Cine Reviews: ‘Captain America: Civil War’ (2016)

Captain America: Civil War kicks off Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is the 13th installment in the beloved film franchise.

In the film, political interference in the Avengers’ activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.


To begin with, Captain America: Civil War will meet your expectations and maybe even go beyond its limits. If you were let down by Age of Ultron and the other weaker entries in the MCU, then you need not to worry because Civil War never let that happen, even for a very short amount of time. The combination results into a huge gift for cinephiles, comic book fans and blockbuster maniacs to embrace tightly. It is packed with all kinds of goodness, but you just have to brace yourself when it gets up in your face because sometimes, it just hits you really hard. Everything in it is so great, including the essential aspects ranging from the script down to the acting. This entry in the MCU basically validates our reasons on defending just how great it is in churning out quality comic book movies and films in general.


Containing so many surprises that punches you in the face and crushes your heart, this superhero movie tends to steer away from the heroics and sheds more light on the heroes’ human side. With that, the Russo Brothers might have just made perhaps the most mature movie in both the MCU and the comic-book movie genre as it bears a plot and feel so realistic and heavy that it puts you right in the middle of the emotional chaos surrounding the heroes. A lot goes on in its “loaded” narrative, but it gets effectively balanced by the Russo Brothers and their magic in doing things their own way with solidity and firm confidence. With Civil War, the MCU has just both hit a new high and lets our disappointment from their previous, weaker entries get eradicated. Everything that you want from it is given right away, letting you find no reason to complain about what it shoves into your face. By doing that and maybe even more, it simply trumps down all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s entries for achieving so many things including its ascension to masterful filmmaking.


This entry settles on with a very matured theme, and a deeper exploration into it comes into play. It boldly goes where no MCU movie has gone before; the realm of cinematic realism. This becomes present in almost every frame and every scene, and the attention given to it is immense that it’s even astonishing. However, where it becomes truly seen is in its storyline that grabs you by the hand and makes you care about everything that’s going on. It may sound too much to handle in just one film, but nevertheless the Russos juggled everything without falling down. This becomes yet another reason why the Marvel Cinematic Universe is successful, and it gets fully justified by this entry to its fullest potential. This long-awaited entry in the MCU definitely let its filmmakers reach the pinnacle of their success by letting the movie to run on a smooth course at all times. The Russo Brothers’ magic works so fine that they made the impossible quite the opposite of it. Simply for making it totally focused on everything. Their direction is so unbelievably efficacious that putting your faith in them  in making more of these films just goes without saying.


Basically, Captain America: Civil War might have just crafted the greatest story ever told yet in the MCU.  How a certain storyline gets linked to one another is done seamlessly and makes every other character’s arc matter. More so, it blows our minds and messes with our feelings, all due to its delicate screenwriting that makes every other MCU film’s plot look cartoonish in a way.The dialogue is written with so many things in mind, letting us think and feel simultaneously. A point where we just see the heroes as humans rather than helpful gods gets reached, and it is where the display of authenticity in its narrative gets bared. The approach is far more personal than we’d imagine, and it keeps us sincerely affected and more so, attached. Amidst all the emotional tension, it still never forgets to have fun with itself. The action is still there and some humor remains, but it never outweighs the greater things that the film has loaded in its arsenal of marvels. Getting to choose a team to side with gives a whole lot more meaning to the film than its marketing suggests. By doing that, the film lets us see these heroes’ flaws, making our choosing of sides reasonable with its rewarding value.


Best thing of all, it shows you why your views on the situation is important because it wholly invests you in it. Simply said, this comic-book movie is just too heartbreaking, and it will never make you look at these heroes the same again. It is one of the rare comic book movies that has an authentic human approach to almost all of its characters, and it’s as emotionally wrecking and involving as superhero movies can get. The depiction of the heroes here heavily differs from the other entries in the MCU, and the film does a great job in making us realize that they are not as perfect as they think they are. The whole Tony-Cap feud highlights the film in becoming a tense and heart-shattering ride. Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans’ performances totally gave more as their evocative performances delivered genuine emotions, validating the reason why seeing them fighting is heartbreaking. You can really see into their hearts and minds because this entry tends to show so much more of their sensitivities. This is a truly brilliant idea that the screenwriters cooked up, and it is one that needs to be looked up to by any other comic book. Yes, Civil War unsurprisingly feels like a true comic-book movie, but you just can’t shake the feeling that it’s almost like a full blown drama-action-thriller.


With that, part of the film becomes a contemplative and conscientious look at how they think and act. Even the characters that don’t look human because of the Russos’ stellar magic in convincing us of the bad side to their actions. An amount of verisimilitude is formed in that and strips the heroes as it places a vehemence in their characterizations.  The center in the action are its characters, and it makes caring for them and their feelings a reasonable thing to do. Great set pieces aside, it also jerks out tears out of your eyes from the emotional moments that you’ll witness. I assure you that everything that the film hurls towards you will get you completely stunned. Though you might get hurt by it, you should put into mind that that’s the time when the film’s greatness shows and works. An immense relevance is given to almost every single hero, and it makes everyone a key player. Not a single one of them is wasted as their views and opinions about their casualty-inducing “heroic” acts gets talked about in the film. They never took too much of the spotlight though, just enough to make them matter. Its newcomers are worth the wait as they serve up great entertainment and are given importance in the plot.

Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa is one of the best new things to be enjoyed and that instantly makes us want to see more of him, and so does Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. The latter brought more spirit to the film, but it’s safe to say that his involvement wasn’t a repeat of Age of Ultron’s mistakes in terms of handling an additional character that oftentimes leads to horrible overcrowding. Throughout its course, the film runs on heavy themes and enters different layers of depth to further emphasize on it. The Russos’ application of those themes tends to break our heart with their characterization of Tony and Cap and the other matters running in the background. Bucky, who’s thought to be just a minor character suddenly becomes the center of it all, leaving us surprised and astounded by how the film covers him in the story. Its antagonist played by Daniel Bruhl feels so human with his clear motivations, sometimes making us sympathize for him despite his evil schemes.  Seeing his plans lead to war is heartbreaking for almost everybody, including him, the other characters, and us. Proving that Civil War’s desire to be more dramatic is something that it is completely able pull off. Its climax might just be the best that we’ve seen from the MCU since it was simply unforgettable for its impact.


The action is fairly balanced to let other moments stand out, and with that, it gives even the smaller action-packed sequences to get their own shine. The chase scenes stand out and rival its predecessors’ with skillful editing, exceptional cinematography and proper framing all going hand in hand to bring out the best that they’ve got. But just as the action intensifies, it also lets us sit through a delicately built rollercoaster of emotions. In it, we get to contemplate about so many things that makes this movie as a whole, and with it we effectively get swept away. Giving a reason as to why The fistfights and battle scenes are all satisfying to watch because they don’t only look cool since there is a meaning hidden beneath the visual spectacle. It tends to focus on a lot of story-lines and it may make your head hurt, but there are so many rewards waiting to be grabbed and held dearly. These include deep character development and brilliant character moments that never fail to hook your heart to its soft and edgy core. However, even if some pieces are so epic on Avengers-like level, they aren’t excessive and somehow didn’t overpower the outstanding little fight scenes. In fact, they are integrated in the story very well and didn’t only serve as a huge reward to those seeking for it.  The ending as a whole puts back on that intensely emotional rollercoaster, and sends us off pleased, devastated and astonished from its gratifying goodness. As the credits roll, it’s easy to dismiss that it is a very mature comic book movie, and that is why viewers must be aware of it. Because when it hits, it hits you right where it hurts and it really tears you apart.


Captain America: Civil War changes the game for basically having a flawless formula: a human heart, a matured brain, tense thrills and good old Marvel-spirited fun. What it has in its playbook is simply hard to replicate, as the attempts that the others would try to pull off probably won’t leave a mark bigger than the Russos have left with this utter masterpiece of a comic book movie.



* Captain America: Civil War opens in Philippine cinemas tomorrow, April 27 from Walt Disney Studios. See it in IMAX 3D!


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