Captain America: Civil War Review
By Koushik Paul (Edited by Kevin Keeling)
Part of me was scared when they announced Captain America: Civil War. I was afraid that it would simply be a Captain America movie with a standard villain and the title tacked on simply to add to the hype. But, I’m glad to say that this film is anything but. Rather, the movie is very much about two contrasting ideologies as they clash and break the shatter Avengers in two.
On the first side is Captain America (Chris Evans), along with Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), and others fighting for their belief that no government body, even the UN, should control the actions of the Avengers. The opposing side, led by Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), we have Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Vision (Paul Bethany), and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), who contest that the growing number of extremely powered individuals should be held accountable and their activities regulated.
The movie is made by the same team behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo are at the top of their game here, and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have crafted a masterpiece in writing, adapting a legendary comic storyline, juggling so many different characters, introducing both Black Panther and Spider-Man (Tom Holland), ending all the threads that began in Captain America: The First Avenger, and maintaining the intimate central conflict between two friends. It is truly amazing that the team was able to do all that in this film, on top of creating brilliant fight scenes with incredible choreography and cinematography.
The two leads, Iron Man and Cap are given enough story to show their motivations, the basis of their ideologies, and their reasons for choosing their sides. The issue results from the Sokovia Accords, the MCU’s alternative to the Hero Registration Act from the comics. We see the pain that Tony Stark has to live with, knowing that the destruction caused in Avengers: Age of Ultron is put on him. Steve Rogers has to deal with the fact that he served SHIELD for years and never even recognized that Hydra was still alive and growing within it. We also get to see the reasoning behind all the other heroes in selecting the sides they do. Some characters are given more time than others, but they are all arguably given the same amount of care.
The moments everyone will talk about will be the scene-stealing Spider-Man and the airport fight sequence. Tom Holland is a stark difference to the previous incarnations, most notably his age which lends well to his inexperience dealing with the other heroes. He has incredible chemistry with the other actors and his fight sequences are peppered with the signature quips we have come to expect from the web-slinger. Spider-Man here can be seen taking the spotlight from the other new hero, Black Panther. I feel that both were given sufficient attention, but that audiences will left wanting more.
The big airport fight sequence is hands-down the best in the MCU. Every hero gets their moment, and the audience is treated to exchanges between so many characters. So much fan service is distilled in this single, enormous fight sequence, and so much care is taken to honor these beloved characters.
The shortcomings of the film are few and far in between, but the most notable is the main villain, whose plan relies on a quite a few conveniences. The movie does feel rushed at times, and despite this being Cap’s movie, he doesn’t get as much focus the other two installments. But, these failings are offset by everything else this film gets right.
Overall, this is my favorite Marvel film, as it is definitely the MOST ENTERTAINING movie Marvel has made. So many scenes put a giant grin on my face and kept me wanting more.