Captain America: Civil War is Resplendent, Sophisticated, and Marvelous
Captain America: Civil War
Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Screenplay by: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Based on Captain America by Joe Simon, Jack Kirby
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Frank Grillo, William Hurt, Daniel Brühl
Running time 147 minutes
Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence, action and mayhem.
Approximately one year after Ultron’s defeat in Sokovia, Avengers Steve Rogers/Captain America(Chris Evans),Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow(Scarlett Johansson) , Sam Wilson/Falcon(Anthony Mackie), and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch(Elizabeth Olsen), face off against Crossbones/Brock Rumlow()to prevent him stealing a biological weapon in Nigeria. To evade capture Rumlow attempts to detonate a suicide bomb to take out Steve Rogers but Wanda Maximoff deflects the blast, which inadvertently kills a number of Wakandan aid workers in a nearby hotel. This incident spurs the international community to take a stand against The Avengers, who are now labeled dangerous vigilantes by the United Nations. Secretary of State General Thaddeus Ross(Tom Holland) presents the Avengers—Tony Stark/Iron Man(Robert Downey Jr.), Vision(Paul Bettany), James Rhodes/War Machine(Don Cheadle), Steve Rogers/Captain America, Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Sam Wilson/Falcon, and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch—with the Sokovia Accords, which will establish an international governing body to oversee and control the Avengers. The team is split down the middle with Stark, Vision, Romanoff, and Rhodes in support of the oversight, and Rogers, Wilson, and Maximoff who do not trust outside control.
When Romanoff attends their ratification in Vienna, during which a bombing kills King T’Chaka of Wakanda. After security footage identifies the bomber as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), T’Chaka’s son T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) vows to kill Barns. Determined to get to Bucky before the authorities, who have shoot-to-kill orders, Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson, and unbeknownst to them a vengeful T’Challa, track Barns to Bucharest, where they are all apprehended and arrested after a violent chase through the streets. Once in custody Colonel Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl), masquerading as a U.N. psychological analyst, manages to trigger Barnes’ Hydra programming using his specific trigger words, and sets him loose, which allows Barns, Rogers and Wilson to all escape custody. Steve manages to apprehend Bucky, and snap him out of his brainwashed state, to uncover Zemo’s plans to awaken the rest of the sleeping Winter Solders in a secret Hydra facility in Siberia. To help them stop Zemo Rogers pulls Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) out of retirement, and Wilson recruits Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). Stark, with special permission from General Ross, assembles Romanoff, T’Challa, Rhodes, Vision, and new recruit young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (), to bring in the reengage Avengers before they can escape.
In Captain America: Civil War there is some incredible storytelling on display in this film; it is multi-faceted in terms of tone, sub-plot, and challenging character growth. Anthony Russo, and Joe Russo, with the help of writers Christopher Markus, and Stephen McFeely, managed to walk some very fine lines, balancing the dark story with lighter moments from the supporting cast of characters. I was not only entertained but also thoroughly engaged with the political intrigue, and the highly conflicted character development, that all left me itching for so much more. My heart was lightened and broken, my allegiances wavered and changed sides more than once, and I was left having to make up my own damn mind about who was actually right. In short, it is the absolute height of superhero cinematic storytelling to date.
Aside from the astonishing effects, and the gripping action sequences, was the ever-present verbal sparring that only comes when actors have gained an intimate knowledge of their characters’ deeper natures. Rather than the stunted range we normally see in Marvel films, here we have an incredibly dynamic range of complex human, and super-human emotion struggling with a reality that even today’s political philosophers would have difficulty navigating. Every single actor in this film should be unbelievably proud of the work displayed in this film.
I feel hesitant to say that this is Marvel’s best film yet, simply because I feel like I have said that more than once about previous films, but I could honestly say that here, in fact I would be comfortable saying this is the best superhero film that has ever been produced. Saying that, I think I just convinced myself to buy tickets to see Captain America: Civil War once again.