Captain America: Civil War is the third film in the Captain America franchise and chronologically follows Avengers: Age of Ultron. The story kicks off with the Avengers team in the middle of fighting to keep a bio-weapon from the clutches of Crossbones. Their efforts are successful, but not without major casualties. The governments of the world, fed up with the constant destruction, demand to place the Avengers under control of the United Nations. And those that don’t comply will be considered criminals. This confining ultimatum immediately divides the Avengers. Tony Stark (Robert Downy Jr.) is the first to support this change and tries to persuade the rest of the team, But Captain America (Chris Evans) is NOT having it. Right off the bat, the Avengers seem irreconcilably divided. As problems bigger than their quarrel threaten the safety of the world, the Avengers must figure out how to save it amidst their own internal war.
The story arc is an interesting progression in terms of general comic book tropes. Serious conflict within the Avengers is a natural progression of the team with very strong and diverse characters. In fact, while there is a very clear antagonist present, the majority of the tension and conflict centers around the Avengers feud. However, if you’re looking for any decent character development, these instances are few and far between. Nearly every hero has a stance and remains fairly firm throughout the film.
The first half of the movie confirmed all of my fears about what this movie might be. A lot of tough guy talk while rolling out a mostly uninteresting plot and meaningless globetrotting. But as Tony Stark and Captain America beef up their respective teams, things finally start to wake up. Ant man (Paul Rudd) and Spiderman (Tom Holland) are a breath of fresh air in the stuffy tensions within the Avengers. The story does improve at this point, but not by much. Rudd, Holland and Downy Jr. make the movie watchable.
The height of the action is the faceoff between Captain America and Stark’s respective teams on an airport runway. And it does not disappoint. Everyone’s abilities are on display in all of their glory, making for some very dynamic and creative actions sequences. That being said, it is very easy to get lost in the fight and remember who is fighting for whom. I believe this is a scenario where team jerseys would have really come in handy.
Captain America: Civil War strikes a good balance between having intense actions sequences and not taking itself too seriously. Civil War harnesses a fun comic book feel and it makes for a very entertaining experience. However, the lack of an interesting story and any real character development prevents me from transcending above a mild fondness. As long as you don’t expect much more than fun action and witty remarks, you’re bound to have a perfectly enjoyable time in the theater.