Captain America: Civil War is the third installment in the Captain America films, being a direct sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it’s also the 13th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s about Cap and Iron Man disagreeing if political intervention should be involved with how the Avengers operate. Civil War is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, with a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. The movie stars; Chris Evans, Robert Downy Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bethany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Frank Grillo, Willian Hurt and Daniel Bruhl. This is how you pit superhero against superhero.
The good; we get not only get a lot of the characters that we already know, but we get introduced to new ones (new ones to the Marvel Cinematic Universe). This is a non-spoiler, cause they’re featured in the trailers, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few months. We get Black Panther and Spider-Man! And we don’t get their origins, cause the writers are smart enough to know that we know who they are. Well, the majority of us know who Spider-Man is, although we don’t get Black Panther’s origin, we get enough to know what he’s capable of and where he comes from. The best part though, is that these characters are brought into the story organically, they’re not shoe-horned in at all, job well done writers.
The action is top notch here. There are a lot of super heroes to service and the Russo brothers do a fabulous job of showcasing everyone’s unique set of powers against another super hero equally showcasing their powers. There’s a sense of logic and physics that go into each punch and or maneuver, it’s not a Dragon Ball Z (stupid fox and the live action version) type of fighting, there’s actual choreography involved.
Perhaps the most best thing about Civil War… is how they pit super hero again super hero. The film builds up to the “showdown” in that it sets up character motivations and circumstances that are logical to have two good guys oppose each other both morally and physically. Zemo (Baron Zemo) is the villain in this movie, and he is certainly worthy of taking on the Avengers. He uses his brains because he’s physically no match for all of them. Zemo is a great villain that properly increases the conflict between Captain America and Iron Man.
Rogers and Stark make up their minds on how they want to proceed (or not proceed) with the political intervention stated in the Accords. They’re the same at the end of the movie as they are at the beginning, our character arc is found in Black Panther, he goes from being a vengeful reluctant ruler to a justice seeking wiser member of the cast. That’s why Rogers and Stark are able to remain unchanged in the course of this film. Above all, they are true to their characters.
One example that comes to mind is Cap’s unwavering devotion to Bucky, he’ll literally risk life and limb to at least try to save his friend. We’ve all seen the scene in the trailer were Chris Evans is holding a helicopter from taking off by his mere biceps, he screams at the pain of performing this physical feat… yet it fits perfectly in to the narrative, as opposed to other super heroes screaming at anguish, just because.
There’s a certain movie that was released earlier this year that completely ignored the important fact that character motivations and set up are important, you can’t just say someone’s name 5 seconds before it becomes important to the story…
The bad; I was only able to view this film three times this weekend.
Overall, this is the showdown between super heroes that we’ve been waiting to see. Go see this in a theatre for the emotional roller coaster, you’ll feel every emotion you’re supposed to, from excitement to seeing new heroes on screen, to anticipation of who will join what side, then you’ll feel fear that one of your heroes may die. But at the same time, you’ll find yourself laughing. Levity is sorely missing from super hero movies.
The most important thing is that Zemo is a worthy villain, he’s calculating and patient, as opposed to an over the top caricature. Bravo to Marvel for taking the chance with a villain that most movie goers won’t know and that uses his smarts to fight the good guys.
One more note, I wanted to point out the flashback sequences and the text locators. The film does a good job of delving into the non-traditional American way of doing films. The locators are large on screen as opposed to something in the lower third of the screen. Then with the flashbacks we get a little bit more as the film progresses, the music and sound design clue us into something sinister that’s taking place, but almost as a horror/psychological thriller rather than just a simple flashback.
Go see this mov