Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – Captain America: Civil War


Synopsis: The Avengers, Earth’s mightiest heroes, have protected the world multiple times from would-be gods, megalomaniacs, and omnicidal robots. But after one too many incidents of collateral damage, the U.N. decides that enough is enough and puts forth the Sokovia Accords to regulate the Avengers. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) is fully on board, believing that the Avengers need to be held accountable. But Captain America (Chris Evans) disagrees, saying that he doesn’t want the Avengers to becomes tools for politicians with agendas. The debate divides the team, but things are thrown into chaos when the signing of these accords is hit by a terrorist bombing that was seemingly put into play by the Winter Soldier, also known as Cap’s old friend Bucky Barnes (also known as Sebastian Stan). Cap doesn’t buy it and tries to find his friend before the authorities and his old teammates, especially the prince of Wakanda named T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), who seeks justice for his father under the mantle of the Black Panther. While all the heroes* fight one another in a massive ongoing conflict, a man named Zemo (Daniel Brühl) is moving behind the scenes with a vested interest in one of the Winter Soldier’s old missions… but to what end?

*Okay, so the thing about superhero movies — and this one in particular — is that many of the characters have a secret identity and are referred to intermittently by either the character name or the secret identity moniker, which can get confusing. It doesn’t help that there are loads of characters in this story. To help clear things up, here is a list of the superheroes in play (as well as the actors who portray them) and what side they take for reference.

Captain America’s Team: Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), Winter Soldier/James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes, Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), and Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd)

Iron Man’s Team: War Machine/James “Rhodey” Rhodes Jr. (Don Cheadle), Black Widow/Natasha Romanov (Scarlett Johanssen), Vision (Paul Bettany), Black Panther/T’Challa, and Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland)

Review: Captain America: Civil War is a jaw-droppingly amazing movie and one of those rare films that far surpasses its source material. The 2006 comic miniseries of the same name had loads of problems, the primary being that the sides are very clear cut and Iron Man’s side does some flat out villainous things to make it hard for people to root for them. (I also had issues with the author’s writing in general, but that’s beside the point.) Not so in this movie — both sides have equally valid points and every character has perfectly legitimate reasons for the actions they take. The side you pick will ultimately come down to your personal moral compass.

I’m not sure if it’s due to the Russo Brothers (the directors) or an unknown person at Marvel who deserves more credit than they’re getting, but I’m starting to realize that the fight choreography of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is absolutely peerless. It’s paced excellently and there is so much variety and creativity that it’s hard not to feel jealous that you didn’t think of some of these ideas first. It’s not just a slugfest or a power brawl – the fighters use the environment as well as their abilities to pull tricks and sleight of hand, and it makes the whole experience very fun to watch. All of this naturally comes together in the massive superhero battle royale this film promises with interactions and clever fighting that will certainly go down as one of the MCU’s greatest moments.

But of course, there are two characters introduced that people really want to hear about: Black Panther and Spider-Man, the latter of whom just got reacquired by Marvel in a sense (Marvel and Sony share the rights). T’Challa carries himself like royalty (as he should) and proceeds with dignity throughout the whole conflict, while he is certifiably awesome, unique, and imposing as the Black Panther. The entire performance has enough gravitas to make a good first impression. As for Spider-Man, this is the performance for the wall-crawler I’ve been waiting for all my life, combining the likability that Tobey Maguire, and the snappiness and quick movements that Andrew Garfield previously brought to the character. He isn’t in the movie for long, but when he is, he steals the show. That said, there is a character that cannot be overlooked: Zemo. This might be one of the most tragic villains of the MCU and a huge break from the often criticized tradition of the villains having carbon copy abilities of the heroes. He may not beat Loki on the villain scale, but I think now that we have standout antagonists like Fisk, Kilgrave, and Whitney Frost from Agent Carter, he shouldn’t have to.

The movie is long, but it’s a length that doesn’t drag, instead making the whole thing seem much larger and more epic. This may be one of the most hard-hitting and tragic entries in the series, punctuated by a final battle fueled by pure emotion where you almost don’t want to see either side win because of how much pain will come of it. That, plus an ending that perfectly embodies a pyrrhic victory, will definitely stir a cocktail of emotions that’ll be sure to leave you conflicted as you exit the theater. Yet throughout it all, the characters are still likable and there’s a certain optimism to the whole affair, no matter how faint. It’s an antidote to the worst of cinematic experiences and a perfect reminder of why I love movies.

It certainly doesn’t hurt that this came after both God’s Not Deads and Batman v. Superman either. Man, that was a rough patch…

Fun Tidbit: During the development of this movie, Marvel and Sony were still in negotiations for the rights to Spider-Man. When it looked like talks were going to fall through, the team decided to give most of his role and screentime to the Black Panther (T’Challa would have appeared out of costume in the early drafts, presumably leaving his Black Panther alter-ego for his solo film). The two companies eventually came to an agreement, but at that point, Black Panther had become integral to the plot. Rather than cut one or the other, they were able to give both a fair amount of screentime, with Spider-Man’s brief time balanced out by how amazing it was. Talk about the best of both worlds.

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