It’s time for my take in my review of Marvel’s Captain America Civil War. Opening weekend has passed. The dust is settling. I saw Captain America Civil War three times, including the opening showing. After digesting and processing all the bits and pieces, I am now, as a fanboy, ready to present my review of Marvel’s Captain America Civil War. If you haven’t seen it yet, why not? There will be SPOILERS below, so this is your warning to back away now. Better yet, go see it and hurry back. I’ll wait.
You still here? OK, just so you can’t say I didn’t warn you, here is another obligatory warning: SPOILERS AHEAD!
Review of Marvel’s Captain America Civil War
I can start by saying that I continue to be impressed with the level of storytelling that Marvel continues to bring to both the big and small screen. I have been especially impressed with the work of the Russo Brothers and their ability to craft a comic book story that isn’t just a comic book story. What I mean is that Captain America, The First Avenger was a war story. Captain America, The Winter Soldier was a political thriller. Civil War continues this trend as their attempt at a psychological thriller, and it fires on all cylinders.
It is interesting that this movie happened under the Captain America banner. The underlying theme is about vengeance, both in the form of revenge, and to avenge. It was basically an Avengers movie. Not that it matters. The comic books that this movie takes its inspiration from crossed over several titles and teams in the Marvel Universe. There obviously was a need for a lot of heroes to be in the story to pull off the concept of a war and teams. But I digress.
The film opens with the Avengers on a mission that ends badly. The character, Crossbones, decides at the end of his encounter with Captain America to seek revenge for the Avengers “dropping a building on his face.” Wanda/Scarlet Witch attempts to protect Captain America and the crowd on the street from a suicide bomb, moves the exploding villain out of one populated are, but unfortunately into another area where people are.
This incident compounds the damage and death tolls from other Superhero battles (in Avengers, Thor, Winter Soldier, and Age of Ultron) in other countries leading to a push for more government oversight of superheroes, not only in the US but supported by 117 other nations. We see Tony Stark/Iron Man consumed with regret after being confronted post a speech by a grieving and angry mother who happens to be a State Department worker who lost a son in the Sokovia incidents with Ultron. She ultimately wants to know who will avenge the death of her son.
This Government Control (The Sokovia Accords) causes a split in the team, with an Iron Man-led group (Iron Man. War Machine, Vision, and reluctantly Black Widow) willing to answer to governmental authorities, while Captain America and his team (Falcon and Scarlet Witch) are opposed.
At the United Nations meeting in Vienna a plot is put into play by Baron Zemo, to frame Bucky/Winter Soldier for the death of the King of Wakanda in a bombing that triggers a revenge path for his son, T’Challa/Black Panther, who enters the fray to kill the Winter Soldier. This puts him on the same side as Iron Man, as Captain America’s Team has come to the aid of Bucky to prove that he was framed, and to bring down Zemo.
More heroes are recruited to each side. Spider-Man joins team Iron Man and Hawkeye and Ant Man round out the ranks of team Cap. since there are many very dark plotlines running, the addition of these three help the movie greatly by adding in some comic relief and wow factor, by adding the witty banter that these characters are known for, and some very impressive new on screen powers and abilities of Spider-Man and Ant Man. A personal point for me where my inner child stood up and fist pumped was when Ant Man transformed into Giant Man in the middle of a major battle.
In the final act, Zemo’s plot is revealed to be the ultimate revenge story. It is revealed he has lost his entire family in the Sokovia Incident, and he wants to destroy the Avenger’s Family. Although he realizes to do so, his best shot is to destroy it from within. So he has lured Captain America, The Winter Soldier, and Iron Man to a remote location to reveal to Iron Man that it was the Winter Soldier who was responsible for the death of his parents, and that Captain America knew as much. This leads to the ultimate battle between the protagonists. Black Panther who was following Iron Man in the hopes of catching up to Bucky, is witness to the truth revealed that it was not him that killed his father in the bombing.
Iron Man and Captain America battle to the point they are both completely beaten. Captain America seems to have won the fight, and can leave with Bucky, but has there really been any victory. We are left to wonder if friendships can ever be mended. Half of the Avengers have to go into hiding which will have an impact on coming films.
It is another victory for Marvel, in that in their cinematic universe, they are able to get the same story continuity that they do in the comic books. This is something DC has to figure out. All of their stories are completely disjointed. Unlike this year’s fight between Batman and Superman, Marvel’s superhero-vs-superhero showdown isn’t just based on a really lame misunderstanding (that is resolved by an even worse coincidence). The storytellers at Marvel do one important thing that DC does not. They craft the story so well that the tension and anger feels real to us. In the final battle, we just want them to stop fighting each other.
In doing a review of Marvel’s Captain America Civil War, and comparing Civil War to Batman v Superman is not really fair to DC. The Marvel film is better in almost every way, from storytelling, to character development and effects. Which is sad, because I am a guy who has more sentimental attachment to many of the DC characters, especially Batman. Let me know below what your thoughts are, and whether you agree or disagree!