In 2008, Jon Favreau’s Iron Man kicked off the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). There was controversy surrounding the trailer and anyone who knew Marvel didn’t understand how Iron Man could be such a big hit. Eight years, twelve films, and four television series later: we get Captain America: Civil War.
Civil War, as many of you may know, is a comic that was notorious for tearing more friendships apart than a game of Monopoly. Were you Team Captain America? Or did you side with Iron Man? Of course, in the comic, the battle is over the Superhuman Registration Act and the outcome is much different. Not to forget the forced plots and drastic character changes. But comics will be comics.
The movie version of Civil War lives up to the many years of Marvel films. It is, in all the best ways, very different from its comic counterpart. The story follows the team after after the events in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Iron Man can’t help but blame himself for the destruction at Sokovia while the rest want to move on with their lives and make up for what happened. The film starts, with the team being asked to sign the Sokovia Accords, a document that would put the United Nations in charge of The Avengers’ every move. Captain America refuses to sign the document and Iron Man advocates it. But the real question of the film is: what are the consequences to being a superhero?
This is not a Captain America film. It’s actually just Avengers 2.5, however, Captain America happens to drive the plot and it develops the relationship between him and Bucky Barnes even further. Other than that, it showcases how the team operates and their individual strengths, as well as weaknesses. That includes the newest additions to the team, Black Panther and Spiderman; both of whom are fracking fantastic and very well done. Chadwick Boseman and Tom Holland embodied the very spirits of each of their respective roles. I swear the MCU and Disney bred these guys in a lab years ago just for these movies. They are all incredible. Not to mention that the fight scenes are absolutely gorgeous— and easy to follow— and highly entertaining. They’re pure perfection.
My only two complaints, and this is really scrounging for things, are that Black Widow’s motivations should have been clear from the start. Any place where Sharon Carter was in the film could have been Black Widow and that would have worked much better. The second issue is that Peter Parker didn’t really fit in. Was he well written and well performed? Yes. But he didn’t drive the plot forward or add anything to the intrigue. He just— kind of existed. Neither of these are really “angry mob with pitchforks” worthy things but they made me side-eye the screen for at least half a second. That’s something, right?
I could wax poetic about the beauty, realism, and true on-screen deconstruction of superheroism for hours. Civil War did it for two and a half hours to be exact. But what you need to know is that it’s definitely worth taking the trip to the theaters and seeing it on the big screen. You will be far from wasting your time. It’s one of hell a ride and I recommend you take it. Stop reading this and go see it— like right now.