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“…In war there are no winners or losers. Only victims.”

This was said by Uatu the Watcher in What If? Secret Invasion.

That is one way to describe all that went down in the recent MCU movie: Captain America: Civil War.

Hey this is Jeff again and I will be giving my review on the movie I saw the opening weekend and the weekend that’s pass, a total of 2 times.

Before that though, this happened during “Free Comic Book Day” which I enjoyed with my friend Michel (mmorse1017) as we went to the comic book store he frequents.

Rather enjoyable and I’ll post pics of what I got after this but now the review!

For this I will try not to spoil anything that has happened in this movie but this is the 2nd week that it’s been out so people should have been seeing this film.

Credits (Actors/Directors)

Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlet Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Daniel Bruhl, William Hurt, Martin Freeman & Marisa Tomei.

The directors for this film, Anthony & Joe Russo, who are brothers. They come back to direct another Marvel movie with their previous work is the big hit, Captain America: Winter Solider.

They are heralding the big Avengers movie where their next big directing gig will be Avengers: Infinity Wars Part 1 and 2 coming out in 2019/2020, respectively.

Unlike certain directors that somehow or someway kill movies with too much cinematography (Snyder) or problems on set (Trank), the Russo’s movies, from my perspective, find the right balance of character development and story, especially with the female characters (more on that later).

The Plot

What’s a movie without the bases of the goings on?  The Avengers, as you know, are a team of people with abilities, powers and skills that fight bad guys to protect the world from aliens threatening to destroy New York, would be deity that likes trolling  the populace to down right maniacal and crafty robots that become AI and has “daddy issues” due to an inferiority complex.

They have stood tall as a group despite heckling one another time and time again but what happens when politics get involved? Do you stand by your team or ideals in the matter of national security?

That’s what happens when a mission goes awry when the Avengers; Captain America, Black Widow, Falcon and newcomer Scarlet Witch, are in Wakanda trying to stop Cross Bones from taking a vial of a contingent.

On the other side of the spectrum, Tony learns that the actions of the Avengers have dire consequences as he is confronted by a mother (played by Alfre Woodard) that sets his path for the story.

As news outlets run rampant the Government has had enough of the Avengers going and doing what they do and want them to sign a treaty called “The Sokovia Accords” that will split the team to the middle.

Characters

Steve Rogers – Captain America

Captain America: “I can do this all day!”

Steve Rogers returns (given it’s his movie) for another run as Captain America! The solider who participated and a crucial part for World War 2, is finding himself on the other side of the wall this go around.

From the events that brought down SHIELD (from Captain America: Winter Solider) and stopping a homicidal AI (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Cap’s greatest test of strength will go against one of his closest teammates and friend.

As someone who stands by the will of the people, Captain America is the heart of this film when he discovers that Bucky is involved in an international event along with remembering everything from the last movie.

Going by the trailers, it’s easy to see what lengths he will go to for his friend; they were/are best friends, kids from Brooklyn that joined the army together.

With his patented “Shield of Justice”, enhanced strength and fighting prowess, Cap is ready to fend off anybody that dissuades him to helping his friend and standing by what is right.

Captain America felt at home in his own film without it being an Avengers movie. Not saying the Avengers films are bad in the least, they are entertaining but when it comes to a single focus set and not trying to add extra stuff that might get dropped, it felt right.

Chris Evens from what I noticed is buff (or more) from AOU. His stubborn nature he gives off is not a blind ideal from what happened in the comics and I enjoyed seeing that.

I’m all aware of Cap’s fetish for “standing for America” and all that noise but I do get tired of him giving these long ass speeches about moral integrity due to there are other kinds of scenarios involved when it comes fighting for what’s right.

For his comic book counter part, everything is the same or slightly tweaked with years of new canon and whatnot.  He lead the Avengers, saved the world with various heroes, has died at points but always came back due to plot or divine intervention.

In the comic of the same name (Civil War), Steve made a stand when it came to the Superhuman Registration act due to heroes would have to give their secret identities to the government which could be catastrophic if that information got in the wrong hands.

Waging war on Tony and fellow heroes did indeed fracture everyone and it took a long time to heal but eventually he and Tony did make amends.

At times though his ideal can be a crutch or a hindrance to those around him, take for instance when the Incursions were going on and the Illuminati (consisting of Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Beast and Mister Fantastic) erased his memory of what he learned.

Ideals are a good thing to have but sadly one has to play a deeper game of chess in order to win (making hard choices even if it is morally wrong, like destroying another world to save this one).

Currently in the comics he has returned from being an old man and back in his prime.

Sam Wilson – Falcon

Falcon: *talking to Spider Man* “I don’t know if you’ve been in a fight before, but there’s usually not this much talking.”

Coming off the hills as a partner to Steve in Winter Solider and appearance in AOU, Sam Wilson aka the Falcon, stands by Cap in the film.

With his improved flight wear and Red Wing, he offers aid to the upcoming battles about to occur.

His character has a “main” role in this film from having a lot more scenes compared to his previous cameos in films (TWS and AOU) but he stands toe to toe when it comes to the action.

From his no-nonsense behavior and interactions with his team, it’s nice seeing how he’s evolved from “the black guy with wings”.

I felt Wilson’s role was Cap’s number 2 when it came to the interactions and giving out orders. Impressive display with how he used his Falcon wings and aerial acrobatics was nice to watch as well.

In the comics he goes by Captain America after Steve is rendered to his original age after a battle which Sam gratefully took, he fights for the same things but also not afraid to make a stand when it comes to the current politics of today.

After Steve returns to age proper (young and prime) Sam wondered what he would do, he was given the name and privileged but with a talk with Bucky, as he one took the mantle after Civil War when Steve “died”, there will be two Captain America’s running around as the new canon.

Bucky Barnes – Winter Solider

Winter Solider: “…Ready to comply.”

Bucky, Steve’s best pal growing up winds up like Cap in being this time period but in a more dire situation of being brainwashed as an enhanced HYDRA agent he was put under cryogenics and woken up for brief decades.

Being the one to save Steven in WS due to some memory coming back, Bucky had gone underground but has mysteriously returned at the height of the story with being the catalyst.

With his enhanced cybernetic arm, skills of sharp shooting and feelings of lament, what will be the fate of the solider?

Bucky as a character was another good win for me as we see the trauma and good that he goes through trying to stay off the radar along with his interactions with Steve and surprisingly, Sam.

I think Sam and Bucky could have a comedy-bro sketch, the way they talked made me laugh!

I’m not familiar with Sebastian Stan’s roles but I heard he was on the CW’s show “Gossip Girl”.

In the comics currently Winter Solider is leading the Thunderbolts and is still “The Man on the Wall”.  He has donned the Captain America mantle around 2005 or 06 before Steve returned to this time plane.

He is still an enigma to a majority of those he interacts with since he is someone who will cross the line in the grand scheme of things to get the job done.

Wanda Maximoff – Scarlet Witch

Scarlet Witch: “You were pulling your punches!”

Introduced in AOU, Wanda Maximoff has grown with being part of a team that she almost tore apart with her powers.

From experiencing the fall of her homeland, Sokovia and the death of her brother Pietro Maximoff, she has grown in character along with her interaction with Vision that seem to be a potential connection between the two and not just as comrades.

However when an accident occurs in the course of the movie, Wanda starts wondering about the abilities she was given along with grief. Her link mostly revolves around Steve, Vision and the one that shaped her to doing the hero thing, Clint Barton (Hawkeye).

When I see these two together it reminds me of a mentor/student kind of deal; they do talk and she does bring the words that he might say to her back at him when the moment is right.

Elizabeth Olsen’s portrayal is another good win; the way she speaks with her European accent in the film to the movement when she’s utilizing her powers as if she is dancing, she is another one that needs a round of applause for the acting.

Scarlet Witch in the comics has gone through ret-con after another with her convoluted history in Marvel.

From being the alleged daughter of Magneto, which later is proven false, she is a being whose power were influenced by the High Evolutionary in the womb.

While in the movie her powers are telepathic/telekinetic, her true power is actual magic. At one point it was called “Chaos magic” meaning she could alter the very fabric of reality but in her recent comics (Scarlet Witch), it is stated that it is just “witchcraft”.

She was instrumental (and infamously known) for bringing down the mutant population (House of M), something that has been quelled and rectified by her and Hope Summers (Avengers v. X-Men).

 She and Vision also have an amicable friendship but nothing on the crust of ever getting back together.

Scott Lang – Ant Man

Ant Man: ” It’s your conscience. We don’t talk a lot these days.”

The tiny hero returns from his adventure in last years surprising hit “Ant Man” as Scott Lang lends his support to Captain America.  Thanks to Falcon, who appeared in the film, he recommends Scott to the fold.

With shrinking and sense of humor, Ant Man is a contender not to underestimate.

Known for his sense of humor and craft, Paul Rudd is someone I never thought I’d see in a Marvel film. I’ve known of him in Clueless and some other independent films.  He’s a breath of fresh air though which is needed for these films.

Ant Man (Scott Lang) comic follows the same formula and nothing dramatically different; he is a father who made bad choices but is trying to turn his life around and being a superhero, even though he’s the kind of dude to drink a beer and worry if he’ll get a beer gut.

I’m not all that familiar with his background but I know enough that Scott’s got heart, no matter what size he is.

Clint Barton – Hawkeye

Hawkeye: “The futurist is here, gentlemen! He sees all. He knows what’s best for you, whether you like it or not.”

Image result for Hawkeye

The human with no powers but adds a realistic take on human beings being among st gods and other people with extraordinary abilities.

Thought to be “useless’ with only a bag full of arrows, Hawkeye has shut up nay-sayers with his quick wit and fighting skills.

Being a sort of mentor to Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye thought his hero days were behind him, wanting to stay at home and be a dad until the news breaks with what the Avengers did.

Seeing this causes him to make a choice but will the decision be something he won’t regret?

Jeremy Renner once again proves that Hawkeye is not useless and when put in an out of field advantage, he can still pull through.

Comic origins are the same minus he is not married with kids but has had lovers and was linked to Mockingbird (Bobbie Hunter) Scarlet Witch, to name a few.

Sharon Carter – Agent 13

Sharon Carter: *Talking to Sam about his Red Wing attire* “The receipt for your gear. I didn’t write it.”

Image result for Sharon Carter

Not having a big role in “The Winter Soldier” Sharon might not be a “hero” per say but being the niece to a founding member of SHIELD, Peggy Carter, Sharon inherited her aunt’s will of keeping the world safe, even if it is support.

Sharon Carter is a stupendous agent and has the skills to back it up, even though she’s no Black Widow, that’s still no reason to think her useless.

She does not fight in any big battle  except for Bucky at some point however her presence can be felt more with her interactions with Captain America and the hidden attraction they have for one another.

I truly think her character shined for me in this entire movie; she was in it, offered out hints and parted in a way that left an impression on me.

Emily VanCamp was in ABC’s “Revenge” which lifted her stardom off the ground (should really watch it, damn good) and has appeared in some films. When I found out she was going to appear in Captain America: The Winter Solider, I was intrigued and by the time of Civil War, I was a sole person rooting her on!

This is another portrayal of how to do female characters right and not lean on any tropes that some other films rely heavily on for plot. Russo’s did the character and actress a big service in my opinion.

I’m not fully adapt with her comic history but I believe she will be part of Captain America Steve Rogers run when that comic comes out during the summer.

Tony Stark – Iron Man

Iron Man: “All right, I’ve run out of patience. “Underoos!”

Tony Stark, entrepreneur, philanthropist, billionaire, all those words describe him but to everyone in the world he is Iron Man.

From his trilogy of movies and being in the Avengers, for all intense and purposes it always seemed that it revolved around him in one way or another and in this no exception.

Siding with the Government on this, which is revealed why as the movie goes forward, we learn how deep Tony’s involvement with this team goes.  From his agenda and things falling apart with what Cap is doing, Iron Man will do anything he can to make sure this transition sticks with his teammates and friends.

Robert Downery Jr. wit never ceases to amaze me. His moxie one quality I can’t dislike in Tony. Even though he’s not my most favorite character (I have issues in the comics) it’s always nice to see him, even if said character can’t get his food out of his own ass.

Natasha Romanoff – Black Widow

Black Widow: *Fighting Hawkeye* “We’re still friends right?”

Black Widow has always been the mysterious individual from the perspective of her teammates; a Russian spy, an assassin, a member of SHIELD and seductress (comes with the job description).

After the fall out with Age of Ultron, she remained with the 2nd incarnation of Avengers and a mentor but when politics get involved, Natasha is surprising, one of the ones that stand with keeping the team in check due to the Wakanda incident.

Friend to Steve and Tony, Nat is more of a neutral force in the film despite “taking Iron Man’s side” as it were.  She is the older sister type from my perspective trying to guide “the kids”, as it were, in the path of least bloodshed but knowing that it will lead to a school yard fight.

Scarlet Johannson is marvelous in this portrayal as Black Widow and dare I say, better from Age of Ultron, which fans have gotten bristled about with Joss Wheadon’s version of her.

Granted I standby what I said in my review of AOU when I wrote it however I’m not blind to the fact that the Russo’s do a better job in handling her character. Black Widow is her namesake; don’t know when she strikes.

I also enjoyed how they brought into play her “stingers” (the wrist bands she wears) in this film.

Her interactions was more with Tony and Steve, which is appropriate.  I got no gripe with the acting and development she got.

James Rhodes – War Machine

War Machine: “Sorry cap this won’t kill you but it ain’t gonna tickle either!”

War Machine joined the Avengers after Age of Ultron and got the recognition he needs but James is also solider and captain so he knows about not overstepping the line.

Not the least shocking he sides with Tony Stark in this film and being his number 2 when it comes with the fight against Captain America.

I don’t give much credit to War Machine only cause he’s a second tier Iron Man except with more accessories on his armor but the portrayal that is given when he’s out the armor is better in my opinion.

Not up on my comic history with War Machine but I remember him from the cartoon so…that’s a start I guess.

T’Challa – Black Panther

Black Panther: *talking to Winter Soldier* “Then why did you run?”

Prince T’Challa of Wakanda is a spiritual man but a genius as well. Being introduced in this film has put everyone on notice to beware the Black Panther.

Smart as Iron Man and skill sets that match Captain America, Black Panther really is the stand up guy of this film. His interactions was mostly with Steve Rogers, Natasha and of course Bucky.

He’s rather noble and not someone who will give anyone an inch when fighting. When he comes on, you are never left disappointed and in the course of the film, this establishes is rise to becoming a hero.

The portrayal was awesome and I, like everyone else is hype for his film that will come out in 2018.

Comic history is linked to the Fantastic Four in being introduced in the 70’s in their comic, T’Challa has risen into prominence throughout the years, from joining the Avengers to marrying Ororo Munroe aka Storm from the X-men.  He even was Daredevil for a short period of time as a favor to Matt Murdock.

Vision

Vision: “If you do this, they will never stop being afraid of you.”

Okay going to throw this out there, I’m not much of a big Vision fan and the portrayal is on point for said character. He’s the wall for Iron Man’s side, has a link with Wanda which is rather sweet and goes on long tangents of speeches more then Captain America.

Only thing I’ll say, he was made by a combination of Ultron and Iron Man, infused with the Mind Stone (that he doesn’t know what it’s called) and is powerful.

Comic history is the same but again, not up with this character. However I really do enjoy reading his new comic series; he has a synthetic family. And it is dark.

Nuff said, sorry.

Peter Parker – Spider Man

Spider Man: “HOLY SHIT!”

Yes it is time (to my exasperation) to the one and only Spider Man.

This was the big fan service for all the MCU fanboys & girls that they have been waiting for since the Raimi years of Spider Man; said character being with Marvel heroes.

When the trailer dropped for him, I kid you not, the hardcore fans cried and probably splurged their pants. Hard. I mean everywhere.

Sorry for the sarcasm and nonchalance but this was the definition of fan service. He fights on Iron Man’s side and has a long scene to show us what he can do.  The quips were funny and portryal was good.

Felt it was just a tad bit forced when it came with the standing toe-to-toe with cap but then again, Spider Man is strong for someone of his age.

So as much as I don’t bow down to the sacred cow that is the man of spider, I will say I enjoyed he is straight up Queens with his accent and an actual kid playing with the big kids.

Aunt May (changing this around to get her in here) is stupidly hot. I mean drop dead gorgeoous. She’s not some whittled old grandma, she’s down right “Stacy’s Mom” hot!

We will indeed see more of these two in Spider Man: Homecoming coming out in 2017.

No need for me to mention his comic history; long shit. Read and learn for yourself and enjoy.

Zemo

Image result for Zemo

Sorry couldn’t find any real quotes so just have to settle with the pic and what I thought of him.

One can say he’s the “bad guy” and in a way he was but Zemo is a tragic character due to circumstances. I won’t say what it was but with the word “tragic” you can kind of make your own idea, along with if you watched the movie.

Yes, it is implied he is HYDRA but there is another aspect of him that made me think that their is another side that we don’t know and can’t say he’s “despicable”.

Daniel Brul was good as Zemo, the stoicism in his performance really stuck out for me.

All I know about the character history is that Zemo is a Captain America villain along with a central role in the main story of Marvel’s “Stand Off”.

Go read it!

Overview

I might have established that I try not to let “hype” get to me but for this film, it was well received.

The plot was intricate but at the same time easy to follow and from, as of now, seeing Cap: Civil War for a 3rd time, I was not bored with the goings on.

All the characters were in their element, even the ones with powers even though they did play second fiddle in the grand scheme since this is not supposed to be an Avengers movie.

Some have felt this was what how Age of Ultron should have gone; fleshed out characters, stable plot (even though I gave an eye roll for the sacred cow moment) and action scenes that didn’t over flood your brain like with the robot film.

I standby that even with not having Scarlet Witch, Vision, Ant Man, Spider Man, the movie would still stand on it’s own and get “butts in seats”.

I was appaluading the fact the Russo’s actually did not make any of the females succumb to whims of “getting vapors”. They were strong and held their own in the scenes with the guys and I loved that!

Sharon Carter would be the stand out for me in this film cause the portrayal was fresh and her character at least got a nice send of. I think Agent 13 could be a good supporting role for any “non-superpowered” characters with the likes of Black Widow and Hawkeye but at the same time be a kind of Maria Hill to the Avengers team or liaison for SHIELD.

Black Widow is, again, more fleshed out then in AOU. That whole “link with Hulk” was “meh” but it felt forced. This is how you do a super spy agent/assassin. She’s not weak in any sense of the word and maintains an aloofness that was fun and respectable.

Ant Man for all his jokes and mannerisms stood out for me as another to enjoy. I do enjoy Paul Rudd’s films (depending what they are) and will like to see where his character goes in the MCU and his film with Wasp coming out in the next couple of years.

I enjoyed the settings for the film that was just in central places for either the world of politics or just having a big old slugfest though that’s not what the theme is supposed to be from what I gather.

Unity. Family. Ideals. Vengeance. Adversity. Amends.

Those words are what come to me when it revolves around this film. The added bonus of superheroes fighting is nice and makes it entertaining for the impressionable kids but it has a deep profound level.

It’s well known that you could go into the film as Team Cap and come out Team Iron Man and vise-versa but I didn’t feel like that (though I did prefer Cap’s ideal).

Both sides had valid points when it comes with the whole “ultimate power corrupts absolutely” and arrogance can be the down fall of an empire and we can’t say whose was right.

It was an unfortunate accident that set the cogs running in this direction that could split a team apart and neither side can stop it.

As much as say Iron Man annoys me I can understand the gravity of being put in check; rules in a society is needed to maintain order for the population so we don’t fall into some kind of anarchy.

But the flip side of this, laws can be wrong and with the way the system works, bad things like murderers or loopholes exist that screw over the little guy as well. I’m only using this as an example but that whole “Black Lives Matter” movement.

Even though I’m black and get the meaning, ALL lives matter (or at least the ones that are good individuals) but the law CAN be wrong and when politics get involved with wanting to help people (Captain America’s side) I can see why one has to plant themselves like a tree.

I’m paraphrasing but you get the gist.

A family unit of individuals of super powered that could potentially be a force to reckon with, torn asunder by public image.

It can be another type of chain in a way that, doing good can come with a consequence and again, when bad things happen there will always be an opposing force.

If I had a gripe it’s just the fans getting wet in the pants for seeing Spider Man; sorry I just don’t feel the need to relish in his presence but I am interested where this new story with him takes us.

The cinematography was done good but felt shaky at times when it came to that scene in the tunnel but they stepped it up.

Action scenes as flowed correctly and the way the characters utilized powers or the environment was well received.

For the most part though the movie is awesome and deserves the accolades.

Rating

Story – 8/10

Characters – 7/10

Music – 7/10

Themes – 7/10

Entertainment value – 8/10

Last word

Seeing this film was awesome, especially seeing it opening weekend with my good pal Mike!

Making a day of Cap America on comic book day was really enjoyable and I was happy that happened.

As of finishing up this review (and stated in this) I have seen this 3 times. I saw it May 22 with two other friends who have not seen it. I was not displeased in the slightest.

MCU is going strong with their films leading up to the big even in 3 years so we will see what happens next.

Next up for Marvel is “Dr. Strange” which will be an LSD trip then next year, Spider Man, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Thor: Ragnarok. Get pumped!

So that’s it for me so I’ll see y’all!

Later days!

Videos/pics

*Mike and I; WTF am I doing making that face?*

*Comics from Free Comic Book Day*

 

*Kevin Smith one contains spoilers; watch at your own risk!*

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