Captain America: Civil War (2016) Review

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Following the events of the previous films, the world has come to the conclusion that the Avengers pose more of a hazard than protection to the world due to the amount of lives taken. Now the government wants to gain complete control over our heroes. Everyone is willing to sign over their lives except for Captain America himself, Steve Rogers. When Rogers’ old friend Buck is now a wanted man as the Winter Soldier, after being framed for a crime he did not commit, Steve is now determined to become a wanted criminal in order to save his friend and prove his innocence. In the process, Steve regains the support of his old Avengers friends, as well as new members. But Tony Stark/Iron Man now has a team of his own, and now the Avengers find themselves pitted against one another.

While Civil War is labeled as a Captain America film, this plays out more like an Avengers movie featuring all except two members. While this may be the case, the movie is still held on the shoulders of Captain America. In all honesty, I’ve never been a fan of Captain America, at least not on his own. So clearly I am not a fan of the first Captain film. Winter Soldier worked much better as film for me due to more character involvement and an advancement in plot. This one amps it up by having Avengers characters in it, but still puts the prime focus on the Captain and where his morals and loyalties lie. Also along for the ride are returning heroes from Age of Ultron; Scarlett Witch and Vision. It also incorporates our new members Ant-Man, Black Panther, and Spider-Man. For the most part, the film has plenty of action and an excellent story to keep the viewers’ attention. There’s never really a slow moving moment in the story, because every moment plays a strong point in the story. One thing I did enjoy a lot is the several twists and turns in the plot. The incorporation of the new characters were also an excellent touch and they were all perfectly used and showed an importance to the crew. Each hero had their own chance to shine in their own personal stories, even our prime villain gets well-established. The fact that the characters get that much attention makes the conflict between them that much more conflicting in the fact that we know where their hearts and morals lie, and it’s easy to see both sides of the spectrum, and some who are just caught in the middle and are forced to choose sides. This is hands down my favorite Avenger film due to the fact that the story had more to its core than just a hero fighting a villain and saving the day, there’s legitimate themes, morals, and a lot of heart to the story. If there was one thing I would gripe about it’s that this was the perfect opportunity to kill of a big character, but of course when given the perfect opportunity, Marvel whimped out and chose a different fate for the character at hand.

The entire cast here does an amazing job and easily brings their best performances to the script. The amount of drama and character arches really helped show a new side to our heroes than we’ve seen before. We see their alliances tested and how hard the situation is hitting them. It is Chris Evans and Robert Downey, Jr. who do provide the strongest performances of the cast. Both are able to successfully show how much this war is affecting them and tearing them apart physically and emotionally. Unlike the past Avenger films, this one has a much more serious tone to it and thus allowing to have the actors provide strong performances and really let their emotions show that we’ve never really seen before. It is worth noting our newest members to the cast in Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther and Tom Holland as Spider-Man. Boseman perfectly captures the vengeful side of his character but also showing that he’s trying to keep his liberties intact. Initially I wasn’t sure how I felt about Boseman and the character, but as the film progressed, but really grew on me as the character was developed and the actor was able to express himself more. Tom Holland is the third actor to portray the web-slinging hero in the Marvel Universe. But this is the first one to actually be incorporated as an Avenger. Holland could not have been more perfect for the role. While I still love Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man, Holland is the perfect age and bring the right amount of charisma and charm to the role. Instead of the science geek Peter Parker we all know, we see an actual real kid at hand who is just trying to get used to his abilities and getting a taste of what real villainy is like and what he will soon be up against. Both Boseman and Holland paint perfect pictures of the great things to come in their solo films.

Captain America: Civil War doesn’t take as massive of risks as it could have, but it definitely took a risk in taking a more serious story and direction for our characters and for the actors. And in that instance it knocked it out of the park and delivered an extremely engaging film from beginning to end, as well as doing an excellent job of giving each Avenger old and new a chance to shine. All of this only leaves a sign of what is to come in future films for these heroes.

5/5

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