Captain America 3: Civil War was not a Captain America standalone movie. In fact, while the opening scenes depict the American Flag toting hero and his allies running down an old enemy from Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier (Brock Rumlow, Crossbones), the film quickly flourishes into a full-fledged Avenger’s movie featuring nearly all previously introduced heroes with new major additions! The critical difference here is that instead of a definitive antagonist such as the father scorned, trickster god Loki, or the technologically omnipresent, ever-evolving Ultron, the heroes find themselves at odds with one another.
The battle is a metaphor for a struggle between the statute of traditional integrity and honor against the apparent need for institutionalized supervision by governmental entities. We quickly find that in their past clashes with super powered villains, the Avengers have either directly, or indirectly been blamed for the deaths of countless innocent bystanders, and as a result have been issued the order to sign a form of United Nation control in the form of the “Sovokia Accords”.
This is of course, relates to the 2005 comics event document known as the “Super Human Registration” act that was incited after the New Warriors allowed the human bomb, super villain, Nitro to explode and kill some of the team members along with hundreds of civilians, including several dozen children. The Accords would effectively turn the Avengers into a task force controlled fully by the UN. It’s easily apparent that not everyone on the team would agree with such a proposal.
With so many characters involved, movies this big can easily fall victim to choppy, unbalanced pacing, but somehow, each character’s screen time managed to achieve an equilibrium without taking away from the story or anyone’s particularly favorite heroes, while introducing two big Marvel names, and focusing just enough on them to leave you wanting for more in their coming feature films. The motivation for conflict was sound and sensible while the action scenes were high speed, titanic clashes that left you wondering which “side” really wins at the end. Moreover the dialogue, quips and interaction between characters contains so much gravity and lightheartedness at the same time. These are the things that make us love these characters and love these movies, and after nearly a dozen films we are only going to love them even more!
Without giving away the meat of the movie with an influx of heavy spoilers this creates a divide between the Avengers with Baron Zemo (or in the cinematic universe just simply, Zemo), effectively framing the already wanted Bucky Barnes, also known as the Soviet Super Assassin, The Winter Soldier. T’Challa, quickly granted the title of King of Wakanda in the course of explosive happenings, is driven to avenge the death of his father at any cost as the Black Panther. And the Black Panther is depicted EXCELLENTLY, stealing every scene he’s in, easily living up to the honor of his title and impeccably showing superior hand to hand combat tactics against every opponent he faces throughout the course of the movie.
Sony, having come an agreement with Marvel Studios, has finally allowed for Spider-Man to take his place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as his high school student Peter Parker. In a delightful scene between him and Stark, he is recruited to fight alongside Iron Man against Captain America, and fully lives up to Spider-Man’s name with deft agile maneuvers, disturbing feats of super strength, and the adorably annoying tendency to talk entirely too much during the battle. His teenage awe is charming as all hell, and he easily captures best who Parker is during that time in his life.
While attempting to keep spoilers light, other notable bits of awesomeness include Redwing, Falcon’s drone (an actualy Falcon in the comics), giving him an extra set of eyes, Scarlet Witch slowly progressing into her near infinite form of power, Ant-Man using his Pym Particles the OTHER Way, and The Raft, Supervillain prison, taking the place of Prison 42 from the comics (a Negative Zone brig). The references are simply awesome, and I’d like to think I caught most of them, from the name of the doctor who implemented the Winter Soldier program (Vasily Karpov), to Captain America’s speech, given instead by King T’Chaka, and he Ant-Man on an arrow scene that I absolutely fan-girled over during the fight between the opposing sides of the Avengers.
Overall this Cap (Avengers) film gets a 10 out of 10 from me. I can’t say there is much I can complain about. With action, accurate references, nuanced character interactions and a parallel to the comic original event of Civil War, sans it’s arguable travesties, Captain America 3: Civil War, alongside its fellow MCU films, has successfully become another classic in the already incredible Marvel Studios movie line up.