…And just like that Phase 3 is off and running. The Civil War comic storyline is perhaps one of the biggest most popular storylines in comic book history. It creates a seismic shift in the Marvel Comics Universe creating this overarching story through different heroes singular books while simultaneously coming together in a 7 part “Civil War” limited run. The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s adaptation of this story line is far different as many of the character that play significant roles in the comics aren’t available to our lord and savior Kevin Feige at the time.
In the wake of the less than favorable fan reactions of Age of Ultron this film was dubbed “Avengers 2.5”. The director’s from the previous Captain America, Joe & Anthony Russo return to continue Cap’s story with exponentially more moving pieces than the former. The ensemble cast at the time was large enough to question whether or not this many characters on screen would be convoluted. The Russo’s are able to juggle each character effortlessly as each character in their own right has their own agendas and motivations.
“Our Very Strength Incites Challenge. Challenge Incites Conflict. And Conflict Breeds Catastrophe.”
Each Avengers level movie (and this most definitely is an Avengers level movie) seems to add two new heroes to the mix. This time it’s the third, yes third Spider-Man portrayed on screen. This Spidey is different. Sony and Marvel sharing Spider-Man is not only a win for the respective studios – it’s a win for the fans. Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is the closely related version to the comics we’ve ever seen, more so than his predecessors. Holland is quirky, sarcastic, naïve, and entertaining as the web head. The second newcomer is T’Challa aka the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), leader of Wakanda after his father is killed. Boseman is stoic and calculating, he acts on emotion like other heroes and isn’t as reserved in telling others how it is. He shows vulnerability for a second but then brings it back to a certain calmness that is necessary when leading.
Even though this film is stuffed with characters and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) it is very much a Captain America (Chris Evans) film. The adapted story from the comics fits in with what the overarching story is as a whole. Though not nearly as close to the grand scale of the comics version, the adaptation feels authentic and organic to the growth of the MCU. The Avengers must be broken up in order to succeed – Steve and Tony just don’t realize how much they truly need each other. The script itself is strong highlighting both sides motivation’s while showing that each point of view could be the right one and the wrong one. Steve makes compelling arguments, Tony makes compelling arguments too until it becomes personal. Steve is the rightful leader of the Avengers, it’s clear as day as Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) joins his side to fight against his best friend Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson).
The pacing of this film is excellent – amidst all the action and character development the film is able to breathe throughout. The action sequences are stellar especially at the airport and the final battle. The choreography is some of the best we’ve seen in a comic book movie. Each character gets his or her time to shine at the airport highlighting their fighting abilities. Even though the two sides are fighting with each other – friend against friend, there’s no real hatred toward one another, unless its Tony & Cap. The humor is still there and used as a tool to lighten up the tone a bit during those moments.
“Vengeance has consumed you. It’s consuming them. I’m done letting it consume me.”
Civil War is serious when it needs to be – the Russo brothers find that balance perfectly between the humor and the serious. The Avengers haven’t once been all warm and cozy toward one another, the seeds of this “Civil War” have been planted since the first Avengers film. Seeing it all play out this way couldn’t have been framed any better. The cinematography is beautiful the way it captures certain emotions at the perfect time.
Civil War is just another example of the Marvel formula firing on all cylinders. Every little detail is planned out flawlessly with no apparent effort. While the competition (DC Comics) has struggled launching its extended universe. None of this works without someone like Kevin Feige overseeing the entire process. The only misstep this film has the villain, Helmut Zemo (Daniel Bruhl). His purpose is clear – break up the Avengers from within but his development could have been fleshed out a little better. He’s Sakovian so his revenge is warranted but what makes him the only one capable enough to carry out his plan. It’s a fantastic angle using the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) as the nail in the coffin to finally break them up, Zemo’s back story wasn’t focused on enough to make himself as a top tier villain.
“Even if the whole world is telling you to move, it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye and say “No. You move.”
Civil War takes a step back from the infinity saga in a way that offers no new infinity stones or involves a Thanos plot line. Thor and Bruce Banner are presumed missing like misplacing two nuclear missiles according to Secretary of State Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt). The score blends extremely well with each scene elevating the tension to newer heights. Another Marvel Cinematic Universe film means two things a Stan Lee cameo as the FedEx delivery man who mispronounces Tony’s last name (one of the funnier cameo’s) and post credit scenes. There are two post credit scenes – one mid credit and one at the very end. The mid credit scene shows our first look at Wakanda where Cap and Bucky seek T’Challa’s assistance. The second is a look at the new tech Peter receives from Tony.
Overall, Captain America: Civil War is a smart action packed at times funny and severe comic book film. It takes what past films in the genre has done and adds more weight proving once again that Marvel Studios is a powerhouse that everyone and their mother is trying to copy. It’s about vengeance and ego – moreover Civil War is about friendship and loyalty and how those ties can be bent and broken if the pressure becomes too much to bare. Above all it’s about standing up for what you believe in. Marvel is the pinnacle, and everyone wants the recipe to success. Civil War is highly regarded among the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the best film in the saga while driving home the point that Captain America has the best trilogy out of its trinity of heroes. If I were to rate Captain America: Civil War, I’d rate it a 4.8 out of 5.
So, tell me guys, have you seen Captain America: Civil War and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.
Captain America: Civil War is directed by The Russo Brothers is Rated PG-13 and has an 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. Captain America: Civil War was released on May 6th, 2016 and has a runtime of 2 hours and 28 minutes. Captain America: Civil War can be streamed on Disney Plus.
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The Avengers will return