Captain America: Civil War Review
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Anyone who’s browsed Facebook for more than a minute or two this year knows how quickly politics can turn friends into enemies. But that’s not just the case for mere mortals. The latest Avengers movie, Captain America: Civil War, shows that not even superheroes are impervious to political rivalries.

Captain America: Civil War finds Marvel’s band of superheroes facing their most dangerous threat yet: each other. After the team’s latest mission ends in disaster and the deaths of innocent people, the UN decides to put together a panel to manage the superheroes’ activities. A guilt-stricken Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is quick to agree, but Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) doesn’t believe that regulation is the answer. And when his childhood friend, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), is accused of an attack on the UN assembly, he breaks the law—and turns his back on his former allies—to uncover the truth.

It’s nearly impossible to watch Marvel’s big superhero showdown without comparing it to DC’s Batman/Superman face-off, which hit theaters earlier this year. But, really, there’s no comparison here. Marvel has had years to build to this point—to assemble a massive ensemble cast that audiences care about and establish their relationships. And, as an added bonus, Civil War also tells a story that mixes light and dark while establishing a generally believable conflict for the characters. The story isn’t without its flaws—after all, it’s not easy to keep track of this many characters, relationships, histories, and storylines. And the set-up has its share of glitches, too. But it’s still handled surprisingly well.

Unfortunately for the film’s pacing (and runtime), though, it takes a whole lot of time to develop the story and allow the characters to choose sides—and the result isn’t always as action-packed as fans might expect. It is, however, thoughtful and surprising, with some interesting new twists on the same old superhero movie. This isn’t a film about heroes and villains but about differing points of view—of former allies fighting for what they believe. And that adds all kinds of layers and complexities to the story.

Meanwhile, while the rivalry between Iron Man and Captain America may be the focal point of the film, each character, it seems, gets a moment or two in the spotlight. And as Tony Stark takes on a much more serious, less sarcastic role, new characters show up to fill the comedic void. Paul Rudd’s wise-cracking Ant-Man seems to be the new Iron Man—while Tom Holland adds plenty of his own comic relief as a star struck, enthusiastic young Spider-Man.

And, of course, there’s the action. It doesn’t get a whole lot bigger or more thrilling than a dozen superheroes marching (and/or flying) into battle. And though the action sequences are, at times, a bit choppier than necessary, the latest installment in the Avengers franchise is guaranteed to satisfy any superhero-loving adrenaline junkie.

Once again, Marvel kicks off another Summer Blockbuster Season in the most explosive way possible. You might want to review the characters and their ongoing stories before setting out to see their latest adventure, but Marvel fans (and casual moviegoers, too) definitely won’t be disappointed.

3D Blu-ray Review:
It seems fitting that a supersized superhero movie like Captain America: Civil War would get a supersized 3D Blu-ray release. Not only can you now enjoy the big, bold 3D graphics from the comfort of your own living room, but you can also check out plenty of behind-the-scenes extras, too.

The Blu-ray disc’s special features menu includes a two-part making-of feature, United We Stand, Divided We Fall, which explores the process of making the film—though it focuses on the massive ensemble cast of characters: their stories, their powers, their props, and how they all work together. There’s even more focus on two new members of the MCU: Black Panther and Spider-Man. Two other features, Captain America: The Road to Civil War and Iron Man: The Road to Civil War, take a look at the war’s two leaders, examining their stories and their history in the years (and films) leading up to this one.

Other extras include a commentary track with directors Anthony and Joe Russo and the film’s screenwriters, four deleted/extended scenes, and a wildly entertaining gag reel. Or, for a look at what’s coming next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s also a great sneak peek at Doctor Strange.

Whether you’re Team Cap or Team Iron Man, you’ll enjoy looking back and looking forward with the extras in this 3D Blu-ray set. So after you finish revisiting the war (in 3D, of course!), be sure to save some extra time for the special features menu, too.

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