Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War finds Steve Rogers leading the newly-formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity, but after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team.
Never have I seen such a complex, thoughtful, jaw-dropping, and personal superhero movie like this one since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, which was released eight years ago. Captain America: Civil War is why the Russo brothers are so good at what they do. If you enjoyed all the great non-cartoonish violence in Captain America: The Winter Solider, then get ready for a movie with just the same tone, but even darker and more breathtaking action sequences than before. The stunts and fight sequences in this movie are some of the best ever put to film, especially for such an expensive blockbuster. The 17-minute airport battle is not the only one to be impressed by, as there are some other incredible fights and chases between heroes that also blew my mind. The Russos are able to keep this film a Captain America movie rather than an Avengers one, so don’t expect as much of every Avenger, but each hero gets at least a few moments to show off their powers. The performances here do not disappoint. Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. have great chemistry and tension between their characters. You are always conflicted with who you should be siding with, and constantly switch sides between the two. You really get to see Iron Man’s dark side in this film, as well as the border of Cap’s resilience.
While many of the returning Marvel cast members (Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, and many more) still give it their best and their characters do not lose their interest and taste, the real scene stealers within the massive ensemble cast are Chadwick Boseman and Tom Holland. Boseman portrays Prince T’Challa of Wakanda, who is delivered with such interest, complexity, and heart within his human character. But whenever he puts on his bulletproof vibranium suit and calls himself Black Panther, he becomes one of Marvel’s most badass superheroes yet. Black Panther felt so motivated, unstoppable, and driven to join Stark’s team and go to great measures to do his nation and the world justice. Holland brings a fresh new take on your friendly neighborhood web-slinger. This time around, Spider-Man is in his teen years but actually looks like it as well, and whenever he is in battle, he becomes the most awesome, wise-cracking, and well-written Spidey yet. His dialogue fit excellently for his role, and for his amount of screen-time, he entertained me like no other character in the film. And just so you know, there is a lot more Spidey in this movie than it seems. Both of these characters were introduced so well into the Marvel universe that they just be the finest and freshest superhero additions to this vast cinematic universe by far.
The terrific action, directing, and performances aren’t all that make up this excellent comic book flick. If you are tired of these films thanks to Batman v Superman and don’t want to see another movie about superheroes clashing against each other, then let me tell you that this film is much different and miles better than DC’s recent attempt to set up their formerly existent future universe. The conflict here is set up so much better, and the fighting between superheroes is never forced, as the Civil War is set up so gradually that you never know exactly how the fighting should start and who you should root for. You are always so pulled into the movie, and will appreciate it as a Cap movie, an Avengers movie, and the introduction to a new wave of Marvel movies. Although I won’t spoil the ending or anything about this film at all, the movie’s setup at the end is a lot more ambiguous and not as forced as how Age of Ultron last year was trying to set this movie up. The ending does nothing more but get you excited for all of MCU’s Phase Three and no specific film. You usually can predict what will happen in the next movie, but not here. The gags that stick with you that are always featured in Marvel’s movies really hit well, and this movie made me laugh a great amount of times. The amount of screen time for each hero may not always be balanced for some, but remember that this is a Captain America movie within its core. Also, if you think the trailers give you all the movie’s action and surprises away, then you are completely wrong. Unlike Batman v Superman (which gave away 95% of the movie with just its trailers), the trailers and clips really only give you about 1% of this film. And even so, you always think the movie will play out one way, but it ultimately turns out to be something completely different than its marketing. This movie also surprisingly nailed its villain, Helmut Zemo (played by Daniel Bruhl), who is very secondary but still has a good motive and is not too over-the-top like you think he would be. I like how we will not be getting any more great big Marvel movies to look forward to, but instead are excited the most for stand-alone films like Black Panther and Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Captain America: Civil War is the Empire Strikes Back of Marvel movies. It will not only appeal to die-hard Marvel fans, but to all filmgoers who see this film. The action is terrific, the directing is phenomenal, the performances are outstanding (especially the sensational additions of Black Panther and Spider-Man), and a remarkable story and screenplay. Civil War is the reason the Russo brothers should forever be working in the A-list level of Hollywood, and why we should look forward to the rest of the Marvel universe.