In A Land Chock Full Of Avengers
Captain America: Civil War has been talked about and speculated over for a long time. It finally arrived on the big screen on May 6th, and it has managed to meet the expectations of most fans and exceed those expectations for others.
I fall in the “met expectations” crowd. I was a bit worried that this film would turn into an Avengers-minus-Thor-and-Hulk flick, but it managed to remain true to its title character.
I promise that there will be no spoilers in this review, so read on with confidence.
The film centers around the Sokovia Accords and the demands of 117 governments wanting to be able to control the Avengers and when and where they are allowed into action due to their somewhat destructive nature when it comes to fighting bad guys. Tony Stark, still reeling from the effects of what happened when he created Ultron and intent on righting wrongs, wastes no time in deciding to sign the papers. Falling in line with him is War Machine, Vision, and Black Widow. Captain America, on the other hand, refuses to sign, stating that this will just give the governments of the world total control over him and others like himself.
Not surprisingly, Falcon falls into step behind Cap and Scarlet Witch remains somewhat on the fence at first.
When the time comes to sign the Accords, an attack happens that kills King T’Chaka of Wakanda. His son, T’Challa, takes the throne and the mantle of Black Panther. He vows vengeance against the person (who looks mysteriously like the Winter Soldier) that has murdered his father and ends up siding with Iron Man against Captain America. This leads to a great chase and eventual head-on collision between Team Cap and Team Iron Man.
A few wildcards are thrown into the mix with Spider-Man, Ant-Man, and Hawkeye. The Wallcrawler suits up with Tony Stark, while Ant-Man and Hawkeye help Captain America. There’s a glorious battle that ensues which leads up to the revelation of the real villain in the tale. He’ll remain nameless due to my no spoiler guarantee, but he ends up being a brilliant addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I can’t wait to see what becomes of him in the future.
Much like The Winter Soldier, this Captain America flick takes a very serious turn with its subject matter. Unlike Soldier, this film is quite a bit lighter. This is in part to the wonderful acting skills and scene-stealing antics of Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) and Tom Holland (Spider-Man). Despite having small (but important) roles in the film, these two characters inject humor and excellent action into the film. Basically Ant-Man fanboys all over Captain America and Spider-Man fanboys all over Iron Man, Captain America, and pretty much all of the Avengers on both sides of the tale. Ant-Man makes jokes, apologizes, and screws up throughout his entire time on the screen. Spider-Man does much of the same, but with that smart-mouthed attitude we’ve all come to know and love from young Peter Parker.
Chadwick Boseman is another scene-stealer as Black Panther. Early on, his vengeance drives him to chase after the Winter Soldier, but his character matures and changes as the film rolls along. By the end of the film, I had an entirely new perspective on the character, and appreciated Boseman’s presence on the screen.
Chris Evans is Captain America, period. Whenever they first announced him as the actor who would become Steve Rogers in the MCU, I was a bit worried. However, Evans embodies the character so well that I find it hard to see anybody else behind the shield. Robert Downey, Jr.’s portrayal of Tony Stark/Iron Man has matured with each film. The character has gone from a cocky rich jerk to an extremely humbled man looking for absolution. I hope to see the character evolve even more as he makes more appearances in the MCU.
The rest of the cast did excellent jobs. Anthony Mackie was fun as Falcon, as was Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye and Don Cheadle as War Machine. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany had excellent chemistry as Scarlet Witch and Vision. I see both of these characters playing larger roles as the MCU continues to grow. Scarlett Johansson owns Black Widow, and I’m glad to see her character become more serious in this film than she has been in the Avengers flicks. It was also nice to see the return of William Hurt as Thunderbolt Ross, even though he’s a despicable character.
The film did bog down between action sequences at times and there was a bit of sketchy CGI involving Iron Man and War Machine and a few sequences during one of the big battles, but overall, Captain America: Civil War is another solid entry in the MCU.
Sooner or later I plan to make a list that ranks all of the current MCU flicks from my favorite to my least favorite. While Civil War isn’t my number one, it’s definitely in my top five.
As always, thanks for reading. Space City Comic Con is less than two weeks away, and I’m hopeful that I’ll get to go, even if it’s just for one day. If I do go, I’ll be sure to blog about it soon enough.
Go see Civil War. You won’t regret it.