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CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
3D Blu-ray Edition

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: 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
Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo
Audio: DTS HD 7.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.39:1
Studio: Marvel/Disney
Features: See Review
Length: 147 Minutes
Release Date: September 16, 2016

He’s my friend.”

So was I.”

Film ***

The ever growing Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to wow and impress every year, and this year is no exception with Captain America: Civil War. Despite the title’s indication, this is actually more of an Avengers movie than a solo effort. Though Hulk and Thor are missing from the proceedings, basically everyone else from the clan (as well as a few new additions) is on full display for this epic superhero battle.

The action picks up following the events in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which ended with a destructive battle in Sokovia. This has resulted in the United Nations putting into motion the Sokovia Accords. Under this, The Avengers have to have U.N. approval before fighting any battle. And if they don’t agree to the terms, they will be branded criminals.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr) is actually in favor of this, having been struck with a dose of guilt after being confronted by the mother of one of the victims in the Sokovia attack. But Cap. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), on the other hand, firmly believes that The Avengers should be independent of any kind of government oversight. He’s already convinced of the possibility of the U.N. sending them on a mission they shouldn’t fight and not sending them on ones that should.

Then a bombing occurs during a U.N. meeting, and it turns out that the culprit behind the incident is none other than Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), who has once again been brainwashed and is now in full assassin mode. But Rogers, the ever loyal friend, thinks Bucky is actually innocent and intends to find him before the authorities, who are on shoot to kill orders, do. As this adds up to unapproved endeavor in the eyes of the U.N., Stark bands together his own group of Avengers and intends on thwarting Rogers’ personal mission.

Quite a bit of screen time is devoted to the assembling of both sides of the dueling Avengers. Alongside Rogers, there’s loyal cohort Falcon (Anthony Mackie), bow and arrow guru Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and the psychic power fused Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). There’s also a new addition in the form of Scott Lang/Ant Man (Paul Rudd), who is the only one completely star-struck when asked to fight alongside Captain America.

And Stark’s roster ain’t too shabby either, as he is joined by Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Vision (Paul Bettany). Added to this bunch are two new recruits, the first being Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), an African prince who has gotten involved on account of his father being killed in the U.N. attack. The second new recruit is none other than a kid by the name of Peter Parker (Tom Holland), whom Stark tracks down in what is a most memorable and funny sequence.

Though it takes a while to officially take off, the movie kicks into super high gear once both sides begin to attack. I must say, it is very overwhelming to witness so many iconic super heroes duking it out in one movie. Though I’m one of very few that feels it’s not superior to Batman v Superman, I’d be lying if I said you didn’t get your money’s worth in terms of a huge superhero battle. The movie also delivers a neat little story twist towards the end that adds a great deal of dramatic weight, which is something I certainly wasn’t expecting.

Though it is a little too long and feels a bit overstuffed at times, Civil War is nevertheless a worthy addition to Marvel’s tremendous movie empire.

BONUS TRIVIA: Directors Anthony and Joe Russo had previously directed countless episodes of the brilliant show Arrested Development. To show their love for the show, the infamous Bluth family airport staircase vehicle can be seen briefly during a key action sequence.

Video ****

The Marvel movies are never short on visual spectacle, which is showcased amazingly on this Blu-ray release from Marvel and Disney. The 3D and 2D presentations are both extremely tremendous in their visual glory. Though the 2D version plays off better when it comes to bright shining imagery and color display, the 3D incarnation does pop off the screen and shows a remarkable depth of field. Whichever version you choose, the result is a a terrifically crisp and vibrant presentation!

Audio ****

This action extravaganza comes loaded with a most fitting DTS 7.1 mix! Everything is in full gear here, sound wise. From the epic scale action scenes to the intense music score by Henry Jackman, this is one piece of lossless audio that gets it absolutely right at every turn. Dialogue delivery is superb too, and balances out tremendously with the other audio proceedings. Top scale HD sound quality of the highest order!

Features ***1/2

Marvel and Disney deliver the goods in what may be their best pack of extras yet for any of their releases. To start with, we get a two-part documentary titled “United We Stand, Divided We Fall: The Making of Captain America: Civil War”, which traces Cap’s progression in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Next up is “Captain America: The Road to Civil War”, which focuses on the character’s transition from proud soldier to that of a conflicted hero. That’s followed by “Iron Man: The Road to Civil War”, which chronicles Tony Stark’s complex relationship with Steve Rogers. There’s also a commentary with directors Anthony and Joe Russo, a Gag Reel, Deleted and Alternate Scenes, as well as an exclusive sneak peek and the newest Marvel release, Doctor Strange (can’t wait for that one!).

Summary:

Captain America: Civil War continues Marvel’s never ending streak of straight up entertaining releases. The universe keeps building and building, and this one leaves its titular character and a most interesting point by the end. The 3D Blu-ray release from Marvel and Disney is unquestionably worth your time!

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