Conventional wisdom about writing is conventionally wrong.
What’s hard? Ice skating uphill. What’s impossible? Flying to the moon in a Cessna or making people love a character who’s about as inherently lovable as AquaMan, which is saying, not lovable at all.
Batman is easy to love. Captain America, not so much.
Never read his comics. Never liked him.
So more than anything else, I’m impressed with how Marvel has turned Captain America into one of the most likeable and enjoyable characters on screen today.
This is just about impossible. Robert Downey, Jr. is an incredible actor playing a great part. Iron Man is far more fun on paper. I’m pretty sure Chris Evans hasn’t been nominated for Oscars and he’s a pretty good bet to never be seen as a Serious Actor.
Yet he’s perfect as Captain America.
Instead of taking a role that could easily come off as self-righteous, he makes it human.
WINTER SOLDIER was the darkest and deepest Marvel movie, yet it still had humor and joy. And of all the Marvel movies, it had the most developed relationships. They didn’t feel like cardboard characters reciting lines before more things exploded.
More than the fights, I remember moments like Cap doing laps around Falcon in the beginning, and driving with Black Widow in a stolen truck. The whole thing was beautifully done.
With CIVIL WAR, the Russo brothers out-did themselves.
It would’ve been easy for a movie with so many Avengers to fall apart from the weight of all those characters. Everybody got their time on screen, with interweaving setups and payoffs.
And the relationships are the strong point. Any film or TV show can have amazing special effects today. But can you make us care about the characters?
I cared about all of them.
And one of the best moments in this film is a kiss, I kid you not. That’s an achievement.
CIVIL WAR brought up big questions that don’t have easy answers. It was surprising, fascinating and fun.
Fun is the most important part. As a huge fan of the Batman movies, I have to say Marvel beats DC in the fun department. Every single Batman movie (except for the George Clooney disaster) has been dark and grim.
WINTER SOLDIER and CIVIL WAR prove that you can mix dark moments, tough choices and betrayals while still having an incredibly fun movie.
It’s an impressive achievement for what’s really an Avengers movie, since everybody except Thor and Hulk are in this thing. And I liked it better than either of the Avengers films.
Verdict: A+. I’ll buy it on Blu-Ray and would happily watch it again tomorrow.
Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.