Captain America: Civil War (otherwise known as Avengers 2.5) is the 13th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the third installment in the Captain America series.
This film follows several characters as they all cling to their own unique agendas, and shows the fallout as these agendas come crashing together. Tony Stark, guilt ridden after creating an evil murder robot wants all of the Avengers to sign the Sokovia Accords, a document drafted by the United Nations that puts the superhero team under their control. Steve Rogers is against the signing because he feels his own judgement is more sound than that of 117 sovereign nations and finds himself in direct conflict with the Accords as he struggles to protect his recently de-thawded best friend, Bucky Barnes, who has been framed for bombing the UN. The villain of the film, Zemo, operates behind the scenes essentially unchallenged as Captain America and Iron Man are too busy stamping their feet at one other to do anything genuinely productive. Zemo of course, is counting on this, as almost everything about his plan hinges on the two having absolutely no communication skills which all things considered is actually a pretty safe bet. Each character chooses sides, some for seemingly no reason, and we as the audience get to see some pretty iconic fights as a result. This film gets a lot of things right, but isn’t without it’s flaws.
First and foremost, it took me three viewings to fully understand the villains master plan. Admittedly, I might just be unobservant, but most of the people I’ve discussed it with felt the same. That’s because Zemo’s plan is so unnecessarily elaborate and verbose that it takes some real suspension of belief to even consider that he could actually pull it off. It’s so easily foiled and relies so heavily on a complex chain of events occurring in a very specific way that I’m somewhat convinced a deleted scene will reveal he had a crystal ball the whole time.
Despite this, the film is highly entertaining and the airport scene in particular is infinitely rewatchable. The movie introduces Black Panther as a character, and he was easily one of the film’s standouts. He’s even getting his own movie in the near future, something I’m definitely looking forward to. Several fan favorites played key roles in the film, such as Black Widow and Falcon, but Thor was curiously absent. Marvel explains why in this short clip which consequently is better than the entirety of Age of Ultron:
The film’s main draw is the tension between Captain America and Iron Man, something that has been building for the last couple of movies. The deterioration of their relationship leads to some very emotional scenes, and the realization that Bucky is ultimately responsible for the deaths of Tony’s parents physically punched me in the gut. It reveals what the movies biggest strength is: the interaction between the characters. Where it was lacking in plot it made up for in character development.
The film concludes with a dramatic swell of music as Steve sends Tony the most condescending letter of all time and the audience is reminded rather poignantly that this is a comic book movie and there are absolutely no lasting stakes whatsoever. That said, it certainly insights curiosity into where they plan on taking this story in the future. I want to know how the Avengers are going to be inevitably brought back together, and what will change as a result. Unfortunately we might not find out until 2018, when the next Avengers film comes out.
Overall I’d give this film an 8/10.