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Captain America: Civil War – A Nerdlocker Review

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“Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved.”

The year of superhuman vs. superhuman got off to a bit of a rocky start with the Bat and Sups but luckily MARVEL is here to save the day. Captain America’s third film is the most ambitious entry yet and without question the best MARVEL film since Guardians of the Galaxy.

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Much in the same way The Winter Soldier did, Civil War takes these larger than life characters and brings them down to earth. Their actions have consequences and the world is beginning to question their heroes’ unchecked actions as the death toll around them continues to rise. The Battle of New York, the destruction of SHIELD (Hydra) in Washington D.C., and of course the massive crater left behind in Sokovia all left casualties. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), out of guilt from his participation in these incidences, is in favor of an official act sanctioned by over one hundred countries to put the Avenger’s actions in the hands of the U.N. to dictate if and when they are ever needed again. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is against this. He has seen what happens when governments have the “best” interest of its citizens in mind. He faced Nazi Germany in WWII and took down a corrupt federal agency in SHIELD. His trust in governments is shaky at best and understandably so.

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It is this difference that spawns a chasm of distrust and betrayal between Cap and Iron Man and those left to choose a side. And when the two groups clash it is an experience that must be seen.

Although gifted with super abilities these are very much still human beings doing the best they can. They still mess up, yes even Vision. This is an in depth look into themes of friendship, betrayal, and revenge. But more than this, as is necessary with all superhero films (BvS, I’m looking at you…), Civil War is immensely fun. The action sequences are breathtaking with seamless combined shots of practical effects and CGI that lend themselves to a mature storyline that manages a balanced tonality of fun and realism despite the extraordinary circumstances.

Where many superhero films, specifically the sequels, have failed is the inclusion of too many characters with zero purpose for even being present let alone a lack of explanation for why they do the things they do. Civil War dodges this pitfall and creates a coherent story filled to the brim with wonderful characters who each receive plenty of screen and story time to further flesh out their backstories and their motivations and decisions behind their actions. Despite a plethora of characters, it is all handled with absolute bravado and makes for one of the best superhero films ever and certainly one of the best films of 2016.

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At this point almost all characters present for Civil War have been in other ensemble MARVEL films like the Avenger movies with the exception of three specific heroes; Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), and Spider-Man (Tom Holland). The question is, how were they? Well, they were everything I could have hoped for times ten. Boseman as Black Panther is sleek, powerful and intimidating. His standalone film should be amazing. Rudd brings back the funny that made Ant-Man so enjoyable and he brings the action as well participating in one of the craziest (and coolest) scenes of Civil War. He fits in nicely.

And Tom Holland as Spider-Man… where do I begin? I won’t spoil anything of course so I will say this; he is the living embodiment of both Peter Parker and his webbed alter ego. In a mere twenty to thirty minutes, MARVEL pulled off what SONY couldn’t do in nearly twenty YEARS; they made Spidey great again. I think the greatest issue SONY had with bringing the wall-crawling crusader to the big screen is not realizing that Peter Parker IS Spider-Man. I mean the two are not separate of one another but are in fact one and the same. Parker’s awkward and curious personality never showed through in previous films but in Civil War, Spidey is here in all of his web-slinging, adolescent glory. Homecoming is the best title for the standalone Spider-Man film. He finally escaped the inept hands of SONY and made it back to the loving, caring arms that is MARVEL, his true home. Welcome back, Spidey.

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This is a movie you don’t need to be sold on. You were either all in from the first Captain America film or you weren’t. This has everything you knew you wanted and large amounts of things you wanted but didn’t know it. This is a crowd pleasing, block-busting juggernaut overflowing with imagination just spilling off the screen. Civil War has done what The Winter Soldier did and improved upon its predecessor in every way possible. This is a film not to be missed. I wanted to watch it again the moment it was over and I’d bet that most will have a similar reaction. This is summer filmdom at its finest.

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PG-13 For: extended sequences of violence, action and mayhem
Runtime: 146 minutes
After Credits Scene: It’s MARVEL
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Rudd, Tom Holland, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Daniel Brühl, Frank Grillo, William Hurt, Martin Freeman, Marisa Tomei

Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 5/ Acting: 5/ Directing: 5/ Visuals: 5
OVERALL: 5 Nerdskulls

Check out the trailer below:

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