Terrifically entertaining and visually spectacular, Captain America: Civil War is a great follow-up in the MCU saga on the repercussions and aftermath of heroism. War breaks out on Ultra HD Blu-ray with a satisfying 4K presentation and a superior Dolby Atmos soundtrack, but the same bonus features. Overall, this UHD edition is nonetheless Recommended.
Captain America: Civil War takes place in the aftermath of The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron, requiring audiences to be familiar with the events of those two films and their impact on the lives of our superheroes. Loosely-based on Marvel's limited comic book series, this Russo Brothers production forces the Avengers to confront the repercussions of their heroic actions in those sequels, especially after another battle in Africa resulted in several fatalities. It would appear heroism comes at a very high price, compelling the United Nations to step in with oversight legislation called the Sokovia Accords, which divides the team into two philosophical camps. Iron Man's utilitarian approach of intervening in the affairs of sovereign countries is counter to Captain America's sense of duty and obligation to the world, not governments or in service of political agendas. Essentially, the plot is an allegory to current world affairs and the complicated ethics behind government interference. At the same time, the thirteenth entry to the MCU is terrifically entertaining and visually spectacular.
For a more in-depth take on the film, check out Aaron Peck's Blu-ray review HERE.
Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment brings Captain America: Civil War to Ultra HD Blu-ray as a two-disc combo pack with a flyer for a Disney Digital Copy. When redeeming said code via RedeemDigitalMovie.com or MoviesAnywhere, users have access to the 4K digital version in Dolby Vision HDR with Dolby Atmos. The dual-layered UHD66 disc sits comfortably opposite a Region Free, BD50 disc, which is identical to the 2016 Blu-ray. Both are housed inside a black, eco-vortex case with a glossy slipcover. At startup, viewers are taken to a static screen where owners can choose between the start of the movie or look through the menu.
War breaks out on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a strong HEVC H.265 encode, coming from a 2K digital intermediate.
Admittedly, the upscaled transfer is comparable to its Blu-ray brethren, but the overall picture quality is nonetheless satisfying, enjoying a welcomed if also a small uptick in definition and clarity. The coarse threading in some of the costumes are a tad sharper, the wear and tear in the iron suits are slightly more detailed, and facial complexions appear natural and revealing. Sadly, there are also several instances of noticeable aliasing along the sharpest edges and some of the CG action is on the softer side of things.
Likewise, contrast falls on the low end of the grayscale due to the stylized photography, but the 4K video is still marginally brighter, supplying the action with cleaner, crisper whites. On the other hand, specular highlights show slightly better improvement, giving the edge of clouds a tight, sparkling glow, metallic surfaces glistening realism and the action a nice splendor. The more noteworthy upgrade is the enhanced brightness levels, delivering richer, inkier blacks in the outfits and observable gradational differences in the various shades. The 2.39:1 image also shows inky shadows and moderately better detailing in the darkest corners, providing the action with welcomed dimensionality and an appreciable cinematic appeal.
Arguably, the win in this HDR10 presentation is the wider color gamut, displaying a fuller and noticeably deeper array of primaries throughout. Captain America's outfit is a richer indigo blue while Spidey's onesie is a more navy tint, and the same goes for the reds in their costumes, along with the different shades in Ant-Man's and Scarlet Witch's clothing. However, Trent Opaloch's creative cinematography doesn't really show much variation in the secondary hues with the colors in Iron Man and Vision looking pretty much the same as its HD SDR counterpart. Nevertheless, there is a noteworthy improvement in facial complexions, appearing more natural and rosier than before, and the overall quality of this UHD offers enough of an upgrade to satisfy fans. (4K HDR10 Video Rating: 78/100)
Civil War comes armed with an outstanding and occasionally thunderous Dolby Atmos soundtrack, giving fans a significantly better and more solid audio presentation than its DTS-HD MA counterpart.
Admittedly, this object-based version mostly reserves the ceiling channels for specific but still very subtle moments instead of generating a convincing hemispheric soundfield. The various sound effects pan flawlessly in the surrounds with appreciable discreteness and directionality, most notably the all-out brawl at the Leipzig/Halle Airport. Iron Man, War Machine, helicopters, and Falcon's drones fly overhead either towards the screen or away from it, debris rains down from above, and Spidey is heard swinging through the air. The music and song selections also join the fun by lightly bleeding into the top heights.
At the same time, the many dialogue-driven moments take priority even during the loudest, bombastic action sequences with clean, distinct intonation in every emotional word. In truth, similar to its lossless brethren, much of the action occupies the fronts, such as the hustle and bustle of the street market or Bucky's capture in Budapest, delivering a broad and spacious soundstage with substantial warmth and fidelity. An extensive and excellently detailed mid-range exhibits exceptional separation with convincing off-screen effects, which is arguably the most appreciated upgrade since the DTS-HD version largely flat in this area. A low-end delivers a palpable and authoritative punch to every explosion and gunshot, providing this object-based edition with a better sense of presence. (Dolby Atmos Audio Rating: 84/100)
The Ultra HD combo pack arrives with the same collection of bonus materials, but they are only available on the accompanying Blu-ray disc.
As the thirteenth entry in the MCU, Captain America: Civil War comes out the gate with a bang. Terrifically entertaining and visually spectacular, the sequel is a thought-provoking journey on the repercussions and aftermath of heroism.
War breaks out on Ultra HD Blu-ray with a strong and largely satisfying 4K HDR10 presentation armed with a superior Dolby Atmos soundtrack, giving fans a noteworthy improvement over its Blu-ray counterpart. Although the same set of supplements are ported over, this UHD edition is nonetheless Recommended.