Bullet point style review:
•I was seriously impressed at how they set up the fundamental conflict. I went into the movie expecting to be team Captain America. When I walked out I was nearly team Iron Man. Then I talked myself back into team Captain America again. Great job.
•The airport fight scene was, hands down, the best superhero v. superhero fight scene of all time. Spider-Man and Ant Man did indeed steal the show, but man, that whole scene was just spectacular. Absolutely amazing.
•Speaking of Spider-Man, yes, Tom Holland was absolutely PERFECT. I hate to say it, but he was better than Tobey McGuire. I was quite surprised, when Tony asked why he fought, he didn’t pull out the “with great power” line…but the gist was the same. Singlehandedly had me looking forward to yet another Spider-Man movie.
•Black Panther impressed me as well. Looking forward to that movie too.
•SPOILER: How was Rhodey paralyzed anyway? Tony dropped from, like, three times that height in “The Avengers” and escaped with no obvious injuries. I know it’s Marvel physics and all, but…odd.
•SPOILERS AGAIN: The biggest flaw: The movie ran too long. The airport fight scene should have flowed directly into the Iron Man/Cap/Bucky duel. That duel, separated by such a relatively long length of time, was meant to be the climax but felt a little underwhelming in comparison. Better to have the scenes flow into each other and end the movie there. I can think of a few ways they could do it and keep the plot. This is minor, though – it’s not like the scene was a bad one.
•SPOILER: That said, the final twist – that Bucky killed Tony’s parents – genuinely surprised me. It probably shouldn’t have – Chekov’s gun was really hiding in plain sight there – but it did.
•I normally don’t pay attention to the soundtracks of Marvel movies, but “Civil War’s” soundtrack was fantastic.
“Civil War” is not my all-time favorite MCU movie, but that’s less because of any flaws and more because the quality of the franchise is so consistently high. This movie ranks with the very best. I probably liked “Winter Soldier” a bit more, and “The Avengers” (“Guardians of the Galaxy” is also A-tier but is such a different type of movie it’s hardly fair to compare. That’s a comedy space opera, not a superhero movie). “The Winter Soldier” benefited from better pacing, and “The Avengers” from better dialogue.
And yet, like with “The Winter Soldier”, I completely understand why one would prefer this movie over “The Avengers”. Whedon is, of course, a master at dialogue, but the Russo brothers unquestionably have the edge in action scenes. I rank dialogue over action, but if one prefers this super amazing Avenger on Avenger battle over that one scene in “The Avengers” where everybody stands around arguing as Loki escapes, who can blame you, really?
This movie gets an A from me. Highly and unreservedly recommended.