉
P.S. To the Tony Starks out there in the verse, I have a few projects that you could fund. We can talk.
‘Til next time,
Civil War, After Credits
Two bonus scenes setting up two very big films. Black Panther. And…
Spider-man will return.
Well played, Marvel, well played.