Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 90% (Critics) / 92% (Audience)
Directed By: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Written By: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan and Chadwick Boseman
Studio: Shout! Factory
Synopsis: Political interference in the Avengers’ activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man. – (Source)
All of the action scenes were very well done and in the case of the huge airport brawl between opposing teams of super-heroes, was one of the most enjoyable sequences of any comic book movie.
The Russo Brothers also pulled off the astounding feat of including a legion of characters in this film while keeping things from feeling unwieldy and sloppy. All of the characters got moments to shine and the introduction of The Black Panther didn’t feel out of place or shoehorned in at all. And Paul Rudd was a hilarious highlight in his second outing as Ant-Man.
I am also of the knee-jerk opinion that this film delivers the best big screen version of Spider-Man ever. I am now way more excited for the character’s solo film than I ever thought I would be.
I loved the action scenes but felt that too much of the connecting non-action stuff was a chore to get through. Especially the BIG TWIST about how Tony Stark’s parents died. That one was a huge swing and a miss for me.
As much credit as I give The Russos for how they handled this massive cast I do feel like a lot of Black Panther’s story got cut away to make room for the inclusion of Spider-Man. Its like there was a truly great, if markedly smaller, movie in this film’s DNA that was just about Captain America, The Winter Soldier and Black Panther.
One of my biggest (but not the biggest…I go into that one in the Ugly section) with all of these Marvel movies is that the stakes never really feel that high and despite all the Sturm und Drang found in this movie there was never any real feeling of big stakes or that all the animosity couldn’t be wiped away with one quick scene of The Avengers sitting down to eat some shawarma.
The streak of pretty underwhelming villains continues with this film. Basically some random soldier from some backwater country the size of Providence, R.I. is badass enough to make the best and brightest of The Avengers look like total idiots? I’m not buying it. And casting that role with an actor as bland as Daniel Brühl didn’t help matters.
Final Verdict: CIVIL WAR is a stuffed to the gills spectacle of big splashy action set pieces and delivers a cool introduction of Spider-Man and Black Panther to the MCU. The stuff in between the action is mostly nonsense and the stakes never seem as high as the movie constantly tries to make them. But if you don’t enjoy this movie for the bombastic fun of the whole messy thing then you might not have a pulse.