Starting off Marvel’s Phase Three is CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR – and it does not disappoint!
The thirteenth movie in Marvel Pictures legion of superhero films, CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR has a lot to live up to. With each installment, the stakes get higher and the cast seems to get bigger. This particular story pits Captain America/Steve Rogers (CHRIS EVANS) against his long time ally Iron Man/Tony Stark (ROBERT DOWN JR.) – as well as involving the majority of their fellow Avengers. It is no surprise then that this film delves deep into a personal side of the characters we had yet to see.
The Russo brothers do an exceptional job at not only grounding the story in reality, but also allowing for the comedic side of Marvel to shine through. I have no doubt that one particular airport fight scene between our Avenger heroes will go down as one of the greatest moments in Marvel cinematic history. The scene is a brilliant example of screenwriting, staying true to each character interaction, while ensuring each of our leading heroes is able to shine in the spotlight.
The story starts out by throwing us right into the middle of a mission led by Cap, alongside Black Widow (SCARLET JOHANSSON), Wanda Maximoff (ELIZABETH OLSEN), and Falcon (ANTHONY MACKIE). During the mission, the band of heroes accidentally unravel a series of events that throws us into the crux of the story.
For Tony, the weight of their mistakes – past and current – is affirmation that the Avengers should be under United Nations control. He sides with the signing of the Sokovia Accords, which would give the UN control whether to send the Avengers on a mission, or withhold their involvement. Though Tony tries to convince the others, Cap believes the safest hands are still their own, knowing the freedom they might give up with signing the accords.
Though obviously disturbing to see our two great heroes – Iron Man and Captain America – fighting each other, it almost feels like this has been a long time coming. Tony and Steve had always shown different leadership styles. It was only a matter of time, and a matter of the stakes being high enough, to split them down different paths.
While it is good to see the old gang back in action, the highlight of the movie comes with the introduction of new characters joining the team. Specifically, Spider-Man (TOM HOLLAND) and Black Panther (CHADWICK BOSEMAN).
Tom portrays the earliest incarnation of Spider-Man that we’ve seen on the big screen. He is still discovering his powers and what it means to be a superhero. His fun, playful portrayal shows a character that has not yet had to feel the full weight of what it means to take up the responsibilities of an Avenger.
Chadwick, on the other hand, is clearly playing a warrior who has already been battle tested. Black Panther has a gravitas that not even the other Avengers can match. Chadwick’s brilliant portrayal shows us just enough to leave us hanging on the edge of our seats – and counting down the days until the Black Panther movie is released!
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR lives up to the high expectations set for it. Though admittedly it has a different feel than previous Marvel movies, the Russo brothers have put their own touch on the universe. The relationships of our heroes are explored as never seen before, and it leaves the audience feeling unsure of what will happen next. I for one can’t wait to find out!
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR opens in theaters everywhere May 6, 2016!