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Captain America: Civil War

The Russo brothers deliver good comic-book movie, with great action sequences

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I don’t want to be that guy who loves every superhero movie that hits the multiplex because he loved them as a child and is trying to recapture his boyhood by announcing that Captain America: Civil War is the best comic-book movie to come out in a very long time.

But I do believe that Civil War is one of the best comic-book movies to come out in a very long time, despite the fact that I’ve said the same thing about both Avengers movies, the last Captain America film and Ant-Man. Here are my reasons:

The plot is straightforward, but not simple. Normally, in the Marvel films, the big climactic city-destroying fight scene happens at the end of the film. Here, it happens at the beginning. In previous outings, the Avengers destroyed city after city in an effort to get the bad guy. Now the government is requiring all Avengers to sign an agreement saying they will not act without United Nations approval. Two opposing sides form: Captain America (Chris Evans) rejects the directive, while Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) agrees. Then, Cap’s old friend Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. The Winter Soldier, is suspected of a terrorist act, and Cap and his team fight to keep Barnes free and go after the real enemy.

3-D is sweet. The use of the third dimension in this film is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. It’s not used as a gimmick here. The film’s action sequences are many, and thanks to the proper use of 3-D, they pop off the screen. The fight sequences between Captain America and Iron Man really come to life.

Superheroes fight other superheroes. Normally, our heroes fight villains, and when the good guy takes on a bad guy in a comic book, the good guy always wins. But what happens when good guys fight each other? It’s a wildcard, a toss-up that nobody knows how it’s going to end. And that’s the great thing about directors Joe and Anthony Russo’s film: There’s a lot of talk about Team Cap and Team Iron Man, but the film doesn’t force you to choose between clearly drawn good guys and bad guys. There are simply differences of opinion on how to go about doing the right things. You pick a team here because the issue at hand — security at the expense of civil liberty — is one that we can all identify with. Of course, you can always pick a side based on my criteria that Ant-Man is freaking awesome.


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