captain america civil war

Here we are: the second gigantic superhero movie showdown of 2016 is finally upon us. Captain America: Civil War is finally in theaters everywhere and the early response has been generally positive. Somehow, we’re thirteen movies deep into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and these movies somehow still feel fresh.

But here’s the important question: what did you think? If you haven’t seen the movie yet, feel free to read Ethan Anderton’s spoiler-free review. If you have seen it, check out Jack Giroux’s chat with screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely about two scenes that were deleted from the film. We have more Civil War stories planned for the coming days (including a big spoiler-filled look at the entire film), but consider this your space to chat about the movie and politely debate what you like and don’t like.

We’ll run down a few talking points below, so spoilers lurk ahead! And if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you should definitely stay out of the comments because there are MAJOR SPOILERS ahead in the post and in the comments. Consider yourself warned.

Still here? Okay. Good. Let’s touch on what works. Which is a lot.

There are twelve major Marvel superheroes in Civil War before you get to villains like Daniel Brühl‘s Zemo, allies like Sharon Carter, and wild cards like Secretary of State Ross (whose presence finally ties The Incredible Hulk back into the heart of the MCU). What’s genuinely impressive is how the film manages to juggle each and every one of these characters. Sure, some heroes get more to do and some matter far more to the plot than others, but no one feels wasted. Every character gets their fair of stuff to do, everyone gets a laugh, everyone gets at least one amazing action beat, etc. That big airport fight, where Team Captain America and Team Iron Man face off, may be the best superhero action sequence ever assembled, with the various heroes bouncing off each other, literally and figuratively, in exciting and hilarious ways.

And this may be a weird thing to say about a movie that focuses almost entirely on Captain America and Iron Man, but Spider-Man and Ant-Man both walk away with this movie. Both are hilarious, providing the film with much-needed levity as it treks toward a dark climax, and both utilize powers that are unlike anyone else in the MCU. We’ll talk about why this version of Spidey works so well on Monday, but the nasty taste of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has been officially washed out of my mouth.

There’s also Black Panther, whose regal and fiery determination sets him apart from the rest of the cast in a major way. It’s impressive how well the film melds him into the conflict between the heroes we already know and how quickly we grow to appreciate his presence.

Most impressive of all is how the film is, at the end of the running time, still a Captain America movie. This is a direct sequel to Captain America: The Winter Solider that also happens to be a sequel to Avengers: Age of Ultron that also happens to bring Iron Man to a new place in his life. Strip the movie to its core and you have a film about a super soldier and his brainwashed best buddy facing the world together. It would have been easy to lose Cap in a movie this busy, but he remains the heart of Civil War and his relationship with Bucky the film’s lifeblood.

And now we leave it to you! The comment section below is all yours.

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