Somebody do me a favor, call the executives over at Warner Brothers and just scream, “In Yo’ Face.” Because after watching what is arguably one of the best Marvel movies, I hope Warner Brother executives were sitting behind me at the theater scribbling notes. Between the special effects, the script, and the direction, my only complaint is they forget the to include Tony Stark, the scorned lover, being forced to watch Captain America and Winter Soldier an intimate embrace.
The story loosely follows the comic book arc of the same name. The nit and grit is Tony Stark has an awakening moment, agreeing that superheroes should be put in check by the government. Of course, the government soldier, Captain America goes against type and says no. This is when the two comic book titans play a deadly game of red rover and start picking their teams. On Team Iron Man we have Warmachine, Black Widow, Vision, Black Panther and finally Spiderman while Team Cap features Winter Soldier, Antman, Scarlet Witch, Falcon and Hawkeye.
While we’re used to Robert Downey Jr. being our witty and snarky comic relief, we get to see him in a more serious role. While his jump from making Ultron in Avengers 2 to wanting to sign the papers condemning superheroes is a bit drastic and almost out of character, we accept his change in attitude. Thankfully, Chris Evans as Captain has more than enough one-liners that made you crack a smile, and when you thought he’d be the primary comic relief, we bring in Paul Rudd as Antman. Somebody in Marvel knew exactly how to break the team down so we never had a moment of dreary melancholy that consumed the movie.
I’ll admit, I went into this worried about the number of heroes. How can you give them adequate screen time and develop them enough to make me care. While Winter Soldier is my least favorite of the bunch, I was delight to see Falcon, Black Panther, Scarlet Witch, Vision and most of all Black Widow get enough screen time that I felt their characters were explored. If this doesn’t prove that Black Widow needs her own movie, nothing will.
There was even enough depth of character that we got to touch upon people’s families. Captain America develops a romance with his former girlfriend’s niece (I’m from Maine, this is acceptable.) Black Panther winds up with a dead father. Even the romance between Scarlet Witch and Vision is explored, leaving me wonder just how did they produce a child in the comic?
My biggest beef was the mastermind Baron Zemo and his dastardly plan to destroy the superheroes. He goes out of his way to create a complex scenario in which the Avengers are divided and ultimately, it is revealed his plan is to literally start a school yard brawl between Captain America and Ironman. You heard me right. A dead mother destroys the Avengers. Did Marvel see Superman vs. Batman and think, “Whoa, mothers are so in this season, I bet we can use that!” I blinked aimlessly at the screen realizing this was probably the worst plot point, but then again it’s a comic. I mean, Scarlet Witch did nearly destroy the world because her imaginary children were being threatened.
But let’s get to the most important thing, the real reason we actually went to see this movie. We wanted to see Black Panther and Spiderman (though the later, I’ll never understand.) Black Panther was majestic. I believed he is a prince, and more so, I believed he was capable of every physical feat he did. The special effects of him running kept him catlike, but avoided the horrible look of Sabertooth in Wolverine: Origins. His suit was my favorite part, looking even more badass than Ironman and capable of better stunts than Black Widow. Spiderman was less impressive graphically, but the story was extremely well done. From Tony Stark flirting with his aunt, to blackmailing him into assisting their efforts, he had a reason to be there. His quips and one-liners made him the rookie of the team but he stole the scene with laughter. We were rooting for the teenager, and since the word “Homecoming” was dropped at least a thousand times throughout the movie, we know there will be a serious tie-in to the upcoming Spiderman: Homecoming movie. I’ll overlook the weird eyes thanks to his performance.
And while I thought the final fight could have been ten minutes shorter (still better than any fight in BvS) all I could think during the rest of the movie is, “Where is Paul Rudd!” During the epic fight scene in which you wonder how can an Ant really have any impact, we get to see Giantman appear. We stop, we gawk, we roared as we wanted him to step on somebody. I almost wish Hulk were handy so there could have been some kicking involved. Hurry up and make Antman 2. Like right now. I want it.
The tone was appropriate, the scenes were iconic and while the ending didn’t quite follow what we were expecting, we got everything we wanted. The final battle in which we see the culmination of the fight between Captain and Ironman, we get our final hurrah. Where does it leave us leading into the next bit of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I have no idea. I just know, as a fan of both the comics and the movies, I walked away feeling respected and given everything I wanted. Now, what will be the fate of Captain America walking into the next Avengers movie?