By Hutton Jackson
A&E and Online Editor
Captain America: Civil War pits Captain America and Iron Man, two of Marvel’s most popular heroes, against each other in the third installment in the Captain America trilogy.
The story finds Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) at odds when the United Nations plans to pass the Sokovia Accords, legislation that essentially gives the them full control over the Avengers. The disagreement between the two and the reemergence of the wanted assassin and Rogers’ friend Bucky Barnes a.k.a the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) results in many heroes taking sides.
2016 has certainly been the year for iconic superheroes fighting one another with Batman taking on Superman in Warner Bros.’ Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice less than two months ago. However, Marvel Studios executes Captain America: Civil War much more effectively than Zack Snyder’s film (read the review here).
The characters’ motivations are perhaps the biggest strengths of the film. Tony Stark is possessed by the guilt of allowing innocent lives to die during the Avengers’ past battles in New York and Sokovia. Steve Rogers is influenced by his lack of trust in government organizations and the belief that the Avengers can better operate and aid those in need without being controlled by political agendas. Not only has this conflict been developed over the course of previous films, but each characters’ perspective is believable and logical. However, one criticism of the film is that while it promises “war,” the conflict itself and inevitable battles are quite “civil” in the cordial sense and inconsequential save for a few pivotal scenes. None of the characters ever seem to be in mortal danger and the film would have benefited greatly had the stakes been raised.
Despite the stakes remaining lower than they could have been, there is still emotional weight to many of the film’s scenes. This is due to the tremendous efforts of lead actors Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr., who share some of their best scenes together to date. Additionally, the supporting cast featuring both familiar faces and newcomers is phenomenal across the board. Even the weaker roles in the film such as the main antagonist Zemo (Daniel Brühl), who unfortunately can bee seen as another mediocre Marvel villain, are intriguing to watch thanks to actors like Brühl and their performances.
Many going to see the film are likely anticipating the debut of the new Spider-man played by Tom Holland, and while he is terrific and leaves a lot to look forward to in the 2017 solo film Spider-man: Homecoming, it is actually Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther that truly steals the show. T’Challa, who is both the prince of the fictional African nation Wakanda and the hero Black Panther, is seamlessly introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While both Spider-man and Ant-man’s appearances in the film are also fun to watch, their inclusion feels much more forced and they are given little to do save a few scenes.
Despite this, both Holland and Ant-man actor Paul Rudd provide many of the key comedic moments in the film. Furthermore, both Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan as the Falcon and the Winter Soldier respectively are also quite humorous throughout the film.
Finally, the action in the film is heart-pounding thanks to the creative utilization of each characters’ powers and abilities. Every character gets his or her time to shine and characters like Black Panther, the Winter Soldier and Spider-man are a part of some of the best visuals in any Marvel film.
In the end, the film is not without its flaws, but its creative use of diverse supporting characters and the inspiring performances from its leading men make Captain America: Civil War an improvement over Avengers: Age of Ultron and another solid installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Overall Rating: 7.5/10.
(Rates on a scale of 1-5, how much Suspense, Humor, Action, Romance, and Kid-friendly material is in the movie)
1- None to Very Little, 2- Little, 3- Average, 4- Much, 5- Very much
S 5 H 4 A 5 R 2 K 2