Captain America: Civil War Review
Over the span of eight years, Marvel Studios has produced twelve blockbusting super-hero films that have gone on to generate billions for their thoughtfully constructed “Marvel Cinematic Universe” (MCU). With two cinematic “Phases” of the MCU completed, Marvel now moves on to “Phase 3”, which kicks off this May with Captain America: Civil War. Every heroic Marvel jaunt has been building up to this moment, so does Captain America’s latest film live up to that monumentally assembled hype? The answer to that question is just about as convoluted as the story’s plotlines.
The film continues the intricate storyline of the previous MCU outings, with the Avengers still recovering from the consequences of their Sokovia battle against the vanquished Ultron (as seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron). After years of the Avengers’ intervention leading to increased casualties, the United Nations decides to pass the Sokovia Accords in order to adequately govern the super-team. With the newly established accords comes internal tension between Avengers, with Tony Stark/Iron-Man agreeing to sign the document and Steve Rogers/Captain America deciding to opt out of government control. The tension only escalates after an assumed return of the Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes leads Captain America to find and protect him from the misinformed authorities. The building tension then comes to a climactic clash between the once unified Avengers crew, creating a rift of ideologies among former teammates.
While the title may say this film is a Captain America movie, don’t be fooled. “Avengers: Civil War” is a much more befitting title for this overcrowded mess of heroic coasting. With a total of twelve heroes competing in the fight, various supporting characters shoehorned in, and some much expected set up for the future films, Captain America: Civil War seems to lose the title hero in the mess of it all. Steve Rogers’ pursuit of “what is right” is consistently questionable due to his devotion to the unlikable Bucky Barnes, who becomes increasingly irredeemable as the film progresses. It also doesn’t help that Cap is stale and uninteresting in his usual boy-scout style. For the rest of the crew, it also becomes hard to understand their motivation to fight, due to a focus on Iron-Man and Captain America over these supporting heroes. But in the end none of these flaws will matter to the majority of fans, because this film more than delivers on the heavily marketed Avenger-skirmish.
After an hour of sluggish storytelling, Civil War gains necessary momentum through its brilliant action sequences. The capable directors, Joe and Anthony Russo, know exactly how to create intensely coordinated action scenes, where each hero plays to their strengths and everyone is included in the chaotic choreography. The airport fight, the film’s most advertised scene, will undoubtedly go down as one of the most entertaining super-hero battles of all time. This scene coupled with an intense and somewhat emotionally effective fight between Captain America and Iron-Man are what pushes this film past some of its missteps.
For any fan of the past Marvel films, Captain America: Civil War will be more of what they love: quips, action, and attempted dramatic weight, which is undoubtedly acceptable for most. For others, this uniformity will mark a breaking point in the interest towards hero dominated cinema. It is formulaic and unnecessary, which is something deservedly expected from all comic films as of late. Civil War has great action and some interesting additions to the MCU, but other than that, it is a forgettable entry in the beaten to death comic-book movie catalog.