On balance, the Marvel franchise has done a much better job of bringing its characters to the big screen than the DC franchise. Witness the most recent attempt with a bad Batman vs. Superman movie which few praised, especially after the first 30 minutes. But there have been fair Marvel entries into the summer sweepstakes, good ones, and a few very good ones. This latest installment— Captain America: Civil War is not very aptly named but it is an excellent movie, even though a tad long (2 hours and 26 minutes, but it does not drag at any point). And if you like Marvel characters in general, well Christmas came early in this movie— it has Ant Man, a very young Spiderman, not to mention all of the Avengers, plus the Black Panther, the Winter Soldier (you name it you got it except the Guardians of the Galaxy) and character roles by Marisa Tomei (as a young Aunt May), William Hurt as the requisite government official, Martin Freeman as yet another governmental figure. It’s one stop shopping with this movie, except sadly no Pepper Potts. This movie is not just rockum sockum robots with one fight scene after another. It actually has interesting plot developments and plenty of humor. Especially humorous are some of the scenes involving Iron Man who recruits Spiderman. And there is pathos as Captain America chooses to defend his old war buddy Bucky (aka the winter soldier) even at the expense of the law and with the danger of breaking up the Avengers. The plot revolves around the notion that the Avengers do more harm than good and so the United Nations decides they need to be supervised and only act at the pleasure of the UN. Ironman is a big supporter and Captain America disagrees. This leads to a tete a tete between two teams of super heroes. But the movie is not mostly about the showdown between the titans, it is mostly about stopping a potential disaster, with a lot of evil winter soldiers potentially being loosed on the world.
I like the new Spiderman, though he’s awfully young, and Paul Rudd as Antman is excellent, and oh yes, once again Stan Lee shows up in his usual cameo– this time as a FedEx delivery man— delivering a package for ‘Mr. Stank’….. err….. Stark.
If you like the flawed but enjoyable Marvel characters you will certainly enjoy this movie, especially its humor. It could use a bit more romance thought. Still, you can’t cram everything into one film— but Lord knows they tried with this one.