Every time a new superhero movie comes out, fans are faced with familiar dilemma: to spend the extra $3 and see the movie in 3D or to go in regular old 2D instead. Captain America: Civil War is only the latest movie to confront audiences with this question. So, let's answer it once and for all: should you see Captain America: Civil War in 3D, or is it just a waste of money? The answer, as always, is never simple. But, with a little information, you should at least be able to make an informed decision on whether or not you want to see Chris Evans' Captain America in 3-D or not.
The first question you always want the answer to before you decide to spend the money on a 3D movie ticket is: was the movie shot in 3D? Often, that's not the case, as it's cheaper to just convert films to 3D in post-production, which is what Marvel Studios has done for all its superhero movies. The only major con to a post-production conversion is that it tends to darken the image of the film. If a movie already has a dark color palette, like Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, then the conversion can have a negative effect on the image.
Marvel movies, specifically Captain America movies, tend to be bright and colorful, so the 3-D conversion doesn't really impact the image all that much. CinemaBlend reviewed Civil War's 3D effects saying, "Disney/Marvel has figured out how to 'light' live-action for 3-D," which is about as close to a ringing endorsement you're going to get.
A good 3D conversion isn't enough to make 3D worth it, however. Another major factor is whether or not the movie is made for 3D, with shots staged to make certain objects pop, like Cap's shield or The Falcon's wings. Marvel movies, as a whole, have been pretty good at making movies with made-for-3D images. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was no exception, so it's reasonable to assume that Civil War can't be too far off the 3D mark. Bottom line: if you like 3D movies and you want to see Civil War in 3D, you probably won't regret it.
It's worth noting that fans might want to splurge on seeing Civil War in IMAX instead of 3D (or, if you're feeling dangerous, splurge for both). Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo insisted on using new IMAX 2D cameras for a 15-minute sequence in the film. In other words, there is a long scene that was done specifically with IMAX in mind. Or, as Joe Russo put it to Variety, "When you're working on a Marvel film, there's a sense of showmanship that goes along with the movies, and no exhibitor exploits that better than IMAX."
In a separate interview, Marvel Studio's Kevin Feige implied that, while 3D is fun, it's not crucial to the film-going experience of Captain America: Civil War. Feige was speaking about Marvel's upcoming Doctor Strange, which sees 3D as somewhat crucial to the story. In Civil War, Feige told Collider, 3D is just "another toy in the sandbox of how the Russos can present this movie." In contrast, he added, 3D "serves the storytelling" of Doctor Strange.
Of course, all of this means nothing if you're just a fan who wants to see Chris Evans' bulging biceps in 3D. In that case, forget everything and just do it. What's the harm?
Images: Walt Disney Studios; Giphy (3)