Captain America and some of Marvel’s finest do battle…against each other in this third installment of the Star Spangled Avenger’s films.
In Lagos, Nigeria, Captain America, Falcon, Black Widow, and Scarlet Witch are awaiting the appearance of an old nemesis, Brock Rumlow, who has become known as Crossbones. When the former S.T.R.I.K.E. member has stolen a biological weapon, the team is able to stop him, but Scarlet Witch makes the mistake of sending him through a building which results in an explosion, injuring eleven citizens of the small African nation of Wakanda. Meanwhile, at a MIT event, Tony Stark finds himself confronted by a woman whose son was killed in the Sokovia attacks last year.
The government has had enough of the Avengers running free to save the world with the price being innocent lives. The United Nations has created the Sokovia Accords, which would force the Avengers to serve as a police team for the U.N. and will only be allowed to fight when needed. Tony, feeling the guilt for his actions, agrees to the terms. However, Steve is not agreeing, feeling it will take away human rights. To make matters worse, Steve’s old friend Bucky Barnes has been accused of bombing the United Nations building in London, killing T’Chaka, the King of Wakanda, forcing his son T’Challa to seek revenge as the Black Panther. Soon, friends become enemies in an all-out war to determine who is right and who is wrong when it comes to the Sokovia Accords.
There’s an old saying. Something lighting can strike twice and in the case of Joe and Anthony Russo, that’s exactly what happened. After tackling The Winter Soldier in 2014, the brothers are back in this adaptation of the 2006-2007 comic book series by Mark Millar. Some of the obvious has changed from its comic counterpart, but once again, we are treated to some great action and even more fun this time with a major ensemble minus two major Avengers, Hulk and Thor (don’t worry folks, you’ll find them again in Thor: Ragnarok in 2017).
Many feel that this may as well be called Avengers 2.5, but it actually is a Captain America film in the vein of a political thriller with the government’s interference in attempting to make the Avengers their own personal police. Chris Evans once again plays Cap as the stern hero who learns once again maybe everything he is doing may not be for the better. Robert Downey Jr. brings his trademark shtick but amps it up with more seriousness as Tony Stark.
While these two are the major players and leaders of the two warring factions, some major kudos goes out to Sebastian Stan returning as Winter Soldier, who realizes his mistakes and reveals why he did what he had done in the past; Elizabeth Olson as Scarlet Witch, whose actions in the first act becomes the major trigger for the inevitable Civil War; and newcomer Chadwick Boseman, who makes a heck of a debut in the MCU as Black Panther. Not only does Boseman debut, but add Tom Holland to the mix making his debut as the new Spider-Man and it is nothing short of amazing (the pun was intended). This is the Spider-Man we all wanted and Holland truly delivers! He, like the audience, reacts when we see a certain superhero pull off an impressive move and the reaction is so perfect that it will make you crack up.
Frank Grillo returns in the first act as his character from The Winter Soldier, now as the masked Crossbones. However, he is a secondary villain of sorts and the same can be said in some way, about William Hurt’s Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross. Yes, it is welcome to see Hurt once again reprise his role from the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk but with a new title and a bigger tone of being a jerk. Daniel Brühl’s Colonel Zemo is nothing short of great in terms of playing perhaps a very dastardly mastermind who uses his wits and methods to pull something unexpected.
Captain America: Civil War is definitely as good as The Winter Soldier and may seem somewhat too much in terms of the character appearances but it’s totally okay as this is one war that can be viewed over and over again with perhaps a true shocker of an ending that will just make your jaw drop. The performances are top notch, especially the debuting Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther and Tom Holland showing exactly how Spider-Man should be portrayed.
WFG RATING: A+
A Marvel Studios production. Directors: Joe Russo and Anthony Russo. Producer: Kevin Feige. Writers: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely; based on the original comic book series by Mark Millar; based on characters created by Joe Simon, Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and Jack Kirby. Cinematography: Trent Opaloch. Editing: Jeffrey Ford and Matthew Schmidt.
Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olson, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Daniel Brühl, Frank Grillo, William Hurt.