It was just last summer I was watching Avengers: Age of Ultron and thinking, “It can’t get any better than this, all these heroes on one screen!” I was wrong. Captain America: Civil War is essentially Avengers 2.5 and brings so much to the table that viewers won’t even notice the few heroes that are missing.
Captain America: Civil War opens with the “New Avengers,” consisting of Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olson), and Captain America (Chris Evans), last seen in the final moments of Avengers: Age of Ultron, on a mission to stop Crossbones (Frank Grillo), who Cap slighted in The Winter Soldier. Things do not go as planned and what started as a mission to save lives ends up costing more, as civilians are caught in the path of destruction. This brings the question to the public’s mind, “Are these heroes doing more damage than good?”
The UN decides to step in with new rules planned for the Avengers — the Sokovia Accords, named after the country that was decimated by Ultron in the last Avengers film. Steve Rogers and Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) have differing opinions on the accords, and that becomes an issue to the one-time friends. The UN holds a global meeting to discuss the Sokovia Accords when another attack happens, and this time the evidence is pointing to Captain America’s old pal Bucky, now known as the assassin The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). This attack also brings the death of Wakanda’s leader King T’Chaka, and the pursuit of vengeance from his son, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), aka The Black Panther.
When Cap decides not to sign the accords, he recruits his closest friends to help find and bring in Winter Soldier, and in so doing, he makes them all into criminals in the eyes of the government. A team led by Iron Man — who agrees with the accords — is brought in to arrest them.
The Civil War of superheroes has begun.
Eventually the conflict leads to a literal line being drawn and each side duking it out in what can only be called the most epic battle I have ever seen on screen. Captain America: Civil War also includes the first ever appearance of Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe proper. The banter will make any Spider-Man comic book reader proud, as he is brought into the fight for team Iron Man. Marvel’s decision to add Spider-Man (Tom Holland) was brilliant, viewers will finally see what I always felt that the Toby McGuire and Andrew Garfield web-heads lacked — fun. We all know Peter Parker, viewers don’t need yet another origin story, and Marvel knows that thankfully. Looking at you DC and WB.
Black Panther, Spidey, and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) are the real gems in this movie. I look forward to their next stand alone films. All three actors really put forth the convictions that make their characters so great. No matter what side you are on, viewers should find characters that make them smile, cheer, and support individually throughout the film.
Overall Captain America: Civil War is the perfect combination of the big screen action of The Avengers and the serious, global, and political nature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that we saw in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The directors, Joe and Anthony Russo, really see what the future of Marvel and superhero movies can be. The script writers, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, have set the bar high for Thanos’ arrival. I am looking forward to their next endeavor Avengers: Infinity War, where we will see them put even MORE heroes in battle on the big screen.
Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now.