Saturday, the wife and I got a chance to get out and see a showing of Captain America: Civil War. I’ve been looking forward to this movie for quite a while, and the hype has been rather intense. After the issues with Batman v Superman, I knew I should temper my expectations, but then I saw how positive all the reviews were, so I let myself get just a little bit excited.
This review is going to contain spoilers, so fair warning, do not continue if you don’t want to be spoiled!!
The premise of Civil War is that the nations of the world want to ensure that super-powered individuals are kept under control, instead of running rampant and causing destruction as they try to save the world. This is a direct acknowledgement of the previous movies, and the level of destruction that was leveled on multiple cities, as good guys and bad guys blasted each other to pieces.
To solve this problem, the Sokovia Accords are written, which puts the Avengers under the authority of a United Nations task force. Some members of the Avengers are willing to go along with this, while others, such as Captain America, are not. That is the basis of the story that unfolds throughout the movie, yet gets complicated by the re-introduction of Bucky, the Winter Soldier into the equation. Captain America wants to save his childhood friend, but Bucky’s actions while under the control of Hyrda make this difficult, if not impossible.
One of the things that I really appreciated about this story is that I could empathize with both sides of the fight. There wasn’t a clear cut, right answer, to question of regulating superheroes. However, one of my biggest frustrations with the movie is how poorly Captain America handles the situations he finds himself in. When he first tries to save Bucky’s life from the German police, he ends up on a destructive rampage that undoubtedly leaves multiple police officers maimed for life. All just to try and keep Bucky alive, when it seems really apparent that diplomacy might have been able to play a role.
Despite the maddening choices of the hero, the fact that the ultimate villain in the story, Zemo, was simply a normal man who wanted to see the Avengers tear themselves apart, was brilliant. There was no final fight scene with the ultimate bad guy. Just the fighting between two heroes, which can never end well. The reveal about Bucky killing Iron Man’s parents was also unexpected, and a great story twist. Even though you know that Bucky was brainwashed when he was doing this, you can’t help but feel for Tony Stark in his rage and anger.
Apart from the really well-told story, the visuals and action sequences were awesome as always. I loved the inclusion of all of the new superheroes, though I didn’t really need all of the Spiderman introduction. It felt like the first Spiderman movie needed to have happened before this movie to really speed up that whole recruitment sub-plot. But since that wasn’t the case, I can understand why this scene had to drag on.
Overall, I really enjoyed this movie, and felt like a great addition to the MCU. I’m very curious about where the vigilante group of superheroes is going to end up in the future, but I don’t think we’ll find out any of those answers until the next Avengers movie in a few years. Thankfully, we have some really great movies coming soon such as Black Panther, who was an AMAZING addition to the Civil War storyline. I’m very excited to see more of that actor and character in his own movie. I think that his arc will be even more influential than we expected.
Civil War is a good movie, and does everything right that Superman v Batman did wrong. I really hope DC can learn from its mistakes and start to create some better stories going forward. For now, Marvel has the lock on awesome superhero flicks.