The 13th Marvel Studios film “Captain America: Civil War” is the franchise’s long-awaited peak. The Russo brothers get us invested in the ensemble of 12 heroes by pulling together an action-packed drama and setting the standard of how a comic book movie should be.
Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely bring an emotional narrative to screen by brilliantly highlighting characters’ dynamics on screen. The movie plays out like a Netflix binge, with entertaining action sequences and character-building dialogues. “Civil War” is set as as a sequel from “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron”. Based loosely on the comic plotline from 2006 – 2007, “Civil War” revolves around Captain America and his team of Avengers – Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Vision (Paul Bettany), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and War Machine (Don Cheadle) – to save the world from terrors. When their mission in Africa results in tremendous collateral damage, The Avengers become the subject of controversy and scrutiny.
The UN then brings forward the motion to have The Avengers in their control. The Secretary of State presents the team with the Sokovia Accords. The document, named after the destroyed city in “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, would determine when and where team could go into action. This divides the team with Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Black Widow, and War Machine who believe they need to be kept in check. As for Captain America, Falcon, and Scarlet Witch, they are opposed to the idea as they are reluctant to be sent into battles in which they may not have a stake in. The emerging conflict becomes compelling when both teams believe their decisions are for the best, making it hard as a viewer to choose a side to support.
The re-emergence of The Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) deepens the plot further when he is seemingly responsible for another terrorist attack, which also leads to the introduction of Black Panther, played regally by Chadwick Boseman. The conflict arises when Cap, believing his friend is innocent, tries to save him from capture by the government. Meanwhile, a mysterious doctor, Zemo (Daniel Brühl), tries to learn more about a mission The Winter Soldier was dispatched to back in 1991 for his own gain.
The highlight at the end, of course, is the emotional battle between Captain America and Iron Man, which will tug our heartstrings as the Russo brothers pull off amazing character dynamics between the two on screen. The same dynamism is seen between Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Both are best friends of Cap, and their complex relationship with one another translates into tons of laughter on screen. The Russo brothers also highlight Scarlet Witch and Vision’s relationship with one another as the ‘newborns’ and how they are coping with their superhero status. In “Civil War”, every character gets an opportunity to interact with each other without drifting away from the central plot.
“Civil War” features what is unquestionably the largest ensemble we’ve seen yet in a Marvel Studios movie. While its narrative isn’t quite as strong as “The Winter Soldier”, “Civil War” makes up for it through its tremendous character work and fully grasping who these pop culture figures are at their core and using it to play off each other.
A prime example is the introduction of Black Panther – every bit regal, courageous, and intelligent as he is in the comics. Despite having only a few scenes, the brilliant cameos by Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and the long awaited Spider-Man (Tom Holland) fully covers what we love about them and leaves us excited about the possibilities in future movies.
Beautiful faces from #TeamCap's press conference this morning! ✨ #ChooseWisely pic.twitter.com/C8vzz96DuH
— DANAMIC (@DANAMICORG) April 21, 2016
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as a whole has produced very good films from “The First Avenger” to “The Winter Soldier”. With “Civil War”, it can be confidently said that Marvel has a better grip on it characters, especially Captain America. This is the smart storytelling we’ve been waiting for, and it’s now in cinemas.
DANamic.ORG Rating: 4.5/5
“Captain America: Civil War” opens in theatres 28 April 2016.