So I just got back from seeing it.
I’m not spoiler texting anything, its in the title of the thread after all. I will, however, save the spoilers for my last paragraph. By the way, for those who are curious, there were 2 post-credit sequences in the film, and I’d say the first one is almost necessary for the conclusion of the film, while the second one is just fun.
First of all, I’d give it a solid 8.5. This was a good action film with lots of standout moments for most characters. The humor in this film is mostly supplied by the new members to the team, particularly Spidey and Ants, and they deliver it well. I guess I should say here that Spidey was great, and Peter Parker was great . . . definitely interested in seeing what they do with his solo movie. What I particularly appreciated about his humor was that it was so conversational, there weren’t really any zingers or quips, he was just a funny kid talking, and it worked so much better than I’ve ever seen Spidey’s humor on screen in the past.
Zemo is, as you’ve probably heard by now, nothing like the comic character, and follows in the grand line of Marvel underutilizing villains. This might not be so surprising in a film that wants to focus on the characters fighting each other, but I still wish they could’ve served up something with more substance with the catalyst for their fight; it probably would’ve brought my score to a 9. Crossbones is essentially a glorified cameo; his sequence in the film actually reminded me way too much of Batroc’s in The Winter Soldier.
The reports about the airport action sequence were spot-on, it’s awesome, and it really takes advantage of the different abilities of this big collection of characters. It is also, however, the climax of the actual “civil war”, as it were, which comes pretty early, and leaves the remainder of the film for just one more throwdown between bucky/cap and iron man. This of course means that in one way that the stakes are a lot lower at the end of the film, but it does come off as much more personal, which is a welcome change of pace in my opinion, compared to other superhero films.
I found the early reviews of black panther’s character to be a bit of an exaggeration. There are only a couple of very short scenes of T;Challa not in uniform, giving us only the briefest of insight into how the character will work. Suited up, however, he’s in quite a lot of the action, and they certainly did a good job of creating a distinct combat style for him. Basically, it didn’t get me excited for a BP film, but it also didn’t make me fear it.
As for the bad . . . other than the poorly served villains, I feel that Marvel doesn’t really know what they want to do with Scarlet Witch. She’s basically a McGuffin in the film, paralleled by Vision, who also seems oddly placed so far. However, with Vision, they clearly put in more work into advancing a presence for his character.
It’s true that it’s mostly a mirthless film, in any of the parts that don’t have Spiderman, there is nary a smile to be seen. There’s also plenty of hand-wringing over civilian casualties, and I really hope that between BvS and this, we can put that behind us. It’s an important issue, but why can’t they just start having the heroes help out in rescue and reconstruction after a huge conflict? Seems like the kind of things heroes would do, and it would only take a minute or two of scenes to establish that. Either way, this is a theme that doesn’t make for really fascinating discourse within the context of mainstream superheroes so far, it seems, and I hope I don’t have to watch it again ever in either the Marvel or DC universes.
Another possible weakpoint is that due to all the other characters and the time they take on the screen, we still don’t really get to see Bucky fleshed out much; not only that, but the conclusion of the film makes it clear that it’s not going to happen any time soon. To see Bucky being treated essentially as a prop for two Cap movies in a row is kind of a bummer, and I would’ve liked to have seen him make a bigger stab at redemption in this film, so that he could join the ranks of the heroes from now on. Sadly, I don’t think we’re going to see that, perhaps ever.
Aside from all that, the movie is paced incredibly quickly. I never really felt like things were dragging at all, and was honestly surprised to see two and a half hours go by so fast. The supporting cast was all juggled pretty well, which certainly shores up some faith for the Russo Bros being in control of IW. Looking forward, I think the central concern will be whether Marvel can ever make a compelling villain other than Loki; if they can’t do it with Thanos, they’ll be really dropping the ball.
Would I recommend the movie? Absolutely, and with no reservations. It’s one of the top additions to the MCU. Winter Soldier is still probably a tighter film in general, but having the joys of certain moments with other Marvel characters is undeniable and elevated this film in some ways, without detracting from it being Cap’s story.