Film Review: ‘Captain America: Civil War’

Captain America Civil War
Courtesy of Marvel

The most mature and substantive picture to have yet emerged from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The shaming of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” will continue apace — or better still, be forgotten entirely — in the wake of “Captain America: Civil War,” a decisively superior hero-vs.-hero extravaganza that also ranks as the most mature and substantive picture to have yet emerged from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Very much an “Avengers” movie in scope and ambition if not title (the conspicuous absence of Thor and Hulk notwithstanding), this chronicle of an epic clash between two equally noble factions, led by Captain America and Iron Man, proves as remarkable for its dramatic coherence and thematic unity as for its dizzyingly inventive action sequences; viewers who have grown weary of seeing cities blow up ad nauseam will scarcely believe their luck at the relative restraint and ingenuity on display. Buoyed by hearty critical support, 3D ticket premiums and enormous fan-ticipation, Disney’s May 6 release should have little trouble outperforming 2014’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” ($714 million worldwide) and could land in roughly the same commercial arena as the “Avengers” pics, both of which earned north of $1 billion globally.

As directed with escalating confidence by sibling filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo (who helmed “The Winter Soldier”), and intricately scripted by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (who have been with the series since 2011’s “Captain America: The First Avenger”), “Civil War” is nothing if not a testament to the benefits of continuity; this is the rare Marvel sequel that feels like not just a continuation but a culmination. You can sense the movie plumbing the depths of its own history with a 1991-set opening flashback, in which James “Bucky” Buchanan (the brooding Sebastian Stan) is sprung from cryogenic deep-freeze by Russian soldiers, who proceed to activate the cold-blooded, metal-armed killing machine lurking within known as the Winter Soldier.

The nature of his first assignment is a mystery to which the picture occasionally alludes but leaves chillingly unresolved until the end. Back in the present day, Bucky’s estranged old buddy Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), aka Captain America, finds himself on a routine mission in Lagos with his team, which includes the fierce Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the telekinetically gifted Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), and the high-flying Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie). But the ensuing battle has tragically unforeseen consequences, and the U.S. secretary of state (William Hurt), fed up with the fiery trail of fatalities and mass destruction the Avengers have left behind them, encourages them to agree to the Sokovia Accords, which will place them under the jurisdiction of the United Nations.

Haunted by his own role in the civilian deaths that occurred during the big-bang climax of “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) wholeheartedly supports this solution, which is also backed by his faithful No. 2, Lt. James Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle), and the otherworldly humanoid philosopher-freak known as the Vision (Paul Bettany). But while Natasha and Wanda both understand the logic of Tony’s decision, Rogers is having none of it: To submit to the U.N., he feels, would deal too great a blow to their autonomy and effectively destroy their ability to mobilize and act as needed. Captain America’s defiance only intensifies when yet another deadly attack occurs, this time in Vienna, and the Winter Soldier is clearly implicated. As far as Iron Man is concerned, the Buck stops here, but Rogers, like the audience, knows there’s more to the story than meets the eye.

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Not every globe-trotting action movie is self-critical enough to acknowledge the many lives that are presumably lost when buildings blow up and cars flip over. And while the idea of collateral damage was certainly central to the conflict in “Batman v Superman,” that film ultimately banished any sense of ethical responsibility — and any lingering audience goodwill — with its bombastic and incoherent end-of-the-world climax. Whatever apocalyptic associations its title may generate, “Captain America: Civil War” turns out to be an infinitely smarter piece of multiplex mythmaking, blessed as it is with a new villain (played with unnerving subtlety by Daniel Bruhl) who has more on his mind than blowing human civilization to smithereens. And the sides-taking showdown between Team Captain America and Team Iron Man, far from numbing the viewer with still more callous acts of destruction, is likely to leave you admiring its creativity.

This is probably the point at which a spoiler warning should be interjected, mainly for those readers perceptive enough to detect spoilers in paragraph breaks and pop-up ads. Not that it will come as much of a surprise to anyone with a degree in MCU studies that “Civil War’s” roster of fighters includes the first big-screen incarnation of T’Challa/Black Panther (a striking Chadwick Boseman), as well as the latest incarnation of Spider-Man, with the plucky young British actor Tom Holland (“The Impossible,” “In the Heart of the Sea”) donning the nervous, nerdy mien of Peter Parker to terrifically scene-stealing effect. We may be watching a series of trailers for these characters’ stand-alone projects, but they’re damn good trailers, and they dutifully uphold the playful egalitarian spirit that defines the Marvel comic-book universe.

“Everyone’s got a gimmick,” one guy notes wearily as the battle gets under way, but for a deliriously entertaining stretch, “Captain America: Civil War” delights in showing us what happens when those gimmicks collide. Under the supervision of the crack visual-effects team at Industrial Light & Magic, the laws of physics are upheld and gloriously flouted at will; it’s surprising how effectively a Spidey web holds up against even the Winter Soldier’s superhuman strength, or just how much trouble Ant-Man (Paul Rudd, earning one of the movie’s biggest applause moments) can cause when the inspiration seizes him. (The one character whose contribution feels superfluous here is Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, who continues to register with all the commitment and charisma of a junior-high archery instructor.)

The Russos handle the action with growing assurance and impressive range, shooting the early fight scenes with an almost “Bourne”-style handheld intensity, in contrast with the more classically framed skirmishes that follow. Even more impressively, the film feels sincerely invested in the questions it raises about freedom vs. responsibility, heroism vs. vigilantism, and what those distinctions say about the individuals making them. In assembling this Marvel male weepie, scribes Markus and McFeely show a rare talent for spinning cliches into artful motifs: The pain of deep, irrecoverable loss recurs throughout the narrative, and for both Iron Man and Captain America, the bonds of friendship are shown to run deeper than any commitment to the greater good. The back-slapping happy ending toward which the movie seems to be making a beeline somehow fails, at the last minute, to materialize.

Evans has never been the most charismatic or interesting figure even in his own franchise, and while that remains true here, the opportunity to take an unpopular stand for what he believes in lends this sturdily old-fashioned character a more compelling edge. Notably, “Civil War” doesn’t play Captain America for laughs or treat him as a genial anachronism in the way that the earlier films did; its most crucial flashback to the guy’s pre-coma existence (which occasions a brief, impressive turn by Emily VanCamp) exists mainly so that we can hear his inner determination put into words: “Compromise where you can. And where you can’t, don’t.”

While their resolve is every bit as firm as their abs and biceps, to say nothing of their titanium suits and vibranium shields, one senses the growing schism between Captain America and Iron Man will be healed in the long run (though perhaps not until after the two-part “Avengers: Infinity War,” which the Russos are set to direct). But for the purposes of this surprisingly fleet-footed 146-minute entertainment, Evans and especially Downey invest their characters’ ideological divide with a potent sense of conviction, which helps offset the generally two-dimensional feel of the many other characters squeezed into the margins.

In the almost-too-smooth fashion that has come to define even Marvel’s non-Joss Whedon-directed entries, a steady undercurrent of droll, wisecracking humor punctures the tension at key intervals, to continually amusing if somewhat ingratiating effect; it’s a bit deflating when Iron Man at one point actually invokes “The Manchurian Candidate,” rather than simply allowing the obvious reference to speak for itself. All of which is to say that this clean-burning cinematic engine may qualify as a peak Marvel experience, but it isn’t a transcendent one; transcendence simply doesn’t factor into the calculations of a franchise dedicated more to its long-term survival strategy than to the quality of any individual chapter. “Captain America: Civil War” doesn’t break the mold; it burnishes the brand, and sets a high but not insurmountable bar. Let the games continue.

Film Review: ‘Captain America: Civil War’

Reviewed at Dolby Theatre, Hollywood, April 12, 2016. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 146 MIN.

Production

A Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures release of a Marvel Studios presentation. Produced by Kevin Feige. Executive producers, Louis D'Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore, Stan Lee. Co-producers, Mitch Bell, Christoph Fisser, Henning Molfenter, Charlie Woebcken.

Crew

Directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo. Screenplay, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely. Camera (Technicolor, Panavision widescreen, Arri Alexa digital), Trent Opaloch; editors, Jeffrey Ford, Matthew Schmidt; music, Henry Jackman; music supervisor, Dave Jordan; production designer, Owen Paterson; supervising art director, Greg Berry; art directors, David E. Scott, Greg Hooper; set decorator, Ronald R. Reiss; costume designer, Judianna Makovsky; sound (Dolby Atmos/Dolby Digital), Manfred Banach; supervising sound editors, Shannon Mills, Daniel Laurie; sound designers, David C. Hughes, Nia Hansen; re-recording mixers, Tom Johnson, Juan Peralta; visual effects supervisor, Dan Deleeuw; head of visual development, Ryan Meinerding; visual effects and animation, Industrial Light & Magic, Method Studios; visual effects, Trixter Film, Rise Visual Effects Studios, Double Negative, Luma Pictures, Lola VFX, Cinesite, Cantina, Sarofsky, Animal Logic, Crafty Apes, Image Engine Design, Technicolor VFX, Capital T, Exceptional Minds; stunt coordinator, Spiro Razatos; stunt and fight coordinator, Sam Hargrave; supervising stunt coordinators, Doug Coleman, Mickey Giacomazzi; 3D stereoscopic supervisor, Evan Jacobs; 3D stereoscopic producer, Jon Goldsmith; 3D conversion, Stereo D, Prime Focus; associate producers, Trinh Tran, Ari Costa; assistant director, Lars P. Winther; second unit directors, Razatos, David Leitch, Chad Stahelski, Darrin Prescott; casting, Sarah Halley Finn.

With

Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Frank Grillo, William Hurt, Daniel Bruhl. (English, Russian dialogue)

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  11. John says:

    CW is a bad movie, as adaptation is a poor improvisation, and the plot is a bad copy of BvS, the formula has no surprises and humor is repetitive, looks like your review is paid

  12. I love the Marvel movies. Avengers Movie is my on of the favourite movie. Thank you for the great article Your.

  13. Savannah says:

    The actor for Spider-Man in civil war is way better than all the other actors. The latest Spider-Man is the best!

  14. PC1 says:

    Cant believe this review of Captain America Civil War. Sorry but I found it overlong, tedious, repetitive and just plain boring. I was very disappointed given that I really enjoyed the Winter Soldier – I cant believe the same directors and writers were involved in this film. Apart from Winter Soldier which had genuine original action sequences, such as Fury in his car and the Cap in the lift, I have found all of the recent Marvel films to be very underwhelming (with the exception of Thor (the original)). Repetitive hand-to-hand fighting sequences (you would think they would have learned from Man of Steel), and a distinct lack of decent characterisation, I will no longer be bothering to see these films in the cinema – if at all, and only then on personal recommendation from people I know, and only on dvd.

  15. Starchild says:

    Ok DC kids you seem to be very confused and I want to help you out! I love SOME DC material, basically anything Alan Moore and Frank Miller have touched. However, I, in no way believe DC should get the credit for these sublime writers, the writers should get the credit! Now to move on, you fans seem to have a very flawed belief that dark = mature/superior. That is not true at all! Dark + well writen = mature/superior. And a lot OF DC films do this well, like the Nolan series. However, BvS is dark, but terribly written and directed making it a not so very good movie. But you guys are right it’s dark, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still not that good lol! Marvel movies, although light and fun are usually well written and directed and I would much rather watch a light-fun movie than a bad dark movie. Allan Moore is my hero, The Proletariat (better known as V for Vendetta) was an excellent adaptation!! You got me, that was an example of a well written dark movie, however, watchman (arguably Moore’s masterpiece!) was a clunky dark movie that made changes that ultimately didn’t work (in my opinion). Not to mention it’s length while failing to touch on the important themes that Moore so brilliantly expressed in the comic. So remember dark doesn’t garentee better and I forecast that Suicide Squad and other DC endeavors will be more examples of poor dark movies. And let me remind you DC fanboys are the ones going crazy and having hissy fits over reviews; you’re even saying its a conspiracy! I hate to tell you this, but if the critics like a film and the audience likes a film then it’s probably a good film, but some of you would rather believe in brainwashing than accept the truth due to your own conditioning…irony at its best! *drops mic*

  16. Starchild says:

    Civil War is very good! It met all my expectations (which were very high). Now I know the review compares it to BvS, which I enjoyed (but my expectations were very low so ya:/). Civil War, as a movie (detaching it from the original source material), is smartly (and tightly) written, superbly casted, and directed coherently without straying from its cinematic vision. And I’m sorry, but BvS wasn’t even close to achieving two of those (it was, I believed well-casted which made it tolerateble-enjoyable). So to compare the two is kind of unfair. Comparing them is like matching Ali with an amateur light weight! It’s just cruel lol!

  17. ss says:

    havnt seen civil war yet but BVS easily beats out anything marvel have released the franchise has done an ok job but most of their heros arent very unique compared to each other and come accross very green lanterny

  18. JunkerGeorg says:

    Wow. Given its length, I felt the movie really got dragged down by too much dialogue and not enough action, let alone action that wowed you. Too many scenes repeating the whole politico-philosophical problem of Libertarianism (Captain America) vs. Authoritarianism (Iron Man), which, in my opinion, was already presented and presented better in CA:Winter Soldier. Perhaps no Marvel movie will live up to the spectacular action of the first Avengers movie (with Guardians of the Galaxy a close second)., so maybe I’m just spoiled, expecting Marvel to up the ante. When there was action, were it not for Spiderman and Antman, you would have fallen asleep. Those two provided the most entertaining action not to mention most if not all of the humor in the movie. (“Can I get some orange slices?” AntMan) Had it been possible, having Thor and Hulk in the movie might have made a great improvement on what I felt was simply an unspectacular movie. Marvel has to realize they have to equal if not up the ante with each new movie. But what I saw in Ultron and now in Civil War is a franchise running out of steam, burning out, running out of ways or simply arriving at the limitations there are in trying to replicate a comic book genre onto the big screen. No matter what special effects technology is invented/ deployed, fantasy is simply not as fantastical on the Hollywood screen as it can be and is on the screen of your own mind/imagination in book form. Hopefully our increasingly illiterate culture comes to realize that a comic book or fantasy novel unlocks the spectacular way more than a Hollywood production ever could.

  19. lim says:

    i am a fan of both dc and marvel, i enjoyed bvs and im sure i will enjoy civil war, but WHY THE FUCK do you have to bring bvs into this??????

    • John says:

      money from Disney bro ;)

    • Starchild says:

      I kind of agree with you, it seems a little cruel to compare the two. Adding BvS doesn’t add anything the review, it just kicks BvS while it’s down:/. It was enjoyable, but Civil War does something very different and puts it in a different league from BvS.

    • Cke says:

      Because they are the same genre, have both basically the same premise and are released within six weeks of each other? Shocking, i know…

  20. I love the Marvel movies. I thought Avengers: Age of Ultron was amazing.

    Then I saw Mad Max: Fury Road.

    Marvel movies look like bitches in comparison.

    I will always be grateful that they made competent movies of my favorite superheroes. I love Downey, Evans, everything they do.

    But, Good Lord. I want to feel what I felt when I walked out of that Mad Max movie.

    Somehow, I need to forget I ever saw it. Because it was the game changers of game changers.

    And this comic book stuff is a pimple on the butt of it.

    • Ken Baker says:

      Correct! Agree 100%. Any action scene shot with shaky hand held cameras so you have no idea what the hell is going on should be outlawed. Mad Max should have won best picture

  21. Evan says:

    I have always been a DC fan, ever since Bruce Timm gave me a brilliant DC animated universe as a child have I been enamored with DC. But if I am honest the DC Extended Universe seems directionless. After BvS, I was left scratching my head. There was no need to end the movie that way. And why was Wonder Woman in a movie that barely involved her in the plot? Why did Doomsday, arguably the most threatening villain in the DC universe seem so insignificant? The plot felt incoherent and rushed. I feel Snyder doesn’t even understand Superman or Batman for that matter. I have so many problems with that movie. When the president sent up a nuke at Superman and Doomsday, I wondered, is the president in the movie that stupid? Superman is taking Doomsday into space where he has an advantage due to being able to gather more strength from the sun, he’s taking him into space where Doomsday can’t hurt civilians and you nuke him?? I won’t even start on how Snyder mishandled both Jimmy Olsen and Lex Luthor but how can he make Batman so dense? The world’s greatest detective manipulated like an amateur rookie? Yes Superman and Zod leveled a city with their fight but Superman was still in the early stages of being a hero, he barely learned how to fly for chrissakes. And Batman can’t see that his intentions were good that he was trying to stop Zod? Batman can’t come to that conclusion and doesn’t even listen to Superman before beating the hell out of him? I walked out of BvS heartbroken. I was always a bigger fan of Batman and Superman than Cap and Iron Man but on the first Saturday of May, I can confidently walk into a superhero movie and expect to enjoy it even if it’s not featuring my favorite characters. I am ok with DC trying to create a more serious and darker tone but not to the extent that you ruin the core foundations of the characters. Never have I seen a Superman with less soul and Batman with almost no wits. If these characters are truly the modern versions of gods found in Greek mythology, then this recent portrayal is downright sacrilegious.

  22. Kris says:

    Justin Chang with another well-written, illuminating review. You conspiracy theorists are really embarrassing yourselves. Take your uninformed, childish opinions elsewhere.

    • Starchild says:

      Yes it was a very well represententated review. Civil War hit the bulls eye! It was an excellent example of synergetic effort to cultivate an excellent film! It’s a reminder to film lovers what a tight screenplay, an amazing cast, and unified direction can accomplish.

  23. Abe says:

    Another “great” Marvel movie, how shocking… sorry, I’ll wait until I see it myself to make an opinion but I’m actually not looking forward to this…

  24. When two movies with so many similarities come out at around the same time, comparisons will be made. It happened with Deep Impact and Armageddon, It will happen with these two movies.

    And it should. The basis of reviews is the comparison of one thing against everything else the reviewer has experienced either consciously or subconsciously. The more concrete the reviewer can make his observations the better.

    10 Suspiciously Similar Movies Released In The Same Year

  25. I don’t understand all the hate. This article, for me, was brilliantly written and comparing Civil War to BvS isn’t actually such a terrible thing. I did not like BvS. Not one bit. It was a perfect example of incredible potential, but terrible execution. And the film was a mess. And so, if you have two superhero movies a hero vs another hero, being released within a close proximity of time, then why not compare them? I don’t see any problem

  26. DCisforadultsandmarvelsucks says:

    This is the most idiotic article I have ever read. Stupid Disney worshippers. DC is adult and an intelligent film that actually takes risks and makes you think a little. All of DC movies will continue to get hate from MARVEL fanboys and still be to smart for them!

    • Graham says:

      DCisforadultsandmarvelsucks *too smart for them

    • Bryan Ford says:

      You have no clue at this point. I grew up reading DC and Marvel with zero preference of one over the other. Batman will always be my favorite. My next favorite was always Spider Man. The fact is Marvel’s best movies have been better written and directed. Marvel has made bad movies also. Iron Man 2 and the second Thor movie. BvS was just a huge letdown thanks mostly to the directing and the poor writing. My hope is that ever Marvel or DC movie that comes out is great. Sadly, DC is behind with their last two. The Nolan Batman trilogy was very good though. On par with The Avengers, Iron Man, GOTG, and CA:WS.

      Making a film look dark, ala BvS doesn’t make it for adults. A smart storyline and good writing does… so while GOTG was funny, it had both of those things, plus humor and heart. BvS paled in comparison.

    • DCisforadultsandmarvelsucks says:

      I meant Batman V Superman, not DC. Sorry.

  27. therealeverton says:

    You people makng a big deal about a professional reviewer making comparisons between the film he is reviewing and other “similar” films, that are better or worse, are embarrassing yourselves. IT IS HIS JOB. A spy film will be compared to ~Bond. When Stargate and Independence Day came out they were BOTH compared to Star Wars.. Winter Soldier was compared tro The Dark Knight. As in it was very good, but not Oscar worthy like that film was. Need for Speed to Fast & Furious.

    This is what reviewers do. It is the primary source of the ratings they give.l It is relative to the dozens, or hundreds of other films of that type, and/or at all that they have previously seen. ~Japanese animation is inevitably held up to Studio Ghibli, and particularly Miyazaki and so on.

    There is NO conspiracy, this is just how professional reviews work. It is how criticism works. You’d better believe that if This film were considered poor and BvS had been great (critically) the reviews would be talking about it.

  28. Richard says:

    I can not compare movies I have not seen but as a non superhero comic book fan I can say it is marvel’s great casting that brings me in to see their movies (Paul Rudd, Tom Hiddleston, Robert Redford ect.). Actors are still the best special effects one can bring to a movie and Marvel does really well at this.

    • Ken Baker says:

      Well… Heath Ledger was a hell of a Joker. And I loved Jeffrey Morgan as Comedian in The Watchmen.

      I collected lots of comics in my younger days. Marvel and DC both had titles I liked and some I didn’t. I’m not sure why we have to pick one over the other?

  29. Lee Goodman says:

    I think the opening line is fair comment for a ‘Chief Film Critic’ to make; i don’t know or care for Mr Chang’s credentials but I’d have to assume he’s got something going for him as he’s writing for Variety. That aside, I enjoyed BvS. Admittedly, it was a rambling mess of a film with too many loose ends and the editing was all over the place but I enjoyed it all the same. I went to see it twice, in fact. As for Civil War, I daresay I’ll enjoy that and see that twice too. Both Marvel and DC have an idiosyncratic approach to their comics so it only follows that the films from those comics will be the same. You can either like one, bothor neither and no one answer is more valid than the other. Horses for courses as they say here in the UK. I’m happy to live in a time where there are films like this on the cinema. Imagine being a comic book fan from 1938 and being able to a film like BvS. It would blow your mind. Anyway, I digress. Enjoy it or don’t enjoy it. Just don’t hate on other people who have different opinions to you. Life really is too short.

    • Matthew J says:

      “Just don’t hate on other people who have different opinions to you. Life is really too short.”

      Bravo. Couldn’t have said it better, so I won’t try.

      Cheers

    • Freddie says:

      There should be more people like you.

  30. Japan says:

    Someone is dick riding marvel. If this is anything like avengers or age of voltron, I’ll pass. Winter soldier was the only decent marvel film with the exception of buckey who I gave zero fucks about. Brainwashing is so fucking original. Looking forward to dr. Strange.

    • Starchild says:

      If you liked Winter Soldier you should definitely give Civil War a chance. As many reviews have stated, this movie may have the avengers in it, but it certainly is not an avengers movie. It is very similar to Winter Soldier.

  31. BillUSA says:

    While I still hold both comic houses close to my heart without a favorite, I can obviously see that Marvel is so far ahead of DC that the latter is practically paralyzed at the starting line waiting for the dust and smoke to clear.

  32. vern says:

    tHIS IS THE EPITOME OF CHILDISHNESS. This generation’s minds are still in comic book mode.

    • victorhugobrazil says:

      At least we´re past killing Indians in Western movies, or full blown biblical movies and torture porn movies.

      • Grulk says:

        For the love of Pete…do we really need to explain this again to the cinema snobs? “Superheros” in all forms of media have ALWAYS existed. Greek mythology, Norse Mythology, the list goes on and on.

        Being larger than life and superhuman is NOT a new concept. It is, in fact, a innate human desire.

        If you think characters like Hercules, Posideon, Indiana Jones, or Luke Skywalker aren’t superheroes…you’re deluding yourself. Stop being a friggin snob….

  33. Freddie says:

    Why is everyone whining about the BvS comment? If this guy is a film reviewer, then, well, he just reviewed BvS in that sentence. No problem there. And, if the whining is about how he shouldn’t have to compare the two films, well, that doesn’t matter. If any of you actually read the rest of the review, he doesn’t compare films except when he mentions that it didn’t address its accountability issue as well as Civil War did. And that’s OK, because both movies promised that same theme, and in his opinion (as well as many other critics) Civil War did it better. Anyway, these movies were similar. Of course they’re gonna get compared.

  34. Ragan Williams says:

    Ha! This review opened up with the most pretentious, pompous, lacy language I have ever read. Not to mention the vibes of prejudice coming off of it like radioactivity off a nuke. This review was just pathetic.

  35. Jonathan says:

    Disney treat these critics with kids gloves. They take them out, pamper them, and WB does not do that. Watch Beyond the trailer Grace, who loved BvS liked I loved it suggests that Disney and Marvel bring out the red carpet, But I am glad that WB is not going to allow some fat azz crtic turn our universe in campy jokes for kids.

    • therealeverton says:

      All studios do that. All of them. Not all critics, especially the “internet” ones, get that treatment. It makes absolutely no difference to the “real” critics at all. You get a bad restaurant review if your food isn’t right, no matter how nice you are. Films get reviewed on merit, according to the standards of the reviewer.. If you think Marvel Studios have been getting a free ride from critics, you clearly haven’t read their reviews over the year AND you clearly haven’t been following the news on their films since they first took out a loan to start the MCU 10 years ago. ~Even now every non-sequel they make is a problem film and the one they won’t make work (See Dr. strange.”

      If you think otherwise, it’s because you haven’t been following the business.

      • therealeverton says:

        @ Mathoo – Ta, exactly.

      • Mathoo says:

        @Japan – no. He is saying that every time Marvel decides to make an MCU movie that isn’t a direct sequel – the most recent example being Dr. Strange – the critics (that are supposedly “riding Marvel’s dicks” according to everyone else) say it won’t work because of this reason or that reason. The fact that every single time, Marvel surprises us with how they pull things off, means that they clearly know what they were doing. Probably have known it even before they took the loan to start the MCU.

      • Japan says:

        So you know for a fact that dr. Strange isn’t going to work because it doesn’t follow the cut and paste of every other marvel movie?

  36. Jonathan says:

    These critics had to knock BvS which I really love for these soft tissue paper made for kids Marvel Movies. This critic and the haters of BvS can kick rocks. Go enjoy your soft tissue paper movie. I am waiting for Suicide Squad.

    • I LIke BvS a lot but I do think it is a flawed movie and the fact that a lot of people disliked it has nothing to do with marvel.

      I quite like the fact they have different tones and I am more then capabale of enjoying both Marvel and DC movies…..because im not 5 years old and think I have to pick sides.

    • therealeverton says:

      So are we. It always looked the better film and hopefully it will be far better than BvS was. If you want to stick to bad films just so you can see things you never thought you’d see, I get that, but don’t keep roller skating uphill and moaning that critics and people who don’t love a poorly put together pair of films. These same people made Dark Knight a massive critical and commercial success. Where was your conspiracy then? ~They go to see the dark, mature multi layered (singer / Vaughan) X-Men films. In other words they like good entertainment, whatever the source. From Jaws and Raiders of Th Lost Ark, to James Bond, to Iron Man and The Winter Soldier, -Men, Burton / Nolan Batman and so on. What they don’t like is BvS, because it is a mess and wishes it were mature. People don’t love Spider-Man 3, Amazing Spider-Ma 2, X-Men 3 and others (yes ALL films have some fans) because they aren’t good enough. Same with BvS, but SOME of you love it. Good for you, you can do that without complaining about those that dislike it/. You can do that without bashing films that critics and audiences do like.

  37. Krish says:

    I see one common quality among all critics, using hypothetical language dosent make review any good.

  38. Homey the Cosmic Elf says:

    Mr Chang – The character’s name is James “Bucky” Buchanan BARNES….

  39. eddo34 says:

    Stupid, ignorant, braying fanboys: Get this through the mushy rice pudding you zero-info numbskulls call a brain:

    Variety.
    Is.
    A.
    TRADE.
    JOURNAL.

    It’s their fucking JOB to talk shit and be blunt in reviews. Whining about it is like whining that the sun comes up every day, you colossal imbeciles.

    Choke to death on your crybaby butthurt, or go whine about on IGN or some geek platform.

  40. Kamandi says:

    If you are a true fan of DC comics, then you should be disappointed by Man of Steel and BvS for not doing a great job like Marvel Studios has with their films.

    BvS – four dream sequences in a row, are you serious? It’s completely incoherent. Who was Batman fighting in the desert dream sequence and what happened to the Flash? It’s like the writers had ideas for individual scenes but didn’t have a story to put them together, so they came up with the terrible idea to pointlessly string the scenes together and call it four dream sequences in a row. Because I’m a comics fan I recognized references to the 1970’s series “New Gods” and the 1980s series “Crisis on Infinite Earths” in these dreams, but how is a general movie goer supposed to know that?

    I’m a huge DC comics fan, but Marvel is doing a lot better with their movies. Surely anyone can see that.

  41. Cary Coatney says:

    You can’t wait to post this up until it’s close to the movie actually opening up in the US?

    What the hell is wrong with you people? It’s three weeks away for cripessakes!!

    Now you let all the spoilers out!!

    ~

    Coat

    • webslinger48 says:

      Marvel lifted the embargo on review because they knew they had a good movie and the positive reviews (100% on RT so far) will help in the marketing.

      If it was a mediocre one like BVS they would have waited until the last minute to release them.

      In my experience if a movie is good spoilers will not upset your enjoyment of it anyway.

    • eddo34 says:

      What the hell is wrong with people like you who can’t seem to figure out, if your lives counted on it, what a TRADE JOURNAL is and why they do what they do.

      Intelligence: Acquire some.

      • Cary Coatney says:

        Joshua – I didn’t read this review. I saw that there was a link to a review in my Yahoo! newfeed and posted my negative knee jerk reaction that some publication would have the damn audacity to post a review of a movie that doesn’t open in the US for another three weeks.

        One week later, I still think it sucks.

        ~

        Coat

      • Cary Coatney: you clicked on the review and read it…your argument is invalid. If you want to avoid minor spoilers (as they went out of their way not to spoil anything major) try using some self restraint rather then whining about it because you don’t have the self control not to read the reviews.

      • Cary Coatney says:

        It doesn’t matter if the review is good or not. It’s going to deter people from not wanting to see the movie other than the hardcore fans if the whole blasted plot is being telegraphed nearly a month in advance. Fine, put it up on the international site of wherever the movie is opening but keep it off American sites until at least a week before the movie opens.

        I know what a goddamn trade journal is. I work in the freakin’ business Mr. F-ing know it all.

        ~

        Coat

    • therealeverton says:

      the film starts it’s international roll out next week. The review dates are kind of set by Marvel Studios. Because of the international release dates an their confidence that the film would get good – great reviews they screened it a month before the North American release and didn’t feel a need for an embargo.

      No media outlet wants to be “the one” who didn’t get a review out this week.

      I get your “pain”, but it’s Marvel’s fault mate.

      • therealeverton says:

        @ Cary.

        Yes those types will do that. It’s as annoying as hell, but the media can’t hold their reviews because the internet breeds *******.

        Hopefully we all make it through unspoiled mate.

      • Cary Coatney says:

        It’s going to be more painful than that, I assure you. It’s the self gratifying A-holes who go on social media and blast away key points of the plot that wander on to your mainfeed.

        That’s what I’m mainly pissed off about.

        ~

        Coat

  42. DC Fanboy Mega-Implosion in 3…2…1…

    I was already on pins and needles waiting for this movie. Now its more like razor blades and broadswords.

    22 days and counting…..

  43. Competition will decide how successful Warner Bros./DC will become with its planned comic-to-film festival of superheroes. Ad nauseum is coming…sooner or later.

  44. Guill Camp says:

    I am really surprised to see how DC movies always tend to get negative reviews before a movie is even out, there is hardly anything positive to say about their story line, yet, when a Marvel movie is going to come out there is a shower of positive things to say. I think that Disney bribes critics to say great things about their films, when you see them there share similarities and flaws just as DC’s.

    • therealeverton says:

      Utter Rubbish. This is the nature of the beast. The trades couldn’t stop laughing at how silly Marvel were to make a studio by borrowing over $500m to make films with what were derided as their “b list” characters. The appearance of Tony Stark in the Incredible Hulk wasn’t viewed as a brave and bold attempt to try something not really done n big American films before, but a horrible sign that not only were more annoying Super hero films on the way, but now they might be “connected. Every single Marvel film, that wasn’t a sequel, including just last year with n-Man, was going to be the film that went TOO FAR and would sink Marvel and Super hero fatigue would set in. Even now, go over to the Hollywood Reporter and see how they are bashing Dr. Strange even now.

      Then there’s the reams of negative buzz heaped upon X-Men First Class before it was actually SEEN and got very good reviews. Ditto Days of Future Past , right up until not long before the release date. The Dark Knight got a lot of stick about The Joker’s look, but, after Batman Begins, there was nothing but anticipation in the media for that film AND then The Dark Knight Rises. Green Lantern got stick because it looked like what it was, a poor film. BvS got stick because it often seemed poor, then great, then average. It gets bad mouthed because it is a poor film. (This is an opinion shared by MANY critics, 72% of them. It is an opinion expressed by may of the critics who LIKED the film.)

      Sony#”s Spider-Man films were given a mixed report before they came out Power Ranger anyone?) Ninja Turtles are getting stick now and before the first film.

      It happens to all these films. In fact if you aid attention with an open mind, you’d see that much of film reporting is negative commentary on imagined “problems” during the shoot. IF you say every film has problems during production, you’ll be proved right whenever a film is actually bad right?!

      Reviews could no care less which publishing house a superhero film came from. Many of them hate superhero films existing at all and even their good reviews are grudging , through gritted teeth, because the !quality” of entertainment cannot be denied.

      Days of Future Past got excellent reviews, because it was excellent entrainment, but Origins Wolverine and X3 are savaged for their failings. You need to stop looking through Dc tinted spectacles (And yes there are those who need to do the same for Marvel Studios etc.) and see that this is just the business and that , as with all things you will like things that others, sometimes MOST do not! You WILL like things that are, by some measures not that great, ut by others, the ones that matter to you for that thing, are great.) I guarantee you there will be articles about why Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Dr. Strange are Marvel Studios’ “biggest gamble yet” ad blah, blah, blah.

      You should consider one of the reasons people are so hard on B v S is because they were so hyped for it. Or , professionally, because a film with such characters, such a cast and so much money should be much better. Coming out so close to film, they set themselves up as in competition with (an error by suits at WB, not Dc who have nothing but respect for Marvel and have had for decades) you WILL get comparisons. They both have hero against hero after all. But there’s no Marvel Studios bias, any more than there was a WB/DC bias in 2008 when The Dark Knight got pushed for Oscars and better reviews than Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Hellboy 2, Hancock, The Spirit and the rest.

      Go back almost exactly 2 years. Winter Soldier and Days of Future Past got outstanding receptions, but Amaing Spider-Man 2 didn.t. 3 different studios, all based on Marvel comics, where was the bias there?

      Enjoy your films, whatever they are.

      • therealeverton says:

        Sorry, saying “utter Rubbish” reads very rude I’m about the bias idea, not trying to insult anyone. Hope that’s clear now mate.

  45. T'Challa says:

    Horrible review to draw attention from Civil War to Batman V Supermam. Your agenda driven bias ruins this review. Try to be more professional.

  46. SF says:

    I bet Cap and IM stop fighting when they realize their mother’s first name is the same.

  47. Luca says:

    I hate the sabotage BvS received, so, from now on, I’ll boycott any Marvel product for the rest of my life.

  48. RichWW2 says:

    As long as there isn’t one-liner after one-liner this movie is already going to be miles better than Age of Ultron.

  49. Bill B. says:

    I’ll pass. Sick of these things.

  50. DC fans are still butthurt. Get over it, Marvel rules the cinema.

    • Ty says:

      Nah Marvel fans are haters and all the hate BvS got is complete bullshit. Marvel will never dare to go in a different direction. Hopefully DC never stops making movies and doesn’t just try and please all the sheep like Marvel does,

      • satta matka says:

        Superb Movie…

      • Starchild says:

        A lot of people and critics didn’t like BvS because the writing was loose and broken and the directing of it was incoherent. You can call fans of marvel sheep, but you sir are just as big of a sheep. You defend a movie based on blind loyalty without objectively seeing the mess of the movie for what it is. I mean why was batman portrayed as so simple minded or blinded in his motives? Batman, from I remember in the comics (which are among my favorites) is quite cunning and understands the world in multiple perspectives. His intellect is his greatest weapon, yet he was blinded in BvS. Another example of poor writing were the use of incoherent flashbacks. As a plot devise it was used very poorly in BvS; it was used as a way to reinforce his justification to stop superman. Which is fine, but it was out of nowhere! And the average (non-fanboy) movie goers were utterly confused by the reference in which the ‘planetary war’ flashback was showing. Also, they overused the flashback/dreams making the writing seem lazy. Now compare that to the use of flashbacks used in Civil War. Without spoiling anything, CW used flashbacks, but it used a single, mysterious flashback. Throughout the film we learn more about that (single) flash back until we learn the full truth of it (we learn it with the characters) to cultivate a very powerful emotional climax. Does this example help demonstrate the superior writing (civil war) compared to lazy writing (BvS) to you?

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