I already wrote a lengthy rant about my thoughts on Captain America: Civil War, so I will try to be brief here. If you are interested in the longer version, you can click here and read my theatrical review. What we’re here to talk about today is Disney’s Blu-ray release of the film, and yeah, I’m sure we’ll tread some old ground as well. Civil War is the third entry into the Captain America series of films, and focuses heavily on Bucky Barnes, AKA The Winter Soldier, the subject of Captain America 2, and Cap’s longtime friend from the past. Whatever my gripes with the way Marvel adapts stories from actual comic book storylines, the one thing they do know how to do, and well, is present action sequences, and introduce characters, and there is plenty of that here. Civil War is less of a Captain America movie, and more of an Avengers movie. It follows the events of Age of Ultron, and incorporate characters from standalone movies who haven’t played a role in Marvel event films yet, such as Ant-Man, who might have just stolen the entire movie with his short appearance.
I love Mark Millar’s Civil War comic book. Some might try to convince you that it’s no good, and that the movie is a far better representation, but that’s hogwash revisionist history crap. Civil War was awesome, and it was dark, and it showed me a lot of the things that sent me over to DC comics when I got a little older. It’s not just the brooding darkness of it all, but the themes are adult, and it doesn’t feel like a kid trying to be edgy. Civil War the movie adaptation, however, feels a bit like that. The main difference is, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, our heroes identities are known. In the comics, secret identities are still a thing, and what sets off the war between friends is that, the paperwork the government and by-proxy Tony Stark are trying to force heroes to sign, includes forced unmasking, leaving our heroes and their families and loved ones vulnerable to attacks from enemies and others who wish to teach them a lesson. The movie version of this downplays this, and replaces it with a UN panel deciding when and where the Avengers can intervene in a situation. And look, I get it, and it’s spelled out to us in the film. What if they try to send them somewhere inappropriate, or won’t let them act when they feel they need to? I got all that, but the way it plays out still feels like the motivations are weak, and instead of really fighting over a moral difference of opinion on the subject, Stark and Cap come off as spoiled little brats, battling to get their way.
Don’t get me wrong for even a second, I loved this movie, as did pretty much the rest of the world. Marvel knows how to film an action sequence, and put butts in the seats. I’m disappointed that as an overall story, it feels much weaker than its comic book counterpart, due in part to the lack of many key characters from the comic that Marvel studios just doesn’t have the rights to use on-screen, but mostly because of what causes the team to fight in the first place. If your motivation is weak, it doesn’t matter to some people how awesome your action sequences are, or how well you handled that newly introduced character. At the end of the day, if you know Marvel strictly from the movies, you may or may not notice this, or even care. I fully admit that knowing this story so well gives me a sort of X-ray vision, and flaws and inconsistencies are highlighted. But I think I would feel the same way had I never even read the comics. Stark feels insufferable in this movie, and honestly, in several scenes it felt like Downey was just phoning it in. That scene where he’s telling the group why it is he supports these accords and tying the hands of the Avengers, especially since he’s responsible for most of the damage caused by unleashing Ultron upon the world(Accidentally or not) made me cringe. He says “Such and such died… while we were kicking ass” and it just felt lazy, and sounded even worse. Cap comes off a little better, but even he feels like he’s throwing a temper tantrum simply because things aren’t going the way he feels they should. The stakes are pretty low here, which always harms a story, especially one as edgy as Civil War wants to be.
The good outweighs the bad, however, as there is plenty to love about Civil War, and apparently it’s a lot easier for the rest of the world to ignore inconsistencies, and weak motivations than it is for myself. As mentioned above, Ant-Man appears in the movie for what seems like fifteen minutes, and might have stolen the whole thing. You’ve seen the promotional clips and pictures floating around on social networking sites by now, so it’s not a spoiler to let you know that Ant-Man transforms into Giant-Man in one of the most important scenes in the movie. On top of that, Black Panther, and even Spider-Man are introduced, and both are quite awesome. I’m hurt because I loved both of Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man movies, as well as Garfield in the role. But I’ll admit that Marvel knows what it’s doing with the character, and it looks like he’s going to be right at home here in the MCU. Overall, Captain America: Civil War is an eight-out-of-ten movie, that could have been a ten-out-of-ten. It’s damn good, but misses the mark in a couple of important, noticeable ways. There’s still great fun to be had, and like I said, if you know nothing of this story beyond what you’re seeing unfold on-screen, you might not even notice it. Unfortunately for me and a lot of other people, we have read this story, and definitely feel the absence of some major players, as well as the motivation for the fight in the first place.
Disney’s Blu-ray release of Captain America: Civil War is now available, and it’s gorgeous, of course. The picture and sound quality are excellent, and as always, it comes loaded with bonus content. The Blu-ray is now available, and is highly recommended. You may purchase a copy for yourself by clicking this link.