Captain America: Civil War, 2016.
Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo.
Starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Frank Grillo, William Hurt, and Daniel Bruhl
Captain America: Civil War set the box office on fire and now arrives on Blu-ray with a healthy set of bonus features that will keep Marvel Cinematic Universe fans content until the next MCU movie arrives. Hope everyone is enjoying this golden age of superhero movies.
Civil wars tend to inflame passions, even ones involving fictional worlds. Just ask my nine-year-old son, who left a showing of Captain America: Civil War furious at Iron Man’s actions toward Captain America. He couldn’t understand how Iron Man could treat Captain America that way and was so mad that he still refuses to see any of the Iron Man films.
An aside: One of the commentary participants – sorry, I forget if it was one of the directors or one of the screenwriters – notes that opposing forces in the film were deliberately set up so that people would argue about who was right and who was wrong when they left the theater. Well played, guys.
Back to the movie: Ironically, Captain America is the hero who resists the attempt by the US and other governments to restrain the Avengers and try to control them, given the enormous amount of damage their battles caused in previous films. Tony Stark is opposed to him, due to the guilt he feels over his involvement in said devastation as Iron Man. The other Avengers support one or the other and soon the civil war is on.
The fate of Bucky Barnes, a thread introduced in the previous Captain America film, is explored in this movie, as is the question of who killed Tony Stark’s parents. Marvel villain Helmut Zemo makes his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in this movie, although he’s very different from the comic book character. Spider-Man also makes an appearance, paving the way for yet another reboot of the webslinger, albeit one who will now be integrated into the MCU, thanks to a deal between Marvel Studios and Sony.
Civil War is everything you could want from a big-budget superhero movie that feels like an event comic book series come to life. (I haven’t read the Civil War comics, so I don’t know how it compares to them.) It’s full of thunderous battles, major character conflicts, and big events that set the stage for future films. It may not be perfect, but the MCU is an amazing achievement, given how hard it is to keep a movie series consistent over a period of several years. It will come to an end at some point (and get a reboot, I assume), so enjoy this version of it while it lasts.
That aforementioned commentary track offers a nice discussion between directors Anthony and Joe Russo and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. While group commentaries can sometimes devolve into people making inside jokes and offering insights like “Oh, yeah, it was fun filming that scene,” this track does a good job of covering many facets of the movie, including behind-the-scenes anecdotes, storytelling insights, “Here’s how we did that” comments, and other things. (Fun fact: A scene in Jaws inspired one of the scenes in Civil War.)
Also included are a gag reel, nearly eight minutes worth of deleted and extended scenes (unfortunately without an accompanying commentary), a sneak peek at the upcoming Doctor Strange movie, and nearly an hour of making-of featurettes. It’s all good stuff that will keep fans occupied until the next MCU film hits theaters. I hear that when they release the 25th MCU movie, it will be polybagged. Keep it in mint condition!
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★