Movie Review: Captain America: Civil War


Captain America: Civil War is the third Captain America solo film and the second directed by the Russo brothers. The film features the full Avengers team as of Age of Ultron as well as Black Panther in his feature film debut and the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Spiderman. The story is loosely based off of the Civil War comic where the Avengers were divided with Iron Man and Captain America leading the opposing sides. Civil War follows 2014’s The Winter Soldier which is considered by many to be the best Marvel movie so far. So how does Civil War compare to the other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Civil War‘s best aspect is the action. The film hinged on the action being fun and unique. It managed to highlight the personalities of all the characters as they were fighting. Civil War‘s action has the best action scenes in Marvel movies. The more grounded action seen in The Winter Soldier allows for the characters to all have their own moment to shine. The airport fight scene heavily teased in the trailers was a complete triumph. All these characters with completely different fighting styles are working together perfectly. While it seemed as though the trailers were showing too much, there are more than enough surprises in Civil War.

The plot of Civil War is not as gripping as The Winter Soldier. However, it succeeds in really showing the consequences of the events in previous films. The team is divided because of the “Sokovia Accords” which would make the team under UN jurisdiction after early events in the film as well as prior events in the Avengers films. Iron Man supports the accords and Captain America is against them. While this is important to the film it is still a Captain America movie before anything else. The relationship between him and Bucky Barnes is still a major element. There is a lot more emotion in this film than previous Marvel films. Robert Downey jr. was able to show a side of his character we have only seen glimpses of before. You can understand where all the characters are coming from and emphasize with them.

The weakest aspect of Civil War was the villain. Zemo is really only there to push events that would have most likely happened anyways. I really did not understand his motivations on my first viewing, but once the film had ended it made sense and I feel that he would be more appreciated on a second viewing.

What I really enjoyed was that this film does not paint one side as better than the other. Each side has valid points that are hard to deny. You would have to be incredibly stubborn if you stay completely “Team Cap” or “Team Iron Man” throughout the entire movie. It is not portrayed as a black and white issue and you can understand why they are being divided by the accords.

The new characters introduced in Civil War are great. Chadwick Boseman was excellent as Prince T’Challa/Black Panther. His character was definitely not Batman with claws. He was an integral part of the movie and added a new dynamic to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The most anticipated addition to Civil War was Spider-Man. Fans have been eagerly awaiting his introduction and they will certainly be pleased. Tom Holland killed it as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Other versions have come close to the character but were always lacking in either his regular identity or alter ego, but Holland’s version is seemingly ripped right out of the comics. He provided for some of the most fun and funny parts of Civil War. Out of all the upcoming Marvel movies, the ones I am most excited for now are Black Panther and Spiderman: Homecoming.

Civil War is one of the best Marvel films to date. While it may not compare to The Winter Soldier in terms of story, it is a complete triumph in its action. The characters all manage to shine in more than one scene. This is not a perfect movie, but it definitely has you from beginning to end.  It manages to balance being a follow up to both The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron and is a great way for Marvel to kick off phase three. While it might not be everything a viewer could wish for in some instances, it is the most ambitious Marvel film since The Avengers.

Rating: Civil War is not only one of the best Marvel movies, it is an all around great movie.