Movie Review: Captain America: Civil War
(Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios)
The season just started and already Marvel’s raised the standard for summer Hollywood blockbusters.
Who will win? That’s the big question surrounding every intense moment of Captain America: Civil War, coming to theaters this Friday.
If the idea of two superheroes battling it out in the film Batman v Superman got you excited, try 12 superheroes slugging one another at an airport like it’s nobody’s business. When you favor characters on both sides of the fight, all you can do is rock back and forth helplessly as you witness a tank of gasoline tossed by Antman explode dangerously close to Ironman’s face. And that’s only halfway through the film.
To start, the casualties and destruction left in the wake of the Avengers’ battles at the beginning of the movie results in the governments of the world wanting to put restrictions on their actions. This divides the team in two, with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) believing regulation is a good thing and Captain America (Chris Evans) believing it’s not.
When the government begins to put its new hold on the Avengers to use, Captain America turns criminal as he takes the side of an old friend from his glory days, the Winter Soldier himself, Bucky (Sebastian Stan). But saving an old friend means sacrifice. Not to mention imprisonment, isolation, theft, and getting beat up by a high schooler dressed in a spandex spidey suit.
New or unexpected characters step onto the scene sporadically with every fight. Among them, Spiderman is welcomed into the Avengers family out of thin air. Though confusing for the less informed comic junkies out there, the addition of superheroes really does prove the old adage “the more the merrier.”
With a brooding Captain America and an overprotective Ironman packing so much heat, it’s nice to have the comic relief of a spunky teen in a spider suit who fanboys over the superheroes as hard as he kicks them.
By the end of the movie you’ll doubtlessly find yourself wondering whose side, Team Cap or Team Iron Man, to join. The hardest part of this movie is that the obvious villain, Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), blurs the line between good and bad. He’s the guy you’ll believe you have figured out midway through the film, only to discover you know absolutely nothing as his plans unfold into one of the most shocking moments Marvel has managed to create thus far. It’s as though the traction from past movies Marvel has been building upon is finally turning into a much more complex (and highly addictive) narrative.
The more Avengers we see with each Captain America movie, the better the series gets. Once Captain America was the archetype of the American superhero, and now he branches into a more seemingly multifaceted character. Marvel is able to create something that sadly asks us to pin our heroes against one another, but at the same time gives its viewers something outside the typical good vs. bad storyline.
On top of a more thoughtful narrative, even the fight scenes in this movie keep the audience on edge. Every single one - not just the final fight - comes with consequences. Characters big and small overcome loss as much as victory, making Captain America: Civil War one of the most realistic superhero movies yet. The only downside is that this movie won’t give the same gratification of a fight well fought and a bad guy thrown in jail by the end.
The main concern of this film is no longer the villains who fall from the sky, but the collateral damage of those who die in the tracks of both villains and heroes. When good battles good, we learn it’s much more complicated than who’s on the right side and who’s in the wrong. You will doubtlessly wonder while leaving the theater: Whose side are you on? Don’t be too shocked if your favorite superhero is suddenly no longer on your team.
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