Review: Captain America: Civil War
Do you have superhero fatigue yet? This year alone we’ve seen the theatrical releases of Deadpool, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and we’re about to be besieged with X-Men: Apocalypse, Suicide Squad, and Dr. Strange. Every key superhero/mutant seems to have a beef with another just as powerful superhero/mutant! Secondary characters are forced to choose sides, chaos and mass destruction ensues, add a dash of post 9/11 politics, a sequel ending, and bam! boom! kapow!, there you have the formula for all of the movies listed above (we’re, probably correctly, assuming).
So why bother seeing Captain America: Civil War then? After all, it’s the thirteenth (yes, we counted) film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the third Captain America film, and the sixth (!) time we’re seeing Spider-man on film since 2002. That’s a lot of Marvel superheroes in a relatively short span of time. Yet despite the myriad reasons to be weary about seeing this film, it’s very much worth getting pumped up for. We’ve seen the film twice now (once at a fan screening and once with caffeine deprived critics) and both screenings were filled with audience members cheering and gasping in awe. We’re not usually ones to make grandiose blanket statements but, to be genuinely honest, this really is Marvel’s best film yet.
After a destructive mishap by Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) on an Avengers routine mission in Lagos, an increasingly high death toll and collateral damage from previous films in locales including New York, Washington, and Sokovia, sanctions in the form of a U.N. accord is brought before the team. They must either sign the accord and submit to government control or be considered criminals; the choice is theirs. Self-doubting questions of identity and morality are further scrutinized when there is an explosion outside the U.N. building, killing King T’Chaka of Wakanda (father to T’Challa, aka The Black Panther) and the perpetrator appears to be Bucky Barnes, aka The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). When Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) rushes to defend his (literally) old pal Bucky, each Avenger must debate if they agree with Cap’s ethics or not (Tony Stark aka Iron Man leading the brigade in the ‘not’ contingent). Once the Team Cap versus Team Iron Man battle royale showdown occurs at the ninety minute mark, the mores of each superhero, however murky, has been addressed. We won’t spoil anything but the rapid-fire, quip-filled fight is a delight to watch and will undoubtedly leave viewers hungering for more Spider-Man (Tom Holland).
Captain America: Civil War is a marvel-ous spectacle well worth multiple viewings.