Political interference in the Avengers’ activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.
Superhero movies are more prevalent these days than ever before. With advances in film technology, it allows filmmakers the opportunity to create effects and worlds that could not have been realistically achieved twenty years ago, even ten years ago and they are more authentic too. While I was never a comic book nerd growing up, I have taken to the slew up superhero movies that have been gracing our screens over the past ten years or so. While I personally didn’t care for “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2,” I did however, thoroughly enjoy the first two “Captain America” and “Thor” films. Maybe it was Tony Stark’s egotistical, self-centered persona that initially turned me off but in the later films, he began to develop more of a genuinely likable personality, with a few moments of narcissistic, self-importance thrown in.
Anthony & Joe Russo, the directors of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” step behind the camera once more to deliver another non-stop, pulse-pounding adventure. The movie picks up a year after the events of “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” with Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) trying to avert a biological outbreak in Lagos, Nigeria. While facing down the responsible villain, Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo), unwilling to be caught or surrender, he tries to commit suicide by setting off a bomb, catching Steve off guard but at the last moment, Wanda is able to contain the explosion, utilizing a hex sphere, and then shoots Brock and the fireball upwards and away from the crowd, inadvertently damaging a nearby building, killing a number of humanitarian workers.
Once back in the U.S. at Avengers’ headquarters, Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) informs them that the United Nations have decided on a new accord, one which would limit their capabilities and would keep a close eye on each and every one of them. With Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) agreeing to this new treaty, feeling responsible for the creation of Ultron and the chaos that ensued, Steve cannot sign it, citing his mistrust of the government and stating that if it weren’t for them, the world would most certainly have perished, many times over.
In Vienna, the United Nations are getting ready to approve the Sokovia Accords, when a bomb is detonated, killing many people in the process. When word is leaked that Steve’s old friend Bucky (Sebastian Stan) is responsible for the attack, the Avengers are immediately split, with Steve claiming that there is more going on than any of them know. When it surfaces that someone is trying to resurrect several Winter Soldiers, created in a Siberian Hydra facility back in the early ’90s, and who are even more destructive than Bucky, Tony doesn’t believe it and the inevitable standoff at Leipzig/Halle Airport transpires. Iron Man against Captain America, Vision against Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye against Black Widow, and everyone else thrown in. When Ant-Man causes a big diversion, allowing Steve and Bucky to escape, the rest of Steve’s team are eventually captured by Thaddeus Ross.
Once Steve and Bucky reach Siberia, they enter the old Hydra facility, where they are both quickly accompanied by an old acquaintance but before they have a chance to comprehend what is going on, they are slowly decimated with haunting news from the past that will change each of their lives forever.
“Captain America: Civil War” is filled with terrific eye candy and genuinely authentic performances but it also adds more superheroes to the mix. We are introduced to Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), whose father, King T’Chaka of Wakanda, was killed in the Vienna explosion, forcing him to don his outfit and chase Bucky down. And, of course, we are acquainted with Peter Parker, or Spider-Man as he is better known, played by a very young Tom Holland. While I enjoyed the movie overall, I did have an issue with the character of Spider-Man. The rest of the Avengers and even Black Panther, are superheroes who, for the most part, are in control of their powers, Spider-Man on the other hand, is only realizing what he is capable of and being thrown into a deadly battle, just felt really out of place. While the conflict between Captain America and Iron Man’s teams is visually exciting and brimming with humor, after a while, it becomes evident that nobody is going to die and it begins to feel like “The Matrix: Revolutions,” where Neo and Agent Smith, who at this point in the movie, are equally just as powerful, continue to beat the crap out of one another but cannot kill each other.
These eccentricities aside, the action is unrelenting and the humor flows fast and furious. Chris Evans embodies Steve Rogers with amazing physical aplomb and his character has evolved from the first movie where he was trying to find his way in the world, to knowing exactly where he needs to be. Robert Downey Jr. is less arrogant and conceited because he is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, literally, after the events of “Age of Ultron” and “The Avengers” and for me, this makes him more likable. He is realizing that with his wealth and fame, he can use it to help better the lives of those who really need it. I so badly wanted this to be another Avengers movie but I guess Marvel is just whetting our appetites for “Avengers: Infinity War – Part I.” 2018 can’t get here fast enough.
In theaters May 6th
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