Synopsis: Political interference in the Avengers’ activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.
Release Date: May 6, 2016 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Action, Adventure
Ever since Marvel announced plans to unite its characters within a cinematic universe (commonly referred to as the MCU), fans have been clamoring to see the films tackle the Civil War storyline. While it may not be the most successful Marvel arc (in terms of storytelling), Civil War is still one its most unique, if for no other reason than because it pits the good guys against each other. For Captain America: Civil War, Marvel has taken the same framework of the comic arc – the conflicting ideals of Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) – and put its own spin on things.
But make no mistake, while Captain America: Civil War may feature an Avengers-sized cast of superheroes and a story that sends ripples throughout the MCU, this is still a Captain America movie. Evans’ blue hooded Avenger is still at the center of things, which in this case is a quest to clear his childhood friend Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) of blame.
However, that quest to save a brainwashed friend will put Cap at odds with a new piece of legislation, the Sokovia Accords, which are meant to police the Avengers and superheroes in general. And as you can imagine, some heroes come down on one side of the issues while others are starkly opposed.
With stakes that feel real and strong leading performances, the conflict in Captain America: Civil War is the most dynamic we’ve seen in a Marvel movie yet. It tries its best to not pick sides and to present compelling arguments for those who sign the Sokovia Accords and those who don’t. There’s no easy answer to the problems presented in the film, and the story never caters too much to one side or the other.
That’s what made the comic arc so successful and is a major reason why this film is so strong. But really the main goal with this story is to get the superheroes fighting each other. The motivations aren’t nearly as clear as they might be in the comics, and the actual central conflict is built largely around a misunderstanding. Ultimately things could have been handled a little better, but what’s there is still compelling.
That being said, if the goal was to deliver hero-on-hero action it’s hard to fault Captain America: Civil War too much. With the Russo Brothers at the helm, Civil War sets a new bar for hero action with airtight choreography, impressive effects, and endless creativity. Captain America: Civil War takes a diverse roster and lets each character shine, in some cases more than they have in their solo movies or within Avengers outings.
Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), for example, feel fresh and reinvigorated in the film, while newcomer Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) is a fantastic addition to the Marvel roster. If nothing else those heroes should build buzz for their next solo films.
Even as Captain America: Civil War juggles a large cast of heroes, it never neglects its central characters, specifically Captain America, Iron Man, and The Winter Soldier. This film has major implications for the MCU and the creators handle each moment with the care necessary of such an important juncture. And it’s a credit to Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., and Sebastian Stan that you get so wrapped up in what is when you get down to it, a simple series of misunderstandings. Captain America: Civil War is a major turning point for the Avengers, and fans will be heavily invested in both sides.
With a story that has emotional weight and action that stands at the top of the ladder, Captain America: Civil War is easily up there with the best Marvel’s cinematic universe has to offer. The fact that the film can juggle so many characters and none of them feel underserved is a testament to its construction and its vision. If you’ve been on the Marvel train since the beginning, then there’s no reason to get off now. This is Marvel firing on all cylinders, leading fans into an exciting new chapter.
Plain and simple – the action in Captain America: Civil War is expert level Marvel. The choreography and composition of the sequences, the visual effects, and even the writing all come together to make for moments that will have viewers thrilled the entire way through. It doesn’t matter which heroes are on screen either; Civil War finds a way to make each one standout and wow us, without betraying the identity of the narrative. And of course, the major, hero vs. hero showdown is a cinematic treat – easily one of the best Marvel movie sequences.
Directors Joe and Anthony Russo know how to make these heroes pop on the screen in ways that few could. A character like Spider-Man, for example, that we have seen realized in five previous films, feels fresh through the Russo brothers’ lens. So even if you may not buy the story or the conflict, you’ll have a hard time not enjoying the action.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Anthony and Joe Russo
- Producer(s): Kevin Feige
- Screenwriter(s): Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Mark Millar
- Cast: Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America), Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier), Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson/Falcon), Don Cheadle (Lieutenant James Rhodes/War Machine), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye), Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther), Paul Bettany (Vision), Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch), Paul Rudd (Scott Lang/Ant-Man), Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man)
- Editor(s): Jeffrey Ford
- Cinematographer: Trent Opaloch
- Costume Designer: Judianna Makovsky
- Casting Director(s): Sarah Finn
- Music Score: Henry Jackman
- Country Of Origin: USA