“Captain America: Civil War” is both the third Captain America movie, and an Avengers spin-off. The follow-up to ‘Winter Soldier’ and ‘Age of Ultron’ gets into some heavy territory this time around as Cap and Iron Man himself, Tony Stark, butt heads over a fundamental issue dividing the team.
The movie is the 13th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is directed by the Russo Brothers and stars Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. – plus a billion other people reprising their roles and a couple newcomers.
This is a spoiler-free review, but there are a few things that you should know going in:
- This is very much a sequel to the last Captain America movie, even though it includes 80% of the Avengers.
- You really do need to watch the other TWELVE! movies in the MCU to totally get what’s going down in this one – we’re way past the recap phase people.
- This film has a very different tone from ‘Age of Ultron’ and might be the darkest one yet.
- The version of Spider-man in this movie has nothing to do with the previous on screen incarnations.
- Even though the plot’s inspired by the Marvel ‘Civil War’ storyline in the comics, it doesn’t actually follow that story arc so don’t expect it to.
- It also has nothing to do with the actual American Civil War… (obviously)
The Russo Brothers are back in the directors’ chairs, coming off the heels of one of the best Marvel movies yet (Winter Soldier), and prove once again that they have what it takes to take on the next Avengers movie (Infinity War), with an action-packed yet character-driven movie.
For me, the MCU has yet to disappoint. I’ve been on board for every one of these films. Sure some are not as strong as others, but they’re all entertaining in my book. As much as I enjoyed this one, I can’t say that it’s my favorite Marvel movie as so many have proclaimed.
It’s good, but I’d argue that the previous Cap film (Winter Soldier) is a stronger entry in the series. There’s a lot of great drama and political intrigue in Civil War, but it does at times bog the movie down a bit. We’re shown the dire consequences of some of the fun action sequences in the other movies, while clever is also kind of a bummer. I was also not too impressed with the movie’s “villain”, but the character served his purpose.
All that said, there are some AMAZING moments in this movie: namely, Spider-man and Black Panther! Both characters are briefly introduced and thrown right into the action and somehow it works surprisingly well! Tom Holland absolutely nailed it as Peter Parker and Chadwick Boseman was badass as T’Challa! Both characters left me wanting to see their upcoming solo movies immediately!
The rest of the cast did a great job as well, with every character getting just enough screen time to shine (Ant-Man, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, War Machine, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Winter Soldier, etc). But of course the two main combatants are Steve Rogers and Tony Stark – who are both perfect as always. When these two face off it’s truly intense: their final fight is one of the most epic brawls in any superhero film!
What’s particularly great is that the conflict is a natural progression from the characters that we’ve been getting to know over the past several movies.
The central theme of the movie hinges on the argument of Freedom vs Security, a key concern in our modern world. Without going into too much detail, I’ll just say that at the beginning I was Team Cap all the way, but by the end I saw where Stark was coming from. My friend on the other hand, had the opposite reaction! It’s a very unresolved issue that’s left up to the audience to ponder.
What really makes this movie succeed though is the much needed levity in the midst of all the dark subject matter, primarily thanks to Spider-man and Ant-Man. All in all, a solid superhero slug fest!
Erik Slader is a blogger, barista, web tech, digital artist, gamer, comic book aficionado, history buff, part-time nerd, and full-time husband. Creator of “Epik Fails of History” (@EpikFails.com) and writer forSuperheroBeach.com, MovementMagazine.comand ComicZombie.net – check out his digital design portfolio at ErikSlader.com