Because its election season and thus a busy time for everybody, it took me a while before I was finally able to see Captain America: Civil War, the last movie in the Captain America trilogy under the Marvel franchise. While it was good, it didn’t blow me away like The Avengers did, and while it too, had an all star cast and absolutely awesome action scenes, I just felt that there was something missing in the movie that would have made it amazing.
After an operation in Wakanda causes the deaths of innocent civilians, the Avengers are asked by the government to submit themselves to the Sokovia Accords under which they will be subject to the supervision and control of a UN overseeing panel. This means that the team will lose autonomy over their missions. Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), guilt stricken after learning that the Avengers caused the death of budding humanitarian engineer, agrees to the accord and so does half of the Avengers. Captain America/ Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) chooses to fight for their team’s independence, along with the remaining members of the team. When the Winter Soldier/ Bucky (Sebastian Stan) is framed for an attack on the world leaders at the signing of the accord, Steve decides to stick by Bucky, compromising the Avengers even further while fighting a secret enemy hell bent on destroying their reputation and doing what is right.
Compared to earlier Marvel movies, Civil War takes on a much more serious tone since it deals with a lot of issues within the group. While the friction between Tony and Steve has been established in previous movies, the respect between the two has also been set as a given, going into this film. Alongside respect however, is basically two superheroes who have different principles. This is not to say that one is right and one is wrong because both sides hold merit. And to a degree, audiences will feel torn between the two alphas because their characters are both strong willed and good leaders.
There was a lot of politics involved in this film, and a lot of serious undertones that gets the audience to think and pick a side — it challenges audiences to put themselves in the shoes of the Avengers divided by infighting and question the basic idea of right and wrong. Personally, while Tony was being portrayed as an egomaniac who refused to compromise, compared to the standup guy and friend that the Cap was, I thought Tony had a better grasp of the situation and acted like any good friend would have. He tried to buy Steve time and tried to reason with him. His smart quips would most likely be interpreted as cockiness, but Tony Stark, in this scenario, caught between his loyalty to his team and his intention to be accountable to society, did the best he could. And after what he learned, Cap was really asking for too much to ask Tony to just let bygones be bygones, memory or no.
I liked the casting for the impending new members of The Avengers– Spiderman (Tom Holland) in particular. This smart aleck looked so out of place yet so earnest in the middle of all the tough looking superheroes but he held his own. The Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) was also a cool addition to the Avengers, although he has not been officially drafted yet. After seeing Ant-Man, I was excited too, to see Paul Rudd gel well with other members of the team. However, it was that scene with RDJ and Marissa Tomei (Aunt May) actually brought me back to my teen years and brought on the Only You feels (so cute!). I’m shipping ToMay. Seriously.
I appreciated the idea of balancing the serious scenes with the action, as well as the witty dialogue, but I felt that the talking outweighed the action and at times, it felt dragging — bordering, but not quite, on boring. The action scene at the airport where Team Tony and Team Steve faced off was definitely the highlight of the movie for me. Great cinematography, stunts and transitioning. It had just the right amount of fun and excitement. It was cool and fast paced but not fast enough not to appreciate the nifty stunts and the interesting head to heads among the team.
All in all, I thought Captain America: Civil War had a very unique flavor compared to other products of the franchise. It was very different, mainly because it was tasked with establishing the rapport among the old and new characters to pave the way for Infinity Wars I and II. It also a more dramatic material from a very charged graphic novel. The good thing about Civil War is that it leaves the door wide open for any possibility and provided a glimpse into the type of movie we can expect from the Russo brothers, who will also be handling the next two Avengers movies. Just be reminded that there are two post credit scenes so don’t leave the theater after you see the first one.