Captain America: Civil War is directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and is the beginning of Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) leads a new team of Avengers on a mission that accidentally results in civilian casualties. This incident along with the Battle of New York, the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the destruction of Sokovia forces the U.N. to step in and issue regulation on the Avengers. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is for keeping the Avengers under watch by the government while Rogers feels that the Avengers can function independently and are still the most qualified people to protect the world despite the damage caused. So the Avengers are divided and things even start to get personal with the reappearance of Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently eight years old with thirteen movies, four TV shows, and five short films under it’s belt. By this point you should already know if it’s your thing or not. I have personally loved a lot of what the MCU has offered in terms of films. Some movies aren’t as good as others and their worst movie, Thor: The Dark World, is above average. That being said, they’ve had many more hard hits than misses and The Avengers was always my favorite of the movies…until now. Without flinching I can safely say that Captain America: Civil War is the BEST film that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has given us. One of the most impressive things about it is that while it’s loosely based on the comic of the same name and features an all-star cast, it is still at it’s core a Captain America story and never forgets it. The whole driving force of this Civil War is based around Steve’s determination to protect his best friend even if it means putting himself outside of the law. You truly admire Cap’s determination to stand by his best friend and his beliefs and Chris Evans absolutely delivers. Another amazing aspect is that the script does such a fantastic job at showing both sides of the dispute, that you will be conflicted on who to root for. This makes the stakes and tension that much higher because neither side is bad or good. When I went into this movie, I was on Team Cap, but while watching it, I understood Tony Stark’s perspective on everything and why he’s on the opposite side of Steve Rogers By the time we got to the film’s climax, I couldn’t find myself picking one side over the other. There is a villain in the movie, but even with him you see a clear motivation that you can understand, even if you disapprove of his actions.
Even though it is mostly a Captain America story, you also get a good amount of development for other characters such as Scarlet Witch, Vision, Sharon Carter, and even newcomers, Black Panther and Spider-Man. Tom Holland plays the latest incarnation of Peter Parker/Spider-Man and he is the single best film version of Spider-Man we have gotten. The way he moves is excellent, we get to know quite a lot about him with the little screen time given, and the way he interacts with the other characters is just how I imagined it would be. However we’ve seen Spider-Man done well in other interpretations, which is why I was more excited to see Black Panther. Chadwick Boseman plays T’Challa/Black Panther and he nails it. We get to know his personality and motivations for his actions. Plus he absolutely rocks that suit. I’m so glad that we got to see him before we see him in his own movie.
The action scenes are once again very well done. Whatever problems I had with the action scenes in Winter Soldier, (the only problem was a few too many quick cuts and close up shots) Civil War fixes. It also delivers what is the single greatest action set piece to any superhero movie to date. It’s fun, it’s creative, it will make you laugh, you feel each of the hits, but most importantly, it has weight to it. If you didn’t care about anything that was going on, that fight scene wouldn’t have meant anything. The final battle at the end is also fantastic. While not as creative or grand as the airport sequence, it is definitely more personal and like I said before, it will really make you question who to root for.
This movie is so good that the only negative I have is a nitpick so small that I’m worried a hand will come out from the screen to slap me in the face for saying it. Regardless, here we go. Whenever there is a scene transition to a new location, the text that would normally tell appear in the lower left/right side telling the audience where we are is placed right in the middle of the screen and takes up the whole frame. This nitpick might also have to do with the fact that I saw the movie in IMAX 3D, but regardless it was something that really bothered me. However I would be an idiot if I said that small detail ruined what I think is a perfect movie. Captain America: Civil War is not only a fantastic movie on it’s own, but it’s an excellent third movie, it does an awesome job at juggling so many things without losing it’s main focus, the action is exciting, the emotion is there, and it also succeeds in being Marvel’s darkest movie yet, while keeping all of the elements that makes these movies fun to begin with. It will stand the test of time as one of the most important films in the genre, right up there with The Dark Knight and Marvel’s The Avengers. Which is kind of ironic since it’s coming off the heals of one of the most (if not the most) embarrassing superhero movies of the genre. You know the one I'm talking about.
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