Action Adventure

'Captain America: Civil War' Blu-ray Review: In the battle between Team Cap and Team Iron Man, comic book fans are the clear winners

September 13, 2016Ben MK

Set in the aftermath of the collateral damage caused in The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War finds the earthbound heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe split into two opposing factions. In one corner, we have Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), backed by Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Vision (Paul Bettany). And in the other corner, we have Team Cap, made up of Captain America (Chris Evans), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).

Notably absent are Mark Ruffalo's Hulk and Chris Hemsworth's Thor. However, in their place, The Winter Soldier directors Anthony and Joe Russo introduce two new heroes: Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), who makes his MCU debut ahead of his own standalone film, and everybody's favorite web-slinger, Spider-Man (Tom Holland), appearing for the first time outside of a Sony-produced Spider-Man movie. Alongside Rudd's Ant-Man, the two help keep Civil War feeling fresh. After all, even the Earth's Mightiest Heroes aren't immune from superhero fatigue.

Thankfully, Civil War doesn't collapse under its own weight, which is doubly impressive considering the amount of narrative ground the film has to cover. Not only do writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely do a bang-up job of handling the motivations and machinations behind Captain America and Iron Man's falling out, they also deal with the Winter Soldier's transition from antagonist to protagonist, and expand on both his and Iron Man's backstories in the process, while simultaneously setting up Black Panther and Spider-Man for their future movies.

Otherwise, Captain America: Civil War contains all of the hallmarks that audiences have come to expect from each new Marvel Studios production, which is to say that, despite its serious themes, the film manages to work in a good deal of humor, a Stan Lee cameo, and even a third-act revelation that arrives just in time to take the predictable superhero movie ending and throw it right out the window. Most importantly, however, Civil War feels like a legitimate turning point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And with "Civil War II" having hit comic shops this past summer, one can only hope that we eventually get to see the sequel played out on the big screen as well.

Captain America: Civil War makes an indelible impression on Blu-ray, with a jaw-dropping technical presentation that leaves nothing to be desired. Picture quality is crystal-clear and razor-sharp, color saturation is top-notch, and contrast is excellent, resulting in a flawless image, from the intricately detailed threading of Spider-Man's webbing, to the gold and red tones of Iron Man's armor, to the textural details of Black Panther's skin-tight, bulletproof suit. Likewise, the film's DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 sound mix delivers the usual assortment of gunfire, explosions and body blows. But where it really shines is in the movie's climactic battle sequence, which features wall-to-wall sonic activity, from Falcon's flight thrusters, to War Machine's missile launchers, to Hawkeye's explosive arrowheads.

Disney has made Captain America: Civil War available as both a single-disc Blu-ray release and a two-disc 3D Blu-ray combo pack, both of which include the following Blu-ray extras:

  • United We Stand, Divided We Fall - The Making of Captain America: Civil War (45:43) - A two-part making-of documentary that delves into adapting the "Civil War" comics storyline for the big screen, the chemistry between Downey Jr. and Evans, the Russos' directing style, the fight choreography, the characters and what they bring to the movie, the climactic battle, and the film's third-act revelation.
  • Captain America: The Road to Civil War (4:11) - A look at Steve Rogers' journey through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, from Captain America: The First Avenger to Captain America: Civil War.
  • Iron Man: The Road to Civil War (4:27) - A look at Tony Stark's journey through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, from Iron Man to Captain America: Civil War.
  • Open Your Mind: Marvel's Doctor Strange - Exclusive Sneak Peek (4:02) - A look at the upcoming Doctor Strange movie, from its characters and the cast, to the story and the filming locales.
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes (7:52) - Four scenes ("Extended Peggy's Funeral," "Zemo Meets Doctor Broussard," "You are Not Used to the Truth" and "Gotta Get Me One of Those").
  • Gag Reel (2:53) - Flubs and silliness from the set.
  • Audio Commentary - Directors Anthony and Joe Russo and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely talk about the origins of the film, its various plot threads, and how it builds on previous Marvel films, as well as the stunt work, the visual effects, the cinematography, the character arcs, the tone of the movie, and more.

Captain America: Civil War is available from Walt Disney Home Entertainment as of September 13th, 2016. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles. The total runtime is 2 Hrs. 27 Mins.

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on May 3rd, 2016.

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