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Movie Review | Captain America: Civil War (minimal spoilers)

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A story of good intentions with poor execution, Captain America: Civil War hits the ground running and doesn’t stop till after all the credits roll. To make things short and sweet, go see it and when you’re done, go see it again!. There is no way you’re leaving that theater without feeling like you’ve just experienced something amazing yet tragic.

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The Story

The plot for this movie is so much more than it seems at a first glance. Captain America: Civil War sees the Avengers and various other powered persons take up arms against one another as they follow either Captain America (Steve Rogers) or The Ironman (Tony Stark) into a battle for right. While this is the dominating drive of the film, what makes it great is its attention to storytelling. Storytelling which leads it away from being just another superhero brawl and turns it into something more. Into a clash of wills so strong, you are sure to be left wounded by the struggles each side face.

Many elements fuel the titular War which inevitably breaks out amongst the characters we have come to know. While the vengeful plots of Helmut Zemo may have driven the underlying plot, Bucky’s past as both The Winter Soldier and Steve’s best friend was an equally powerful aspects of the film’s overarching story. The true driving force was however, as expected, the Accords.

As comic fans will have noticed, the Accords is not much different from the Superhuman Registration Act which is the focal point in the comic book counterpart to the film. The Accords forces us to accept the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s slogan of “It’s all connected” as more than just a catch phrase. Not only was the Accord itself, although brought about by an accident early on by Scarlet Witch, emboldened by the events of previous films, it is clear to see that both Tony’s easy acceptance as well as Steve’s need to rebel against it are also equally driven by the happenings of the last 8 years of their lives which have lead up to this point.

The film didn’t hesitate to make time for scenes that provided explanations for what was really going on or to set up later events. Every scene felt like it was leading up to something with even fight scenes having a purpose in the overall scheme other than pure action packed entertainment. Even the lighter bits which cut the tension were strong, thus making everything feel cohesive, meaningful, and quite easy to digest.

The Civil War

Is it really a “war” when it’s not that many people fighting it? It most certainly is. The movie carries a high intensity throughout and that is in part because the characters aren’t just fighting for themselves. Each side is fighting for good, each side is fighting for the safety of the world, but each side is fighting for an ideal which directly rivals the other.

Team Iron Man

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Tony Stark chooses to sign the Accords as he feels that the Avengers need to be held accountable for the damage they cause as well as the good. While the idea is forced on him early on by an encounter with a grieving mother, Tony’s determination to see the Accord through is clearly driven by his guilt, fear and a need to act. The same fears which lead to the construction of Ultron, the same guilt which lead to the turn of Stark Industries from weapon’s manufacturing to energy technology, and the same need to act which drove him to become Iron Man.

Team Captain America

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Steve Rogers fights against the Accord on the belief that the safest hands are in fact their own. He demonstrates a strong disregard for governing authority which is a bit out of character for his dedicated soldier persona, but simultaneously true to who he is. Captain America had previously placed his trust in the government and even in SHIELD. Both times he was made to regret his choice as the interests of individuals came to outweigh the need to protect the innocent and do the right thing. Steve’s refusal to sign the Accords is equivalent to his refusal to once again be just another weapon for others to point and shoot much like he was in World War II.

Which Team is right?

 

Neither side completely right and neither is completely in the wrong. Both take up arms with the intension of doing good, but choices and circumstance force them to clash and mayhem to ensue. While Tony’s belief that they should all take responsibility for their mistakes, Captain America believes that they should be allowed the chance to make up for those mistakes instead of dwelling on them. While Iron Man’s attempt to appease his guilt by allying himself with the government was predictably proven to be misguided, Captain America’s stubborn adherence to his pride and his desires had him fueling an already burning inferno when it could have just as easily been extinguished.

The movie plays the conflict so well that there really aren’t any sides to choose as they were both fighting for the same thing in the end, just in two completely adverse methods. While I personally feel like in the end the scales weighed quit unevenly with Tony seeming to have suffered so much more than Steve. I still can’t bring myself to say that I would have really chosen one side over the other. That said I would still choose Iron Man over Captain America any day of the week. . . . but that’s just more of a personal preference.

The new kids on the block

All the conflict aside the most noteworthy aspect of the film was the introduction of two new heroes to the MCU.

 

Both Black Panther and Spiderman make bold and lasting impressions though completely different ones at that.

Prince T’Challa enters a young diplomat and through tragic happenings dawns the vibranium garb of the warrior Black Panther to seek justice against the one who had wronged him. Through framed as a part of Team Iron Man he is shown to truly be fighting for himself.

In his long awaited debut to a Marvel studios film, Peter Parker steals the show. Tom Holland brings to life the iconic character of Peter Parker and hero alter ego Spiderman perfectly with the youthful air of someone who is genuinely just having a good time and trying to do something good with his gifts. His endless banter and wit cut through the intensity of the film in such an organic way that it never feels out of place and his banter with Tony in particular just feels right.

Let’s not forget Aunt May who without a doubt will have men and women across the globe lining up to step in and take Uncle Ben’s place.

The film does a wonderful job of both introducing and making use of these new heroes in a meaningful way that leaves us all buzzing with anticipation for both their solo films which are due to be released within the next few years.

 

Final Verdict

Why are you even still here? If you haven’t seen this movie yet there’s no better time than the present and for those of you who have seen it, why not go see it again?

 

The film is fluent, action packed and offers just the right blend of intense emotion and comedic relief. Captain America: Civil War is most definitely one of, if not the best movie to date of all the MCU’s silver screen titles, and without a doubt the best movie of the year so far. Comic fans, Superhero fans and layman alike are guaranteed to enjoy the movie from start to finish. I honestly can’t wait to see it again.

Adrian Moses
A massive biggest One Piece fan who just wants to spend his days on a world adventure.

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2 Comments

  1. Interesting, but you never said why you felt it was poorly executed. Having seen it a couple of times now myself i think it’s the best one they’ve done to date, and one of the best executed. Especially the ending!!

    That said i disagree on one area, superman almost ruins the show. He’s two young and frankly annoying at times. He’s almost like the kid in the back of the car harping on every few minutes “are we there yet”.

    And Aunt May *shudders* worst miss cast of all time! Only done to add ‘spice’ to the movie and to give stark someone he can hit on for most of the movie.

    Almost as bad a Cap hitting on the daughter of his former lover, which was frankly creepy on multiple levels.

    But, still one of the best movies i’ve seen to date, and better than the DC ones

  2. I actually think it works for the Universe that Spider-man is so young. We get to see him at his best. The constant banter and annoying commentary is who he really is and its been heavily overlooked in the past. It works for some people but it is annoying at times.

    Aunt May was definitely just there to “spice” things up but what can you do? Not everything is gonna be perfect, I like it though

    The Agent Carter things though is a little node to the comics so creepy though it might be its one of the ways Marvel excels. Casual nodes to the comics that don’t feel forced or over whelmed unlike other Comic/Movie studios that are currently trying their best but disappointing us all

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