Captain America Civil War Review: Marvel at Their Best
Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The new status quo deeply divides members of the team. Captain America (Chris Evans) believes superheroes should remain free to defend humanity without government interference. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) sharply disagrees and supports oversight. As the debate escalates into an all-out feud, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and the rest of the Avengers must choose a side.
Captain America: Civil War may not be just the best Captain America movie, but the best Marvel movie to date. The themes explored in Civil War provoke thought and are emotionally satisfying. The films thorough attention to building characters and justifying every characters motivation creates a fantastic viewing experience.
Joe and Anthony Russo continue to build off their success in The Winter Soldier as they’ve ramped up the action, characters, and drama in this third outing. They have delivered some of the most remarkable superhero-based fight scenes in recent memory and the best to date in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Russo brothers do an outstanding job of balancing serious story beats and dramatic settings while still providing enough comedic lightness, even if sometimes it’s awkwardly placed. Newcomers T’Challa/Black Panther and Peter Parker/Spiderman are given enough screen time to compliment what is going on in the film’s main story. Black Panther’s storyline is weightier and, in my opinion, essential to the big reveal in Civil War while Spiderman’s scenes are more lighthearted fun. Both fit seamlessly into the movie.
With some help from cinematographer Trent Opaloch and second unit directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, the Russo brothers give us quick cutting hand to hand combat to fast-paced chases that exemplify each character’s true abilities. The ultimate effect: Civil War’s superhero fights deliver many awe-inspiring moments that will entertain not just comic book fans but casual moviegoers alike. It doesn’t hurt that the film was shot partially on IMAX cameras, which tends to make the movie feel even bigger than it already is on a visual level.
While a bevy of characters inhabits Civil War, the most interesting one is the new villain Baron Zemo. The movie’s undisclosed villain serves up one of the more intriguing plans of recent memory, which makes it fresh for moviegoers who may be tired of the clichéd, villain-wants-what-the-hero-has trope. I am not going to spoil anything here; all I will say is Baron Zemo devises one of the evilest plans that tugs not only at the audience’s heart but our dear Marvel hero’s as well.
Though I still hold out hope that Marvel will eventually get into darker themes and push their boundaries, this movie steps in the right direction. Captain America: Civil War provides viewers with the big superhero team-up we have all been waiting for while exploring thought-provoking themes that leave the audience feeling extremely satisfied.