In Captain America Civil War, many of the tensions that have been building since the first Avengers finally come to a head, and the result, while not the best Marvel movie, is an exciting and explosive tale with far reaching consequences for this comic book-inspired series.
When Captain America Civil War begins, the good Captain (Chris Evans) is leading Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), and Wanda (Elizabeth Olson) on a mission to take down Crossbones (Frank Grillo), who was Cap’s “friend” in Captain America The Winter Soldier. But when Crossbones tries to kill Cap with a suicide vest, Wanda tosses the bad guy into the air, only to have the resulting explosion happen to close to a building, killing and injuring some people inside.
This tragedy — along with previous ones depicted in the movies Avengers, Avengers Age Of Ultron, and Captain America The Winter Soldier — prompts the governments of the world to draft an accord that would put these superheroes under the control of the U.N. But while Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and others support the measure, it doesn’t sit well with Captain America, especially after The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) is blamed for a second explosion that kills members of the U.N., and the police are told to kill Cap’s old pal on sight.
What follows is an often intricate and intriguing tale that, while different from the original comics by Mark Millar and others, has much of the same spirit and scope, and leaves our heroes in a very different place than where they all started.
Though it actually has more in common with Captain America The Winter Soldier than the original comics. Especially in tone. For the most part, Captain America Civil War has the smart but relatively serious feel of Captain America The Winter Soldier; the exception being some of the scenes when Iron Man is around, during which things get a little lighter, and thus more in line with the first Iron Man movie. Which isn’t to say that the Iron Man parts clash with the more serious Captain America-centric parts; quite the contrary, they work well together. But you do notice the tonal shift.
Of course, it helps that most of the cast — including Evans, Downey Jr., Johansson, Stan, and Don Cheadle (War Machine) — have played these roles before, often multiple times, and are just as good and as fun to watch here as they were before.
But Captain America Civil War also shows some of the relative newcomers becoming more interesting characters as well. Paul Rudd is as likeable but even more fun of a fighter here as he was Ant-Man; Olson is even more capable than she was in Avengers Age Of Ultron; while Anthony Mackie, more than anyone, really comes into his own here as Sam Wilson.
Captain America Civil War also serves as this universe’s introduction to two iconic superheroes: Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). While the former is not new to moviegoers, Holland’s depiction of him as a wide-eyed, star struck teenager new to the superhero game is so spot on that he trumps all previous movie depictions of the character with just a few scenes.
As for Black Panther, he has no cinematic precedent, but Boseman is, for the most part, what you’d want for this iconic character. Granted, he’s not as regal or as smart as he is in the books, but then this also shows his first days in the suit, and his motivation (which I won’t spoil) is a strong one, so it’s understandable if he’s not on par with his comic counterpart. Yet.
And yet, despite how well this all worked, I still enjoyed Captain America Civil War less than I did Captain America The Winter Soldier, the first Avengers, and the first Iron Man. Granted, I’ve only seen this once (so far), while I’ve watched the others multiple times, but Captain America Civil War doesn’t feel as effortless as those three. It certainly wasn’t slow or dull, but the time certainly didn’t fly by the way it did when I first saw those other movies. Or the second time. Or the third. But it’s still an exceptional action movie, a great comic adaptation, and just an all-around fun time. And hey, who knows, by the time I see this one two or three more times, maybe I’ll like it even more.
For a different take on Captain America Civil War, check out this piece on RPad.tv.