Captain America Civil War Review! Marvel rises from the ashes of Ultron
Captain America Civil War Review!
Finally, a new Captain America movie has been released. This time it was directed by the Russo brothers. Like The Avengers movie Captain America does not just focus on its titular character. Instead just like The Avengers, the story follows an ensemble of super heroes. As Marvel’s Cinematic Universe continues the number of movie characters is starting to become too large. Age Of Ultron was hampered by thus, but Captain America Civil War manages the issue handsomely.
I was ready to dislike Civil War as yet another special effects summer popcorn movie. Age Of Ultron left me cold, not in the least because of its meaningless fight scenes. Though the Civil War trailer was good the inclusion of yet more comic heroes left me worried. As it happens my fears were unjustified, Civil War is one hell of a good movie. It easily as good as The Winter Soldier, Iron Man and the Avengers movie. Below you can read a recap of the story. It certainly contains SPOILERS, but for a movie lasting 2 hours and 20 minutes I have given just the highlights.
The movie starts with a bombshell. We see a reactivated Winter Soldier in 1991 run a car off the road and steal a case with unknown substances from the boot. Fans of the movies and the comics will instantly know who was run of the road, but directors Joe and Anthony Russo don’t make that explicit until the final act. Approximately one year after events in Sokovia the Avengers: Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, Sam Wilson, and Wanda Maximoff, attempt to stop the theft of a biological weapon in Lagos, Nigeria. In the aftermath of events that left innocent people dead the United Nations prepare to sign the Sokovia Accords to oversee The Avengers.
The team, as the title might suggests, is split on the accords. Stark, who feels responsible for creating Ultron is for the accord while Rogers is against as he mistrusts the agenda of the governments who signed it. Things come a head when a bomb explodes in Vienna as the accords are about to be ratified. This kills King T’Chaka of Wakanda. T’Chaka’s son T’Challa, who reveals himself to be Black Panther, vows revenge on whoever carried out the attack. The initial suspicion falls on The Winter Soldier (Buckey). Rogers attempts to save Buckey, but they along with Black Panther are captured and are held in Berlin as criminals of the newly founded organization that oversees The Avengers.
The real perpetrator behind the bombing, Colonel Helmut Zemo, infiltrates the facility and uses the code book from Hydra to brainwash Buckey. However Zemo’s plan fails and Buckey tells Rogers what the colonel is up to. He wants to unfreeze the other five Winter Soldiers created using Stark senior’s unknown substance. Rogers gathers his allies within the Avengers and plans to follow Zemo. At the Berlin airport they are intercepted by Stark and his allies. In a fierce fight, that includes Spiderman and Ant-Man, Rogers and Buckey manage to escape while Rhodes is severely injured.
In the final act Tony Stark follows Rogers and Buckey who have followed Zemo to a Siberian hideout. There they find that Zemo has killed the five remaining Winter Soldiers. He reveals footage that shows Winter Solider kills Tony’s parents. Despite assurances from Rogers that Buckey was brainwashed during the assassination Tony vows revenge. In one of the most intense super-hero fights the three battle again each other. After Winter Soldier loses his arm Rogers is finally the winner over Stark but is injured himself. Zemo is confronted by Black Panther. Zemo apologizes for the King’s death and attempts to shoot himself, but is stopped by Black Panther. In the final scene of the movie Rogers frees those members of his team captured at the Berlin airport. He also sends a phone to Stark, telling him to call him when his team is needed.
What makes Captain America Civil War great is its story. This is not yet another super hero movie where the good guys + hot chick must stop a villain. Zemo is a villain, but not an important one, even he admits that. He has no plan to take over the world. He just wants The Avengers to start fighting each other, and he succeeded. The Sokovia Accords may be the impetus behind the movie, but the revelation Buckey is behind the death of Tony Stark’s parents is the real spark for the civil. Captain America Civil War ca thus boast to have a great primary story while the side plots: Black Panther, Spiderman, Wanda Maximoff are also funny, exciting and sometimes tragic. They tie-in nicely with the main story and strengthen it.
What also makes the movie work is its location, most of it is set in Berlin. A strange decision considering most Marvel comics scream American. Yet it works, it underlies the international threat posed by villains with super-human abilities and the international consequences of the actions performed by The Avengers. For a character such as Captain Rogers Berlin must be weird, but I didn’t get the feeling it bothered him. In fact, it felt the opposite. Even Rogers can put the war behind him and look ahead.
With Captain America Civil War the summer season for blockbusters has officially kicked off. This movie is what Age Of Ultron should have been, an anchor for Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. I am glad that the Russo brothers will be back for Avengers: Infinity War. After that two-parter the MCU will probably wind down.