Marvel is brilliant. The worlds they create in this Marvel Cinematic Universe never cease to amaze me. Even when I go into one of their films predisposed to dislike it, I walk out feeling “all the feels,” and impressed beyond comprehension. Before I expand on this, meet the characters of ‘Civil War’ and discover the story.
Captain America: Civil War (2016) Film Review
The Avengers assembled to bring peace, and bring a sense of security and safety to the world. Yet unfortunately, their latest mission ends with collateral damage, a burden that Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) a.k.a Scarlett bares heavily. This inspires the government to take action against the Avengers by forming an act that would place restrictions on how the operations of the Avengers. Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) agrees with the Accords, Steve (Chris Evans) does not. Sides are taken, and a summit is arranged.
Placing great complications on things is the reemergence of Bucky (Sebastian Stan) or the Winter Soldier. Steve’s best friend from the streets of Brooklyn, letting go of his past isn’t something Steve can reconcile. When Bucky is accused of murdering a member of the royal family seeking peace at the summit, everything does sideways. Steve sets out to save him while Tony assembles his group of Avengers to fight against Steve and bring him back to be formally charged for his actions against the Avengers.
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One of the things films like this does freakishly well is make us fall head over heels in love with something (like a couple to ship or a team working towards a common goal) and then they shatter our hearts in a thousand tiny little pieces. ‘Civil War’ is one such film. Walking out of this film makes me feel relieved and simultaneously crushed. The problem isn’t that these characters disagree (this will happen and is normal), it’s that what they are latterly attempting to prevent, stop, is in harm when they work against one another. For all their petty disagreements and differing convictions (which I admire), they are ultimately all friends and as a unit is when they’re strongest. There is truth and safety in numbers.
“I know you’re doing what you believe in, and that’s all any of us can do. That’s all any of us should… so no matter what, I promise you, if you need us – if you need me – I’ll be there.” – Captain America
After parsing out some unflattering issues, let me say, this film gives so much more than I could hope for. I understand the “fighting” now, and do empathize with the deeper, more personal reasons specifically between Tony and Steve. The way the writer’s do this is pure brilliance. I like that the film doesn’t laser focus on the feud. As a solo outing in the MCU timeline, I did wonder about the challenge of losing Captain America in the fray since this seems to be more a gateway to the third Avenger film. Fortunately for this character, nothing is further from the truth. Steve still manages to be the focus while every one of these beloved characters who surround him are, as people, help, challenge, and change him.
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This is the perfect Segway to talk about the actors and the respective characters they play. Chris and Robert are top-form. They continue to grow into these characters with wisdom. In addition to the return of Wanda (growing to love this complex character) and Bucky, many others return. We again see Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha; Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye (did I mention I’m one of the few people who loves his story arc in ‘Age of Ultron’?); Paul Bettany’s Vision evolves into more than a voice; Anthony Mackie Sam Wilson (always did love this guy’s friendship with Steve); Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man (so much YES); Emily VanCamp’s Agent 13 (THAT kiss though); and of course, the much buzzed about return of Spider-Man. This time Tom Holland steps in the iconic web, and I have to say, his introduction couldn’t have been better. The scene between Holland and RDJ is perfection.
Tears and laughter come in equal parts in Captain America: Civil War. It teaches some valuable lessons along the way, but coming out the other side, I am still “Team Cap.” Accepting responsibility when we error is a moral requirement, but messing with the gift of free will is not something I believe should be compromised. Tony’s good intentions were going to mess with that; Steve has to remind him that his quest to do good all began with his choice to change something. Because of this, my fangirl heart does feel some sense of resolution by the time this 2+ hour hulk of a picture wraps up. Tony made a gesture of good will to help Steve, and though it ends
badly, it proves no matter what, family is more important.
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Content: there is the typical sci-fi violence, some minor profanity (very little), and perhaps an innuendo or two. The film is PG13.