Here is my spoiler free review of Captain America: Civil War! We set up another costume appearance at our friendly neighborhood Regal Cinemas in Dublin, CA. We always have a great time going out and meeting the fans on opening night and this was no exception. I’m going to preface this review by saying I’m a huge Marvel AND DC fan, but if you think I’m not going to take some shots at the recently opened Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, especially since Warner had originally scheduled their offering in direct competition on the SAME DAY as Civil War, you are sorely mistaken 😉
While the box office numbers are still trickling in as of the writing of this article, it looks like the monetary award will be given to BvS…but $$$ are not the only measure of a film’s success (see I’m using DC’s own arguments against them 😉 Cap will almost certainly fall shy of a $200 million opening, but that said, I predict the following weekends will not see the dramatic box office drop off that Warner Brothers suffered with Dawn of Justice. The stellar reviews that Civil War is enjoying as of opening weekend trump lukewarm rumblings that proceeded Batman vs Superman. Right off I can tell you I had infinitely more fun seeing Civil War than I did watching Batman beat up Superman. Onto our review!
We arrived early at the Regal Cinemas Movie Theater so we could get everything set up and get dressed (have you ever tried driving in costume? it sucks) The staff was just as helpful and receptive as we have always found them, big shout our to Casey and Shawn for hosting us again! We had a record number of costume attendees for this screening, that alone was enough to let me know the buzz for this movie outweighed Batman vs Superman. The theater goers always get a big kick out of seeing a large group of costumers and it doesn’t take long for a group to form, all taking pictures. It feels great to make some kid’s night…they showed up to see their heroes on the big screen and then they get to see some real life superheroes (or at least our humble portrayals). Some families had a hard time tearing their kids away to make their showings after getting their pics taken. We made it a point to ask everyone who they were rooting for, Team Cap or Team Ironman…I’m happy to report that the landside victory goes to Cap’s team, while “Team Poor Life Choices” was a distant second. I will say that some people restated their votes upon leaving the theater saying they were now “Team Spidey” or “Team Black Panther”. All in all it seems that the good Captain still won and G33k-hq had a blast with the audience as usual. Big thanks to our photographers Agent P and Danny Deluna for coming out and shooting everything, you wouldn’t be able to see us in all of glory otherwise lol.
Captain America is one of my childhood favorites and I will admit I haven’t been this excited to see a movie since…well only about six months ago for Star Wars or Valentine’s Day for Deadpool lol. That said the Russo brothers and Chris Evans continue to slam home runs with their spot on take of the hero to heroes, Captain America. There were some great fist pumping moments where Cap really lets the bad guys have it, or delivers a line where he proves he is the beacon to everyone seeking freedom. If there is a choice, no matter how hard, Cap will always take the high road and do what is right. It is the subtle sub-text with the dialog Steve Rogers has throughout the film proves he is always trying to find the best possible answer, no matter how difficult that might be. The inner conflict he feels while trying to champion his boyhood friend and what he thinks is right, while taking an opposing stance to his long time ally Tony Stark, is wonderfully portrayed by Evans. Robert Downy Jr. did a great job of hanging just shy of the spotlight enough to let this be a Captain America flick. With as many heroes as were jammed into this movie, you would think some characterization had to suffer. I did not find that to be true. T’Challa, the Black Panther, and his father T’Chaka especially had some choice moments on screen. I’m so looking forward to seeing what Marvel has cooked up for Chadwick Boseman to play with in Black Panther due out in 2018. Everyone of course was highly anticipating Tom Holland’s take on Spidey, and I for one can say I wasn’t the least bit disappointed. I liked the Tobey Maguire/Sam Raimi films and tolerated Andrew Garfield/Mark Webb’s take on old Web-head, but hands down Holland NAILED Spiderman to a capital “T”! He had the perfect blend of humor, innocence, and annoying mannerisms that make Spidey, Spidey. Sebastian Stan proved that Winter Soldier is not just a one note anti-hero, he also kicked serious ass in the movie going toe to toe with some of Team Iron-Man’s heavy hitters. I could go on and on, there were simply so many scenes that had us talking over late night pancakes that I can’t list them all. Ant-Man, good. Black Widow, good. Hawkeye, good, Falcon, good. Vision, good…you get the point…everyone had their moment in the sun and it was very welcome to see these characters leap of the pages of your favorite comics.
Here is the big difference between Batman vs. Superman and Civil War, one is fun to see AND a well made movie, the other is pretty to look at, but lacks in the entertainment department (IMHO). I can’t tell you how many articles I’ve seen posted extolling the virtues of BvS while stating if you don’t like the movie it’s because you either A: aren’t a REAL fan or B: don’t understand it. I see it more as what is often said about a good joke, it’s one you don’t need to explain…because if you are having to explain why a joke is funny, its not. Dawn of Justice was OK, but it was so utterly devoid of fun and had only the minimal amount of “oh wow, that was cool” moments I just haven’t bothered to see it past that opening weekend. That is a HUGE tell for me, I must have seen the first Avengers movie a dozen times in the theater, same with Kick Ass! I can’t count how many times I saw V for Vendetta…when I like a superhero movie, I can’t wait to go back to see it again, and that goes double for Civil War. So it’s fine if you like Batman vs. Superman better, just please don’t tell me I “didn’t get it” and that’s why I don’t care for it.
I had one of the best times I’ve ever had seeing a superhero movie, great friends, great theater, great movie made it a night I won’t soon forget. No matter which side of the comics fence you sit on, do yourself a big favor and go out and see Captain America: Civil War! Of course wait until the very end to see the stingers Marvel always throws in for the devoted fans.
photo credits: Agent P & Danny Deluna