PG-13. We've discussed this. The scene at the airport was too scary for my two-year-old. I'm probably a bad father.
DIRECTORS: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
I'm going to write this review with a slightly bitter edge because Weebly lost my original draft. Nothing says "Stay objective" as the Internet ruining my life.
This is a movie that earned it. I think this movie might be historic with a little "h". I've always kind of complained that many genre movies don't earn their heartbreaking moments because the relationships are rarely there. Often, the emotional arcs are built off of the television predecessor from which the films spun off, like Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan or Serenity. I was just talking about how the Enterprise exploding in Star Trek Beyond felt kind of cheap because it was too soon. But Captain America: Civil War is the culmination of a lot of setup with character arcs that built into something earnest and sad. These characters fighting is completely believable because this has been teased and slowly cooked over the course of many movies. I can't think of another film franchise that has pulled that off organically. (I will be very disappointed if you say Freddy vs. Jason. I will let you have that opinion because I'm not a monster, but c'mon.)
The Russos have a really cool take on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They might have been the most important addition to the MCU because of their nontraditional take on the superhero film. Joss Whedon and Jon Favreau are great because of their tonal responsibility, but I do like that the Russo Brothers understand that the world is a complicated place and that superheroes shouldn't necessarily mesh with that world very well. I keep thinking that the Captain America movies really belong in the Bond world or the John LeCarre films because of their political landscapes. But the thing that earns my respect is the movie tries to treat everyone like they are smart without talking down to them. I love the Nolan Batman films so much, but they take themselves so darned seriously. (No pun intended). The Russos fill the universe with a sense of respect. These are actors in awesome looking pajamas punching each other, but my heart cries for it somehow. That's pretty impressive.
The look of the Marvel movies is pretty standard. I watched a video about why the MCU looks so blah, but I thnk that really cheapens a lot of what is going on camera. Honest-to-Pete, seeing the opening shot with the font, the tone is set within seconds of watching the movie. Not a lot of people pull that off successfully. The color palette is bleak, but who says that is necessarily a bad thing. Having a bright and vibrant Iron Man suit does not make a movie cool. It probably pulls away from reality. Every time I see heightened color schemes, I think the Star Wars prequels and other digital tomfoolery. The whole look of the movie is just pitch perfect.
This movie also does a fantastic job of balancing the entire universe. I know that Avengers: Age of Ultron received some criticism for spending too much time setting up Phase 3, but I think Civil War should be commended for its restraint when it comes to handling a ton of different franchises. It speaks most when it comes to the handling of Ant-Man. Out of the Marvel movies, I honestly think Ant-Man is the most blah. There's so much generic going on there and I was so hyped up for it that the final result was simply okay. But Paul Rudd's Ant-Man in Civil War is everything I wanted. I don't know how ten minutes of screen time can redeem a character so perfectly, but it really worked. Add on top of that the set up of Tom Holland's Spider-Man as well. By all intents and purposes, Spider-Man shouldn't be in this movie. But I also didn't care. The set up of this character was charming and fun. He brought a joy to the film that it needed and that's pretty impressive.
The real challenge that this movie provides is the lack of true protagonists and antagonists. Civil War is cool because they're both right and they're both wrong. The real enemy of the movie is male stubbornness and the abandoning of a cool head. Yes, I'm #TeamCap, but Iron Man isn't wrong about a lot of what he said. That's a great story. All of America was fighting about who the hero is and the movie plays out very differently for different audiences. The only indication of who is the real hero is the full title being Captain America: Civil War.
Film is great. It can challenge us. It can entertain us. It can puzzle us. It can awaken us.
Mr. H has watched an upsetting amount of movies. They bring him a level of joy that few things have achieved.