Captain America: Civil War (Rewatch)

2016 #3 – Rewatch on Netflix 

What better way to spend a half day off from work than by watching my second favorite movie of the year? This was my 4th time seeing it and 1st time at home, so surely after this many viewings in a year it wasn’t as good right?

WRONG! Maybe it was having some time between the last viewing and now or it could been a good testament to it’s standing in my top ten. I would give it a solid 9 of 10.

THE GOOD

The first thing that stands out to me is the fight choreography that carried over from Captain America: Winter Soldier with the Russo brothers. It is still astounding no matter how many times I watch the fight scenes. There are so many small things the characters do during fights that are jaw dropping that I couldn’t name them all. The way Cap uses his shield to cover a flashbang, uses the ricochet to defy physics, or just using it as an extension of his arm during the final fight is phenomenal. In addition to the titular charcater there was also Bucky using his arm as a block bullets, Black Widow / Sharon Carter tag team fighting Bucky, or Black Panther using judo-like throws on a moving motorcycle to name a few.

While most people rant and rave about how amazing the airport fight is; while it is amazing I believe the entire set piece in Germany to be much better. The stairwell fight would have been great by itself. The rooftop fight was a welcome addition. Throw in the chase in the tunnel / interstate and it would rival any normal action movie ending out there. On top of everything, the details peppered throughout elevate it even further. The biggest “wow” factor is easily during the chase when Bucky catches the motorcycle with one hand, turns it around, and takes off in one motion.

I could continue to talk about the intricacies of the fighting and the choreography, but what about the plot? Zemo had a masterful plan and is arguably the only villain to succeed. The entire second half leads up to a fight with five other “winter soldiers” that never comes. Instead it was all a ruse to have Iron Man fight Captain America and rip apart the Avengers. Once that is realized, it is a strange sense of euphoria to see it take place.

THE BAD

While I mentioned attention to detail, there were small things that didn’t add up. The first thing I noticed is during the Lagos fight when they call out the number of men left standing. This would not be a big deal except Cap starts off saying he counted seven. Immediately afterwards, Falcon takes out three of them which left five? Small editing mistake maybe.

One of the biggest issues is not Bucky’s memories that he now has spotty recollection of; but Captain America and the intel on the Winter Soldier. Near the end after it is revealed Bucky killed Tony’s parents (where the Russian CCTV tape came from even though it happened in the US is another issue), Cap says he knew Bucky did it. Except during the last film no one knew who the Winter Soldier was aside from myth and Bucky / Cap never shared any heart to heart moments where the murders might come up. If the information was available for Cap to learn about afterwards then Tony should have access to that as well.

There was a lot of hate on the changing of Zemo’s character and him as a villain, which I get since he was a completely different villain. My complaint on villains in this movie was Crossbones getting killed so early. They built him up throughout Winter Soldier and then killed him after one fight in Civil War. He could have been a lackey or henchman of Zemo at least, instead he goes kamikaze in the first fight.

My main complaint regards the main conflict, the Sokovia Accords. Did no one in the room step back to examine the issues “caused” by the Avengers? They saved more lives than potentially lost (especially considering the government’s approach of nuking or ignoring) except for the time Tony Stark almost killed everyone with Ultron. Maybe reigning in Iron Man is the best bet, especially since Nick Fury originally kept him off the team.

  • New York – Loki and some aliens invaded, so the Avengers stopped them. The government’s plan was to nuke the city in hopes of stopping it.
  • Washington D.C. – Cap, Falcon, and Black Widow almost single handedly save the world from a shadow government / Hydra.
  • Sokovia – Tony creates an A.I. to save the world, which then everyone else stops.
  • Lagos – They stop a group of suicidal mercenaries from taking a bioengineered weapon with who knows what purpose in mind.

OVERALL

This is a fantastic movie that does not let up. It might not elevate beyond a popcorn flick like Winter Soldier or Captain America, but is much easier to watch and rewatch. There is no doubt that I will watch it a few more times before Netflix moves it from their library.

RECOMMENDATIONS 

Go watch Captain America: Civil War! If you need to watch something different,  go watch it’s predecessor Captain America: Winter Soldier. It was the first one where Cap acts like a super soldier and a man out of time.

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