"Captain America: Civil War" stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Chadwick Boseman, and Daniel Bruhl. Released on May 6, 2016, the film has Steve Rogers and the Avengers being torn apart over the Sokovia Accords, with the first half lead by Rogers and the other lead by Tony Stark.
The film is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, who are known for directing the NBC comedy Community as well as films such as Welcome to Collinwood, You, Me, and Dupree, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It is the third film in the Captain America film franchise as well as the 13th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The summer movie season finally kicks off with, you guessed it, a Marvel film. It is some sort of tradition that started in 2008 when Iron Man jumpstarted the popular franchise in a big way. We've been with these characters for eight long years. We've seen them fight together, we've seen them bond as friends, and now we get to see them fight each other. Oh, what fun, and by that, I mean truly heartbreaking. A lot of people who saw this film early said it was Marvel's best film yet, and now that I got a chance to see it for myself, does it really deserve that title? Probably not, but I will say that it's pretty deep.
Evans and Downey Jr. were once again brilliant as Steve and Tony, respectively. Downey Jr. truly shows how much his character has grown since The Avengers. Sure, he still delivers the type of humor Tony Stark is known for, but he knows how to make him more believable. The best part is that the Russo Brothers aren't trying to make him look like the bad guy, just a person who does what he thinks was right. Same goes to Steve Rogers, although he's the main character of the film. It's not Avengers 2.5 or anything, it's a Captain America movie. Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow still reminds us why we need a spin-off film that involves around her. She kicked so much butt in this film, as always, and her performance was very likable. The film also features two new characters that audiences will get to see before their upcoming solo films: Black Panther (played by Chadwick Boseman) and the new Spider-Man (played by Tom Holland). I thought Boseman did a nice job portraying the character and his motive that involves the Winter Soldier was decent. Although I am still upset that there won't be another Amazing Spider-Man film starring Andrew Garfield, I am really impressed with how Holland portrays the web-slinging hero. It's exactly how I imagine Spider-Man would be: nerdy and witty. I wish him the best of luck with his solo film. The story borrowed several concepts from the 2006 comic book storyline of the same name while exploring several themes such as the consequences of being a superhero. Like Batman V Superman, this film showcases that even though the Avengers saved the Earth a few times from diabolical threats, they are responsible for the deaths of innocent lives. This is a more grounded film filled with political themes and conflict, but it does have some humor in it, which blends in nicely with the storyline. Although there were some parts that felt rushed, the Russo Brothers did a great job at developing this convoluted story while also giving each of the characters a time to shine. The action sequences were nicely choreographed and entertaining, with the big airport fight scene being a big highlight of the film. Not only that, but the cinematography for the sequences really helps in keeping track of the action.
Aside from a few rushed parts in the storyline, the other flaw I had with this latest Marvel adventure was the main villain, Zemo, played by Daniel Bruhl. Scratch that, he was a mixed bag. Bruhl's performance was remarkable and the character was threatening in terms of his schemes, but I was disappointed on how he was easily beaten without much of a challenge. The third act in the film was possibly one of the most depressing and brutal third acts I've seen in movies. It's not a flaw or anything, it's just the fact that it really made me upset as a regular person, and there's a slight chance it might do the same for younger viewers.
Overall, "Captain America: Civil War" starts the next phase of the MCU with a bang, thanks to some solid performances, great action sequences, and its engaging storyline that blends political themes with superhero fatigue. What kept it from being as great as The Winter Soldier was its pacing and the villain, but it came very close. Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe would definitely love this film.