Captain America: Civil War
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Daniel Bruhl, Frank Grillo
Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Written by: Christopher Markus (screenplay), Stephen McFeely (screenplay), Mark Millar (comic book), Joe Simon (characters), Jack Kirby (characters)
Length: 2 hours 27 minutes
Release Date: May 6, 2016
When Marvel started spitting out one superhero origin story after another, some secondary characters didn’t get their own movie but showed up in other origin movies (Black Widow, Hawkeye, Falcon, Scarlet Witch). With all these superheroes running around, it could get very crowded, but I thought having tons of them in The Avengers worked very well. I credited that all to Joss Whedon. That movie was really fun to watch. Then came all the sequels to the origin stories along with some new origin stories (Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy). Avengers: Age of Ultron was in the middle of all of that, but that movie was less fun. I think a lot of it had to do with Joss Whedon having to twist his movie to fit all the moving pieces in the overall Marvel universe so it felt bloated and clunky. I started to not have a lot of hope with seeing these characters over and over again, but I had loved Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man. They were fun and it seems superhero movies sometime lose the fun when they become so serious.
I didn’t have the highest of hopes when I went into Captain America: Civil War. It has a very similar plot as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice where the public is holding these superheroes accountable for all the collateral damage they cause by chasing the bad guys and asking them if it is really worth it. While I didn’t see Batman v Superman, I read enough horrible reviews to know that it was a dull sludge from one grim fight to another. I was so pleased that Captain America: Civil War was actually fun to watch! It even had so many characters as the Avengers movies while adding on a couple news ones, yet still didn’t feel bloated. I give credit to directors Anthony & Joe Russo. They were the same directors as Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which was a decent, if long, movie that felt more like a ‘70s action thriller than a superhero movie. I should have had more faith, but I was worried going into it!
There is a somber tone and the characters do have some serious discussions, but there is still fun involved in between all the serious talk and fighting. It’s odd that bad boy Tony Stark would actually allow government agencies to oversee the actions of The Avengers, but the movie does a really good job selling why he would think that way. The same goes for how Steve Rogers, of all people, would not want to follow the government because he wants to protect his brainwashed friend. There is some manipulation involved to get these two to fight with each other and that reveal at the end of the movie seemed almost anti-climactic and caused the movie to end on an odd note. Nothing really gets resolved. It is more of a setup for future movies, but I think I would have liked to see more of a resolution to this one so the movie could stand on its own while also supporting past and future movies in the franchise.
I did like the introduction of two new characters—Spider-Man and Black Panther—that were incorporated into the movie and saved us all from yet another Spider-Man origin story. We all know it by now so having Tony Stark show up and have a five minute conversation with Peter Parker was great. The way he was used was funny. I could actually watch Spider-Man and Ant-Man hang out or fight all day. I would have liked to see more of Black Panther, but there is a solo movie of him coming up in the future. There is a solo one of Spider-Man too but I hope they can move on from what we have seen before and show something new with that character.
Even though I was wary going into this one, I do want to watch it again, which I take as a good sign. There was a lot going on, but I had fun while watching it. Also, Sebastian Stan (Bucky) is super hot, even underneath all that greasy hair, so I really had to be on Cap’s side in this civil war.