Review: Dated April, 2018

My second time seeing it with my daughter Julia and we loved it.

I think the “Civil War” chapter must be one of the best installments in the MCU. The action ranging from fight scenes to car chases to shootouts and explosions are so well executed and edited.

This film lives up to what makes each Marvel character special in their own way, and while most of the attention is naturally focused on Chris Evans’ Captain America and Sebastian Stan’s Winter Soldier (aka Bucky), the large cast is respectively given numerous moments to shine individually with well conceived backgrounds and traits beyond super powers.

Interestingly, until the late scene where all the characters collide against one another, the film was very shy of any intentional humor and focused more on what is morally correct in this fantasy world. There was a debate to grapple with, and a threat to both sides of the moral compass. All good layered dimensions, my favorite vice of effective storytelling. I loved it personally as it got Julia talking and forming arguments for both sides of the conflict. That’s an important leap for me when she’s only age 10.

Anyone who says popcorn movies like “Avengers” are nothing more, and are brainless would fail at recognizing good analysis and dimension. More often than not the MCU succeeds at setting up a dilemma to keep a viewer hooked. Once they are hooked…then they’ll destroy their headquarters, or an airport, or a whole city or Iron Man’s armor, and on and on. Too many other franchises (Transformers, Fast/Furious or DC) bring the buildings down before the cement is dry and the windows Windexed. That’s when story is neglected for showmanship. There’s no weight to the loss. What do I care who died? You just destroyed the village in order to save it. Disney and Marvel know this and steer clear of those habits.

The cast is so perfectly assembled in “Civil War.” They interact very well with line exchanges, debates and fisticuffs.

Much of this film was a blur during my first viewing. These are Marvel movies. There are so many now, the scenes all seem to blend together. Yet now I see this particular film is special. There’s a lot going on and it’s all good. Good set pieces, costumes, makeup, visual effects and great performances lead to a great, fun presentation. I’m sold.

Now I feel ready for “Avengers: Infinity War,” though honestly I’m not expecting much nor do I think it’ll live up to the hype. We will see.

PS: “Avengers: Infinity War” assuredly lived up to the hype. (More on that later. Stay Tuned.)

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