HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Captain America: Civil War
HTS Overall Score:87
Avengers, Assemble!!!! Wait, this isn’t an “Avengers” movie? Ooops, my bad. With these later Marvel films it’s almost impossible to tell whether it is a standalone movie anymore or a full on “Avengers” flick with all of the crossovers and multi superhero additions in them. Not to mention the fact that “Captain America: Civil War” actually has more Avengers in them than the “Avengers” movies themselves it seems. I’m a HUGE fan of the “Captain America” movies (at least in the Marvel lineup, not the ones from the 70s and 80s, *shudder), as they have become some of the best parts of the entire Marvel shared universe. I was originally very shaky on having Chris Evans star as one of the greatest heroes of all time, especially after the goofy Johnny Storm he played in the early 2000 era “Fantastic 4” films. However he has really stepped up to the plate and created a memorable character that everyone can love. “Captain America: The First Avenger” was a fun movie, not the greatest of early Marvel films but a fun film nonetheless. And unlike most sequels, he kept getting better and better. His inclusion in “The Avengers” was plain awesome, and “The Winter Soldier” is easily the best Marvel superhero film to date, even beating the original “Iron Man” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” in my opinion. However, “Civil War” is going to be the very first Marvel movie that I’m going to have to relay some frustration and disappointment over.
While the Avengers are the greatest fighting team on Earth at this point in the timeline, they also have some issues as well. Their body count and collateral damage reports are getting higher and higher, as more supervillains are coming out of the woodworks. Not to mention the Hulk’s giant rage issue that nearly destroyed a town the last time he squared off against Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) in “Age of Ultron”. It’s at a time where the governments of the world have had enough and have banded together to limit the Avengers, so to speak. Basically they want the Avengers to sign up for “The Accords”, which is a set of rules and regulations that they must follow in order to operate. Basically they are no longer autonomous and will fall under a committee to operate properly. Checks and balances so to speak. Tony Stark, still guilt ridden for all of the destruction he’s caused, signs off on the accords, along with War Machine (Don Cheadle), Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Vision (Paul Bettany), but Captain America (Chris Evans) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) take issue with the accords and refuse to sign. Thus starts the proverbial “civil war”.
Captain America refuses to sign (along with Falcon) because of the implications of being run by a committee. Being told when to fight and who to fight based on bureaucracy reeks too much of the already disassembled S.H.I.E.L.D. that nearly destroyed the world a few years ago. Not to mention the fact that their loss of autonomy seriously hampers their effectiveness as a team when they are under U.N. control, and not the America that he loves. Sent out on a mission to capture Bucky (Sebastian Stan), who has been fingered for a bombing in the UN bombing of Vienna, the team runs across another masked vigilante. A being known as the “Black Panther”, who just so happens to be the son of the man killed in the U.N. explosion (played fantastically by Chadwick Boseman). Their loyalties are torn asunder as Captain America finds out that there is something deeper and chooses to side with his childhood friend to find out what is going on. Simultaneously Tony Stark and his side of the law put a bounty on Captain A’s head, being that he seems to have gone off the deep end. This event causes brother to choose whether to side against brother, and lines have been drawn. Each side assembles their warriors and a rush towards the finish line is started. A rush that will reveal an even darker and deeper secret than they ever could have imagined.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=79170[/img]“Captain America: Civil War” can really be summed up with a retitling of the movie to “Captain America: Tony Stark’s a Jerk”. People have been claiming team Iron Man or Team Captain America for months. It’s pivotal part of the comic books and has each side with very different, but equally valid reasons for their alliances on paper. However, in the movie it turns out to mostly Tony Stark being the arrogant jerk that he always is, but against his own team mates this time. Honestly had he sat down and listened to Steve, and not be so self-absorbed, much of the conflict in the story would have just melted away. And I LOOOOOOOOOVE me some arrogant Tony Stark, so it’s saying something when he has become so insufferable in “Civil War” that I was cheering when Captain America and Bucky team up against him to deliver an epic beat down near the end.
The second flaw the movie had is just being over stuffed. There is too much going on for a “Captain America” movie. We have the inclusion of Spiderman (who was obviously just shoehorned in there to promote Spidey coming back to the Marvel fold after Sony gave up after “The Amazing Spiderman 2” had its financial failure) and even Antman (Paul Rudd) makes a brief cameo for the big epic “superhero vs. superhero” airport battle. I felt that even at 2 hours and 28 minutes there just wasn’t enough time for all of the heroes to squeeze into one picture.
Now the movie is not a huge failure by any means. This was not a “Batman vs. Superman” theatrical cut situation. It is just frustrating to see a dip in quality in an otherwise fantastic series happen. There is a LOT to really like about the movie too, and some great characters setup. First off, the best and most coherent story arc is actually not with the main characters, or even a character we’ve seen before. The best character arc happens to be T’Challa, otherwise known as Black Panther. I have to say that Chadwick Boseman NAILED the character and just knocked his portrayal out of the park. Black Panther dominated in every scene he was in and has some of the greatest dialog when talking with the villain at the very end. All I can say is that I’m super stocked to watch the upcoming “Black Panther” movie coming out next year. He was sensitive, yet powerful, and completely believable as the acrobatic hero from Africa.
There is also some great action set pieces throughout the film too. The fight with Captain America and the Winter Soldier when the German police come for him is simply epic. I love stairway fight sequences, and besides the “Daredevil” Netflix show’s fight on the stairwell, this is one of the best I’ve ever seen. Not to mention the great battle at the airport where we get to see a different side to Ant Man that was sadly spoiled by one of the trailers.
Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence, action and mayhem
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=79178[/img]“Civil War” boasts a very VERY healthy looking 1080p digital encode that just goes to prove that Marvel really knows what they’re doing in the video department. Colors are rich and vibrant, with strong primary colors blending with the deep blacks of T’Challa’s vibranium based outfit and even adding a layer of flatness to the image that doesn’t make the image look TOO flat. The snow on the outside of the Winter Soldier lair is stunningly white, with light blues, making it look almost photo realistic. Facial detail is amazing, showing off even the flaking skin on Chadwick Boseman’s face at one point, and more intimate details like stitching on Spidey’s outfit, or the creases and paint flecks on Iron Man’s mech suit show up incredibly well. Shadows are deep and inky with plenty of detail to go around and I didn’t notice a glimpse of anything remotely resembling banding, macroblocking or crush. The image is GORGESOUS and makes for stunning demo worthy material.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=79186[/img]Sadly the Atmos mix from theaters didn’t make it to the home video release, but the 7.1 DTS-HD MA mix that Marvel/Disney has given us for the movie is top notch. Dialog is always crisp and intelligible, and the balance with a healthy mix of surround effects makes for a wildly immersive experience. Listen to the opening sequence with Crossbones near the beginning and you can hear the crowd’s screams and voices in the background, while the front soundstage is active with fists and metal against metal. The same goes for the famed airport sequence, with the blasts of Vision and Iron Man roaring off to one side while arrows from Clint’s bow resound off to the other side. The LFE is tight and powerful, but here is where I had to knock it down half a star. The bass just doesn’t have that chest cracking and throbbing feel that other Marvel movies have had. It’s nowhere near as bad as “Age of Ultron” where I actually wondered if my subs were even turned on at times, as there is quite a LOT of bass. It’s just not that rip roaring intense feeling that “The Winter Soldier” or “Iron Man” had.
• United We Stand, Divided We Fall -- The Making of Captain America: Civil War
• Captain America: The Road to Civil War
• Iron Man: The Road to Civil War
• Open Your Mind: Marvel's Doctor Strange -- Exclusive Sneak Peek
• Deleted & Extended Scenes
• Gag Reel
• Audio Commentary with Directors Anthony & Joe Russo and Writers Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
“Captain America: Civil War” is sadly my least favorite of the actual Marvel produced movies, and easily the weakest of the “Captain America” films, but it is still a solidly entertaining superhero movie with some really great action bits to liven it up. My only frustrations stem from too many characters in one movie, and the propensity to make Tony Stark so unreasonable that the story deviates from having both sides having a certain point of view and morals to follow, to a blatantly obvious one sided fight where the other side frustrates you to no end. Audio is very very good on this release and video is nothing short of spectacular, while the extras fall somewhere in the middle. No matter whether you are team Tony, or team Steve, “Civil War” delivers enough fun and action to be worth an addition to the Marvel Library.
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany
Directed by: Anthony & Joe Russo
Written by: Markus & Stephen McFeely
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 7.1 French, Spanish DD 5.1
Studio: Disney/Buena Vista
Runtime: 148 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: September 13th, 2016
Buy Captain America: Civil War 3D On Blu-ray at Amazon
Buy Captain America: Civil War On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Recommended for a fun Watch
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