Plot:With the massive destruction the Avengers have caused in both property and lives, they are mandated to sign with the government to remain under watch for the good of the world. However, Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans) don’t see eye to eye on the issue, causing a split between them and the rest of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Wow. Where do I begin? Captain America: Civil war is such a complex film, with so many (but well told) layers that it would be impossible to review this film without missing something. However, there’s no doubt that, in my opinion, directors Joe and Anthony Russo (who directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier as well) have actually created a movie that is better than the book it is based on, which hardly ever happens.
Loosely based on the comic by Mark Millar, the main focus of the movie is still the same; there’s been too many deaths in the world due to the Avengers coming in to save the day, and the right authorities want to end it immediately. Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt, reprising his role from The Incredible Hulk, a wonderful link to a nearly forgotten MCU film) lays it all down, saying to sign or be arrested.
With the documentation now put into action, Tony is so for it, it’s almost like he had his mind made up a day before he even knew about it. However, Steve is not so easy to convince, and he’s got bigger problems elsewhere. Now that Bucky (Sebastian Stan) has come before Cap and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) willingly, Steve’s major concern is trying to figure out what The Winter Soldier has been doing lately as he’s been all over the news. Bucky says he’s trying not a criminal anymore, but a mysterious man by the name of Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) who wishes to counter attack that theory, for the sole purpose of something I cannot spoil here. Just be forewarned-there’s a bigger picture in the movie than the trailers showcased, and I’m thankful that proper editing didn’t give that away.
Since Captain America refuses to sign the papers, Tony takes it upon himself to bring Rogers in for either arrest or his John Hancock. This all leads up to the airport battle between sides, and yeah, this is pretty much the greatest comic book movie action scene ever. There are so many moving parts here, and while it’s a far cry from an actual comic book due to a limited number of characters, for the Russos to tackle what they did is nothing short of incredible. Everyone gets time to shine in this battle one way or another. If you have the money to spare, make sure you see it in IMAX for this scene alone.
There’s also new characters that are thrown into the fray due to a series of events. Since I’m going to heavily analyze one new character in detail in a bit, let’s focus on Black Panther/T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman. Due to the fact that he is regal in all sense of the word, Panther doesn’t drop jokes during the course of the film, and plays straight man to all that is going on. In reality, as the movie moves forth, he seems to be the one with the only proper head on his shoulders. That, and he’s got a really sweet costume. Boseman’s portrayal is very quiet but fierce in its own right, and while he may not command as much attention as the rest of the big players in the game, he still steals a good amount of moments.
The biggest scene stealer of them all, however, is my favorite superhero ever, Spider-Man. Played wonderfully by Tom Holland, Spider-Man being in the movie is something I’d never thought I’d see due to film company rights being in the hands of Sony Pictures. However, Marvel Studios was able to cut a deal for the benefit of audiences, and while he’s only on the screen for about 20 minutes, the webhead is used to his full effect. He banters with everyone, he moves like he just leaped off the page, and he even has the best line of the movie! There’s just no denying it, he was perfect. I may have actually teared up when he was swinging around in the airport, trading blows and words with The Avengers. It was a dream come true, and one that I could not get enough of. Spider-Man is finally home, where he belongs, and that’s a wonderful feeling.
On another note, Holland’s Peter Parker has a short conversation with Tony during the course of things, and in this moment, I knew they made the right choice. I was with him every step of the way, and can’t wait for the first solo outing. Seriously though, so happy with everything involving Spidey. In 30 minutes of screen time, they seem to finally get right what they couldn’t do with five films.
Once the airport scene is done, the aforementioned bigger picture comes into play, and man, it packs an emotional wallop. As Tony and Steve are punching each other into the ground, it’s not played for sheer entertainment value anymore. The fight is extremely upsetting, in all the right ways, and despite the fact that every one chose a side going in, coming out of the film, it’s not going to be so black and white. You will probably question your alliance exiting the theater, and I know I sure as hell did.
The third Captain America film is nothing short of extraordinary. The Russos have once again change the landscape of the Marvel Cinematic Universe before our very eyes, and did it in such a way that their involvement in Infinity War should be considered a blessing. These guys know what they are doing, no doubt about it. Not only is Civil War an incredible film, but it pretty much solidifies that the Captain America trilogy is the best superhero trilogy of all time.
Surpassing The Winter Soldier was going to be a tough job, but I have no doubt in my mind that Civil War is the best MCU film. The storytelling, the action, the heartache, and the game changing components (and Spider-Man!) all work together to form what a great comic book movie should be. How Marvel Studios continues to crank out movies this amazing 8 years into the whole MCU franchise is insane, but here we are. Like I said, I couldn’t even begin to detail this movie in full, but that’s probably keeping things bare bones enough so you get off your butt and see it already if you didn’t already.
Oh, and I love you, Paul Rudd.
Captain America: Civil War is currently in theaters everywhere
Logan J. Fowler is a senior writer and video game editor on Pop-Break.com. He contributes his thoughts every week for Trailer Tuesday and ABC’s The Goldbergs.” Logan’s “kid at heart” nature has led to his discussion about pop culture that many geeks love to talk about, including superheroes, Super Mario Bros., Pixar, and Muppets, among other things. In addition, one of his first pieces for the site, “Top Ten Comic Book Movies,” was picked as a “Freshly Pressed” piece by WordPress and remains one of the site’s most well-read articles. Many of Logan’s friends have said that he moonlights as Spider-Man but this is so not true. Wait, are those police sirens I’m hearing?! Gotta go! -thwipp-