Title: Captain America: Civil War
Director: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Summary: Political interference in the Avengers’ activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man. – via imdb
Last summer the Marvel Cinematic Universe wrapped up its second phase with the fairly well received Ant-Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron not being as welcomed as the previous Avengers movie from 2012. As someone who is very attached to the Captain America films, I was a little worried when I saw that that the first movie of phase three was going to be Captain America: Civil War. I didn’t enjoy the original comic of the same name, and I was wondering how they were going to adapt this storyline to the current Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was fantastic and to see the same creative team returning was enough to put my mind at ease. There was still the question as to whether or not Marvel could make audiences accept the Avengers fighting each other instead of the bad guy.
Captain America: Civil War is another very strong entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe helmed by a creative team that truly understands these characters and this universe.
I attended Salt Lake Comic Con last September where Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, and Anthony Mackie were all guests. They couldn’t say much about the movie since this was eight months before it came out, but one thing Evans did say stuck with me; in Captain America: Civil War no one is totally right. When it comes to versus situations like this, it can be hard to make the audience see both sides of the argument, and usually, one side ends up being cartoonishly evil to make us root for the other side. In this case, however, Captain America: Civil War goes out of its way to make sure that we see Steve Rogers / Captain America’s (Chris Evans) side but also see Tony Stark / Iron Man’s (Robert Downey Jr.) side as well. In a movie titled ‘Captain America,to be’ you would think we would be rooting for the title character, but the movie is so well written that you can’t say one is entirely right or wrong.
This comes from directors Anthony and Joe Russo along with writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely understanding these characters better than anyone else at Marvel right now. There was a lot of backlash against the way Avengers: Age of Ultron treated Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), not all of it justified, but in Captain America: Civil War she feels like the partner in crime we saw her be in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. They take characters like Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), the Vision (Paul Bettany), Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp), Bucky Barnes/ The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) and others and make them three-dimensional human beings we can relate to. Newcomers T’Challa / Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Peter Parker / Spider-Man (Tom Holland) are introduced in ways that make sense for the story. The script builds each set piece as a reaction to the actions of the characters. The movie is about consequences for all involved.
This is not to say that the movie is perfect because there is no such thing as a perfect movie. The Russo’s seem to rely a bit too much on the ‘shaky cam’ aesthetic that can get a little irritating. The villain Zemo (Daniel Brühl) is probably the weakest link in the entire movie. To get into why his character and plan don’t work would be spoiling but, in the end, he wasn’t really needed. The conflicts of interest that lead to the Civil War have been under the surface since the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Steve Rogers and Tony Stark would have clashed with or without Zemo’s involvement. There were moments when the movie felt like it was pulling away from Captain America as a character in his own film, the ending even more so, but those moments are few and far between.
Captain America: Civil War is a movie I could probably write an essay thousands of words long about how much I enjoyed it. It’s well paced; the characters look fantastic in their costumes and feel like real people; this has the best Spider-Man we’ve had on screen; Black Panther is going to light the world on fire, and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) steals every scene he’s in. If you’re a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this is a great start to the phase three movies. If you’ve never been interested in Marvel movies before I still feel like you could enjoy this one as well, but you might need to do a little Googling to understand exactly what’s going on and why people like me are getting emotional about Bucky Barnes.