Captain America: Civil War has evolved the superhero movie genre. There’s really no other way to describe the onslaught of comic book goodness and engaging storytelling that occurred during this wonderful theater experience.
Directors Joe and Anthony Russo were given a lot to work with and they made it all fit, very comfortably into this lexicon that we affectionately call the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is first and foremost a Captain America movie, which is the film’s biggest accomplishment, even with everything else that occurred.
Cap is the heart and soul of the Avengers and once again, Chris Evans exudes Steve Rogers’ civic virtuosity to a degree that he appears to have leaped out of the hallowed printed pages created by the likes of Lee, Kirby, Brubaker, Simon, Englehart and others.
Captain America will always do the right thing. However in Civil War, the right answer, whatever that maybe, is deeply entrenched in shades of gray via the Sokovia Accords. Leave it to a piece of legislation to stir up conflict, even with Earth’s mightiest heroes.
The Sokovia Accords draws its inspiration from the Superhuman Registration Act in the comics. The title given in the film was very fitting as its namesake is meant to serve as a reminder that what occurred in Sokovia during Age of Ultron was the tipping point where humanity draws the line. Captain America and Iron Man start off on opposing sides of the accords.
As the film progresses, Cap’s agenda transitions from fighting the good fight to a personal journey to save Bucky/Winter Soldier who was framed in the conflict. Who can argue with a guy for wanting to save his best friend? That’s where the personal stakes begin and just go deeper and deeper to the point where it appears you can’t dig anymore. Then Tony Stark discovers that Winter Soldier killed his parents…and Cap knew about it.
Tony Stark’s angst and rage towards Bucky for killing his mother, but not for killing his father, revealed how strained his relationship had become with Howard Stark and how much he treasured Maria Stark. People always tend to take a position in one form or another with various political issues but how the hell does the viewer take a side when one friend wants to kill the other and is completely justified for his grief?
The introduction of Black Panther couldn’t have been done any better. Chadwick Boseman is one of the most dynamic and talented actors in the game today. He looked like he belonged while bringing something new to the fold as his presence is a game changer. His first appearance in the costume occurred during a amazing roof top scene involving Winter Soldier which was done in a manner where you expected one thing and something complete different, and very welcomed, occurred.
Spider-Man……holy shit! Spider-Man is here at last and Tom Holland’s high-school-aged portrayal of the web slinger reminded me of why I fell in love with this character. His presence in the film is more pronounced than imagined, and trust me, you will not be disappointed with the length of his role, which is book ended by both a tremendous entrance and exit. Especially where Peter Parker meets Tony Stark for the first time and he notices Stark’s attraction to Peter’s unusually hot aunt” played by Marissa Tomei.
Scarlett Witch was the perfect accidental catalyst as she is just learning this whole superhero thing while trying to find her place in the world. Elizabeth Olsen makes the audience feel for her character whenever she appears on screen because there is something about the soul of Wanda Maximoff that is a little broken. Marvel is receiving criticism, once again, for their one note villains in reference to Daniel Brühl as Zemo.
If this was any other Marvel film, there would be no argument for Zemo’s stifled presence. He was a plot device more than anything, which worked here because the story wasn’t about stopping the evil mad man but the philosophical differences between the Avengers.
Brühl did a serviceable job but there was nothing that stood out about his performance because the script gave him nothing to sink his teeth into. Honestly, there was no reason to call him Zemo. Only die-hard fans would know the importance of Baron Zemo and the on screen version had absolutely nothing in common the source material.
The battle at the airport between Team Cap and Team Iron Man is greatest action sequence in any superhero movie, and maybe of all-time.
Real stakes, remarkable fight choreography, great cinematography and perfectly placed humor encapsulated this moment to produce something that comic books fans have dream of seeing their entire lives. Ant-Man turning into Giant Man, Tony Stark’s hilarious reaction and Spider-Man’s Empire Strikes Back suggestion produces a ridiculous amount of laughs.
The Avengers are now fractured.
Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Ant-Man, and Captain America are on the run. Winter Soldier is on ice for the time being and War Machine is all but paralyzed. Black Widow is in limbo, Hulk and Thor are M.I.A. Black Panther is ruling his kingdom while Spider-Man, well, he has homework to do.
That leaves Iron Man and Vision all alone, which means Earth is more vulnerable than ever before.
We know they’ll get back together to fight Thanos or whatever baddie Marvel conjures up. Still, seeing how they’ll get over their differences and reunite, especially in the case of Steve Rogers and Tony Stark is the journey we’ll not only pay to see but will set the tone for the MCU going forward.