Out of all the Marvel movie franchises, I would have to say I enjoy Captain America the most. In my opinion, the movies get better with each installment. In particular, what I think this movie did well was introduce Black Panther and Spider-Man. Especially Black Panther. Chadwick Boseman did a fantastic job in this role.
This entry will contain some mild spoilers as I write about my thoughts on the movie. I will try my best to keep them to a minimum, though!
With each new entry into the Marvel movie franchise, I’m surprised that they haven’t decided to allow these movies to get longer run times like The Lord of the Rings. I personally wouldn’t mind it, and I actually think it would help to a certain extent. With the cast getting so large, I think a longer movie would be worth it if only to allow writers to flesh out certain plot points more thoroughly and avoid making it feel like the majority of the cast is in cameo mode. The movie felt split pretty evenly to me between Black Panther’s introduction and the Civil War storyline.
At times the movie felt like more of an extended prequel than anything else, although I wasn’t necessarily expecting anything different, given the trailers I watched. There are also definitely a lot of political themes scattered throughout. In a way, this is an Avengers “break-up” movie. Two leader-like characters with strong, opposing convictions split the team in half to fight behind their separate causes. I enjoyed watching the three-way showdown between Iron Man, Winter Soldier, and Captain America play out, and I was glad to find that the trailer didn’t reveal everything about that scene.
One of my favorite parts of the movie had to be watching how strong the friendship still is between Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes. No matter what happens, Steve will always have Bucky’s back, and vice versa, as was perfectly illustrated in that final showdown against Tony Stark, as well as a few other points throughout the movie.
I know the Sharon Carter and Steve Rogers relationship happens in the comics, but I didn’t completely buy the transition into it; it seemed a little rushed for my tastes. I had similar feelings about what the movie did with Crossbones early on as well. I felt like there was so much untapped potential there, though they probably cut that bit short due to time and budget constraints.
I’m not sure how I felt about the main villain in this movie. Once they revealed his motivation for all the chaos he caused, I thought it was a little anticlimactic. I think I was expecting all his actions to lead to some sort of bigger plot that didn’t end up happening. There were a lot of great fighting sequences though, and there was plenty of witty dialogue that more than made up for it.
I really liked Tom Holland as Spider-Man, although I found it kind of amusing that they’re rebooting Spider-Man again in what feels like such a short span of time (has it really been about 14 years since Tobey Maguire played the role?) and Peter Parker just seems to be getting younger and younger. Even Aunt May is younger! Apparently there’s speculation that Tony Stark and Aunt May might become an item, which I’m not sure if I’m completely sold on it despite the chemistry between the actors. This is mostly because in my mind, Aunt May and Uncle Ben are forever, even if Uncle Ben isn’t around anymore, and Tony is supposed to be with Pepper.
As previously mentioned, I also think Boseman was a great casting choice as Black Panther, and I think the movie did a great job introducing his character into the Marvel film-verse. His action scenes were some of my favorites, and I think they gave him a pretty sweet costume. I think his character progression was the most developed out of the entire cast. It was good to see some of the other characters come back too, like Scarlet Witch, Black Widow, and Ant Man, among others.
Final Thoughts: It’s definitely worth seeing in theaters, and I know I wouldn’t mind watching this again. Oh, and for those watching, don’t miss the two secret endings after the movie ends. If I’m remembering correctly, one of the scenes happens about 2 minutes into the credits, and then there’s another short clip after the credits finish rolling.
The Avengers (2012) post-credit Shawarma scene still has to be my favorite though.