I went to see Captain America: Civil War yesterday at the IMAX theater in 3-D, in which Marvel continues to show that super hero movies can tell stories of personal and political substance.
While I have enjoyed most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, I think the two most recent Captain America movies — Civil War and Winter Soldier — are both excellent character studies and meditations on values. Both deal with the importance of personal loyalty, your moral code, and a willingness to sacrifice yourself for something bigger. They also look at the complex issue of a World War II era soldier/super hero having to come to terms with a post-9/11 world. I mean, we don’t really expect summer pop corn movies to give a deep examination on the nature of contemporary fascism. And yet, as Ta-Nehisi Coates says about his Black Panther comic series, along with dealing with heavy contemporary issues, you also need to have “supervillians with cool powers.” (BTW, Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther (king and super hero) is one of the best things about Civil War. He brings a gravity an depth to the film as both a protector and ruler of a peaceful country that has just suffered a devastating loss. Name sound familiar? Baseman is the great classically trained actor who played Jackie Robinson in the biopic 42. As a second not, I’ve had no interest in Spider Man for years. The version of the web slinger in Civil War is a great interpretation!)
As a side note, I would say that the IMAX production values of the movie were excellent, especially the extended battle scene shot in native IMAX format.
The 3-D? Not so much. The film seemed to be primarily shot with 2-D composition that did not make the 3-D interesting or useful. Lots and lots of quick cuts which moved the action along but don’t work well in 3-D. Three-D movies don’t have to be shot in 3-D to be effective, but they most definitely need to be composed for 3-D.
The Tron reboot, Prometheus, and Gravity all made fantastic use of 3-D. In all of those, the 3-D was used to place you in the scene rather than to show off action.
Regular readers here know I’m a fan of seeing movies in the best theater possible, and the cost of an IMAX ticket is well worth the money for Civil War.