During a conflict in Lagos between the Avengers and Crossbones (Frank Grillo), an explosion takes the lives of many civilians. After this incident, the United Nations create the Sokovia Accords, which will put a UN board in charge of when and where the Avengers are deployed. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) feels that superpowered individuals should be held accountable for their own actions and the UN board will prevent the Avengers from helping the people that need it. Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) thinks that the heroes need to be supervised. This difference of viewpoints creates a rift between the two friends and sends Steve on the run after his friend, Bucky (Sebastian Stan) is accused of causing an explosion at a UN meeting.
I think it is safe to say that Captain America: Civil War is probably the movie I have been looking forward to the most in the first half of 2016. Not only is it a Marvel movie but it is heavily influenced by my favorite comic event to date (and it introduces Tom Holland as the new Spider-Man). There was a lot for it to live up to and it passed with flying colors.
First, I want to address one of my fears going into this movie and it may be considered spoiler-ish, and is entirely based on my geeky side, so keep that in mind. When I heard that Frank Grillo would be returning as Crossbones and the movie would star Daniel Bruhl as Helmut Zemo (aka Baron Zemo), I was really concerned. In the Civil War comic, there is no villain. The conflict is entirely between Tony and Steve and their two viewpoints. I was concerned that towards the end, the two heroes would make up, hold hands and fight the pair of villains. That’s not what the Civil War story was about. It is about the difference in ideologies and at the end of the comic, both Tony and Steve were left in very interesting places. So I didn’t want the film to turn into this team-up at the end and not have any sort of ramifications going forward. That did not happen at all. By the end, there were real consequences that will have a huge impact on the MCU going forward. Thank you so much Marvel for understanding what made the source material one of your best events.
Although this has “Captain America” in the title, many superheroes made an appearance, it’s pretty much like a mini Avengers movie. However, since it does have “Captain America” in the title, much of the focus was on him. Even having Tony (Robert Downey, Jr.), a headliner of his own franchise, Steve (Chris Evans) was still front and center the entire time. Many of the other heroes didn’t linger on screen longer than they needed to. They did their part to move the story forward then got out of the way to allow Steve to be in the spotlight once more.
Despite its more serious story, Civil War still manages to inject Marvel’s signature humor into the film. It helps when Paul Rudd and a Spider-Man are in it. But all the humor didn’t come from these two. RDJ has always had a quirky Tony Stark, who gets a several joke in (though not as many as previous movies) and even Evans garnered a few laughs. Some might be getting tired of Marvel’s humor but I like it and I think it prevents their films from becoming too dark.
Speaking of Spider-Man, I think we might have our best movie version yet. Both Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield were good Spider-Men but they didn’t have the humor quite right (although this is more on the writing than it is on them). Tom Holland is the youngest Peter Parker yet and does absolutely wonderful. His discussion with Tony about why he became Spider-Man is very emotional and when he is fighting the other heroes, he talks non-stop, geeking out about being around the other heroes and their powers and gear. I was excited for Spider-Man: Homecoming before but now I am even more excited which I didn’t think was possible!
Kicking off Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was the perfect time to make this movie. There aren’t any more Captain America movies on the horizon, nor are there any Iron Man movies happening anytime soon. Telling this story now gives a good perspective on how much these two characters have grown since we first met them eight years ago. This film builds off of the previous two Captain America, three Iron Man and two Avengers films. By the time Steve and Tony come to blows, we have a deep understanding of these characters, so their conflict has a ton of emotional weight behind it. Still being able to develop a character after about four movies is an amazing feat but doing it with two characters is truly impressive.
I thought Captain America: Civil War was GREAT :-D. Way back when, shortly after the release of The Avengers, I began thinking of story lines Marvel could adapt for their Avengers movies and Marvel’s Civil War was at the top of my list. However, I didn’t think It would happen because of the scale of the event (it literally touched every book Marvel published for months). But Marvel found a way to shrink down the event’s scale and still keep the core of the story, and what made it an engaging story, intact. The MCU is once again shaken up and leaves me excited to see what its future holds.
Cast & Crew
Anthony Russo – Director
Joe Russo – Director
Christopher Markus – Screenplay
Stephen McFeely – Screenplay
Henry Jackman – Composer
Chris Evans – Steve Rogers / Captain America
Robert Downey, Jr. – Tony Stark / Iron Man
Scarlett Johansson – Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow
Sevastian Stan – Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier
Anthony Mackie – Sam Wilson / Falcon
Don Cheadle – Lieutenant James Rhodes / War Machine
Jeremy Renner – Clint Barton / Hawkeye
Chadwick Boseman – T’Challa / Black Panther
Paul Bettany – Vision
Elizabeth Olsen – Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch
Paul Rudd – Scott Lang / Ant-Man
Emily VanCamp – Sharon Carter
Tom Holland – Peter Parker / Spider-Man
Daniel Bruhl – Helmut Zemo
Frank Grillo – Brock Rumlow / Crossbones
William Hurt – Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross
Martin Freeman – Everett K. Ross
Marisa Tomei – May Parker
John Kani – King T’Chaka
John Slattery – Howard Stark
Hope Davis – Maria Stark
Alfre Woodard – Miriam
Kerry Condon – FRIDAY (voice)
Spider-Man stole this movie for me. A great version of the character. The best yet.
He did for me too. He took all the best aspects of Maguire’s and Garfield’s and put them together. I can’t wait for Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Great review Drew. I enjoyed the film but I still think The Winter Solider was better, purely because it was self contained and didn’t feel like a set up to another film which Civil War sort of did but not in a obvious and distracting way like Age of Ultron. On a personal note, I really wanted to see more of Zemo because as a villian, he had a massive impact but at the same time, it was very underplayed like a simple plot device. Spider-Man was cool and it finally feels like we’re seeing a real balance for the character which was missing in the previous incarnations, especially the last Spider-Man film which annoyed the hell out of me! Really dig Black Panther, can’t wait to see that film.
Thanks, Geek. They are both good but I think Civil War squeaks by Winter Soldier. I get your point about being self contained but I think Civil War did a good job setting things up in the beginning and if hypothetically Marvel was to end the larger story here (which we know is definitely not the case), then it would have a satisfactory conclusion. I would argue that Zemo didn’t need a big presence. His role was solely to cause a rift between Steve and Tony and he did that. He may not be Marvel’s best villain, but he is far from their worst. But I agree, a few more minutes of screen time for him probably wouldn’t have hurt. I really like how Spider-Man was handled. They seem to finally have his personality just right. Black Panther has me excited, too!
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I agree – Zemo is not the worst but definitely better than Ultron as a villain. Both practically did the same thing but Zemo actually accomplish the task. I loved the new Spider-Man so hopefully that will continue. Very excited in seeing Black Panther after his debut. I think it could be another game changer in the Marvel universe, just like Guardians of the Galaxy.
I think you’re right. Although it will be hard to top Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther will show another great side of the MCU.
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Yes yes yes! Love your review. I stayed away from all the trailers and had no idea our new Spider-Man was even going to be in this, so needless to say, I was a very happy fangirl!
Thanks! Wow, you stayed away from everything? That’s impressive! Happy fangirls are the best fangirls.
I loved it too!
Yay! Glad to hear that. 🙂
I loved it–it was everything I hoped it would be, with a few fun surprises that made it even better. I was also afraid they’d try to wrap things up too neatly by the end, especially when Tony went to help the Cap and Bucky at Zemo’s secret lair. But then we got that big twist, and I’m glad they left the movie with an ambiguous ending. We can see there is a path to reconciliation, but it hasn’t happened yet. Spidey was great, and I loved Black Panther. Ant-Man’s cameo was funny, and I thought Marvel gave everyone just the right amount of screen time. I haven’t decided whether I liked this or Winter Solider better, but Civil War definitely has a place in my Marvel top 5.
The characters were left exactly where I was hoping they would be at the end. I would have been disappointed if they had reconciled within this film. Marvel did a great job to show that the conflict put a crack in Tony and Steve’s relationship but didn’t destroy it completely. This is in my top 5 MCU films for sure and is higher than CA: The Winter Soldier for me. I liked The Winter Soldier but I didn’t love it like everyone else.
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I watched it again last night and it was just as good the second round. Can’t wait to see what happens next in the MCU.
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