Stars: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johanssen, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackle, Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Chadwick Boseman, Tom Holland, Daniel Brühl.
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Screenplay: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeel
The Russo brothers have struck gold with Captain America: Civil War. They have taken what is great from Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) then turned it up a notch.
The Winter Soldier showed what a Marvel movie could be if their character’s were treated like real people, real people with amazing abilities anyway. The Russo’s have created a grounded reality for our heroes to play in where their actions, punches, and relations matter. They are not afraid to ask big questions, and the best part is they actually deliver on what they delve into.
Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) with his usual team Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackle), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Newcomer Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olson) go on a mission that goes terribly wrong. Innocent civilians are killed on the sidelines. With this and the many other instances where civilian lives have been at risk with actual casualties, the governments of the world have decided to make it their duty to oversight the Avengers. This creates instant conflict between two ideals and splits the Avengers on either side of the issue, Rogers on one side and Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) on the other.
What this film does great is that it shows the perspective on either side of the argument; Should the heroes be able to use their powers to fight with or without oversight. This film does not try to tell you who is right or wrong, even if the lead character is on one side of it. It is smart enough to know that the audience can make their own mind up, because each side has fair cause for concern.
However even though most of the Avengers are back in this film, this plot still centres around Roger’s story progression. He is still looking for his best friend Bucky (Sebastian Stan), the now only living friend he has from his previous life. Most of Roger’s argument centres around him trying to save his friend who has been used by Hydra and he knows if he is not the one to bring Bucky in then Bucky will be shot on sight.
Unlike the previous Avengers movies, this film allows the characters to be vulnerable. It made the characters human, made them realistic, and you feel the punches because for once they didn't seem immortal. They can break, physically and emotionally. The action feels real, there are consequences to crashing into buildings, falling from great heights, and making mistakes on the battlefield. These are superheroes but they are living in the real world and the real world is fragile.
Relationships are tested and at the end there is no clear winner. These characters have been changed by these events in ways that can’t really be reversed. Permanent consequences which just opens up the possibilities of what this franchise can do. And that is exciting.
And special shout out to the Black Panther/T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), I cannot wait to see what his movie is going to offer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.