The Film (4/5)
Marvel Studios keeps one-upping themselves. Every few films that come out from the superhero powerhouse I am tempted to say is the "most original" (Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man) or the best (Avengers, Iron Man 3, Captain America: Winter Soldier). This is a studio that is refusing to let it's formula go stale, digging far into its over half century comic library for inspiration and characters and finding ways to keep audiences coming back for more.
Captain America: Civil War on a base level adapts the now decade old Civil War storyline. The story in the comic saw the government wanting masked heroes to unmask themselves and register by name with the government so they can have their actions monitored at all times. Being that many of the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are known by name and alias that doesn't exactly work here. In lieu of that what we have here is a series of world governments tired of the destruction rendered in the places where Avengers battles take place (oddly no one seems to point out that these battles are usually in defense of some GREATER and STRONGER alien or other natural attack, but I digress). They point out the friendly fire death tolls that occur due to the Avengers existing, and as such want the group to register as an arm of the U.N.
This causes a split between the existing Avengers with a group of them behind Captain America opting to not sign on, believing that heroes should be able to go where help is needed, and not be restricted by government, and those behind Iron Man believing that their needs to be accountability behind their actions. Meanwhile into this we have The Winter Soldier reemerging seemingly committing a new terrorist act. This brings out the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and the Iron Man led Avengers in trying to stop Bucky Barnes, while Captain America on the other side of the conflict again is trying to prove his friends innocence.
If you think that paragraph detailed a lot going on that just about scratches the surface of Captain America: Civil War which has about enough narrative going on for 2 films. That being said the film has multiple narrative threads, but they are handled insanely well. We also have the addition of new heroes Black Panther, and now Spider-Man into the MCU. Black Panther has some of the finest emotional beats in the film, and also great action moments. Spider-Man though he was in the original Civil War storyline feels a touch out of place here, that being said I couldn't help but be excited every moment he was on screen, so I honestly feel conflicted. The performance from Tom Holland both as Parker and Spider-Man is an absolutely spot on early teenage portrayal of the character. I also have to admit amusement at the fact that they wouldn't let him get his origin story out.
At just under 2 and a half hours Captain America: Civil War does feel a bit overlong. The action sequences which are handled wonderfully for the most part, do begin to lose some of their edge after so many of them. With that being said the film does end in such a way that I am still interested to see where Marvel takes this cinematic universe into the future, and am definitely looking forward to Infinity War, Dr. Strange and BEYOND.
Captain America: Civil War is presented in a splendid 2:39:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer that looks fantastic. Detail is excellent throughout the films running time, as is color reproduction, and black levels are inky and deep. The audio is presented with a DTS-HD MA 7.1 track in English that is simply excellent, dialogue comes through loud and clear, as does score, and there is excellent sound separation overall.
We get 2 road to Civil War featurettes one from each perspective (Iron Man and Captain America), a making of documentary in 2 parts called United We Stand, Divided We Fall. There is a commentary track by Anthony and Joe Russo. The disc is rounded off by a gag reel, deleted scenes, and extended look at Doctor Strange.
I feel like I'm beginning to repeat myself, when I say that such and such film is Marvel's best film yet, but Captain America: Civil War for the time being definitely can lay claim to that title. The Blu-ray, of course, looks and sounds amazing and has a decent slate of extras HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.