(Since this is a movie franchise that many are extremely passionate about, I will do my best to not give any spoilers.)
Okay, I don’t know how to fully express how excited I was to see the new Captain America movie. Eager? Anxious? Totally and completely PUMPED? Yeah, I guess you could say that I had very high expectations for the latest Marvel film.
Tony Stark, a.k.a Iron Man, bluntly says in the beginning of the film after the Avengers
had left chaos in Lagos, “We need to be put in check.” That’s the main focus of the third Captain America: should the Avengers be held responsible for their destructive actions and have certain limitations given by the government or should they still be trusted to conduct themselves as the most capable group to protect the world from villains without interference? After the mission goes wrong in Lagos, leaving yet another highly-populated city ruined, this question must be answered; however the team of course doesn’t agree on how to handle the situation. Stark, after being confronted by the mother of a victim from the events in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, feels that they need to have more rules to prevent more civilian casualties. But Cap, thinking that they are doing what is best for the country and the world, firmly believes that the government should stay out of it.
Not only can they not agree on how to regulate themselves, but they also butt-heads on what do with Cap’s childhood best friend Bucky Barnes, who also happens to be the killing machine Winter Soldier. Bucky did not willing assassinate people but was actually trained by Hydra, a Nazi-terrorism group, to unconsciously commit these awful murders. Despite knowing that Bucky didn’t act under his own will, Stark’s team still feel that he should be in government custody for the good of the country, especially after another disaster in Vienna that they believe he is responsible for. Fiercely loyal, Steve refuses to bring in his friend, and this leads to even more of a division in the group.
Now, I’m not someone who typically likes to go see a two and half hour movie. A lot of films are much longer than they need to be, but the time flew by when I saw the newest Captain America. The Russo brothers, the directors of the film, skillfully move the plot along at a perfect pace. Sometimes big fight scenes can go on longer than they should, yet the directors make sure to not bore the audience with an unnecessarily long sequence. The actions sequences are used to move plot along rather than to just entertain or fill space. And I have to take about the epic battle scene in the airport with Team Iron Man vs. Team Cap. The directors had so many heroes to follow in this important scene and had to make sure it doesn’t come off as a pointless fight sequence. I don’t want to ruin it for those who might not have seen it, but I just have to say. . . they NAILED it! Each character serves a purpose to the fight without it running too long.
With such a big cast and knowing that the events of this movie, and the airport scene, will lead to the next films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Russo’s thoughtfully include all of the characters into the story without making them expendable. I would have liked more screen time for Black Widow simply because she’s one of my favorite characters, but they still do a great job of making her an essential player in the story.
Some of my favorite villains are the characters that commit awful, unspeakable crimes for a somewhat understandable reason, and Civil War introduces one of those villains. Zemo, played by the brilliant Daniel Brühl, does these unspeakable crimes against humanity to seek cruel revenge on the Avengers because of how their actions in Sokovia affected his life and his loved ones (see how I avoided a spoiler there). The new villain is probably the most human (literally and figuratively) and sensitive in Marvel, and Brühl beautifully portrays the rage and heartbreak his character feels. With a film jam-packed with amazingly talented actors like Anthony Mackie and Scarlett Johansson, Brühl and his character are able to stand out, and I hope Marvel tells more of Zemo’s story.
People expect for superhero movies to be nothing more than a simple action film since there have been plenty of bad movies, but Marvel doesn’t rely on this expectation to win big at the box-office. The writers, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, do an excellent job of writing a script about superheroes that have problems that America actually has in the real world. In my opinion, Civil War is the best superhero film thus far to create a story about super-humans into a film about human nature. Captain America has always been so self-less and done everything for the good of his beloved country, but he sacrifices his relationship with Stark and selfishly damages the country he loves to protect one person: Bucky. Markus and McFeely were able to make a character who is seen as almost perfect into one of the most flawed and human superheroes in the Marvel
Many of you might have seen the surveys on twitter or other articles online of picking sides: Team Cap or Team Iron Man. Before seeing it, I wanted to be Team Cap so badly because I like the characters on his team more. But I have to admit: Team Iron Man is right. The Avengers may act to save the world, but they leave major cities demolished and innocent people dead after defeating their enemy. You would think that after causing so much wreckage that they would all agree that they need to make some changes. And although I love Bucky Barnes and it’s terrible what Hydra did to him, his crimes as the Winter Soldier are too great to not face the consequences.
I most definitely recommend this film, whether or not you’re a superhero fan. Like most of the Marvel films, this isn’t simply an action movie. Frankly, it wouldn’t be as great of a film if it was. Civil War gives us superhuman characters who seem unstoppable, but, like the previous Avengers film, it reveals and focuses on their weakness: themselves. Yes, there is Zemo as a villainous character, but he only enhances their weakness. Marvel has found the key to make superhero movies into quality, critically-acclaimed films that still attract a huge fan base that is extremely passionate about the characters: make the superhumans…human.
Through my eyes,