The Avengers go through a domestic dispute while the government tries to bring their unsanctioned worldwide collateral damage under control. They should consider themselves lucky no Wayne Enterprise buildings were destroyed…
Long awaited by comic fans, “Civil War” has been a major staple in the Marvel universe. Understandably, a story as long and epic as the 2006-2007 comic run could never fit into a single feature. Instead we are left with a muted plot that shares very little with the source material. Similar to the conflicts depicted in “Batman V Superman”, the government becomes concerned with the collateral damage and civilian deaths being caused by superhumans with no oversight. 117 countries draft up the “Sokovia Accords”, an act that will legalize and oversee the Avengers. Captain America (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark(Robert Downey Jr.) face off over their opposing ideologies on this bill, but it’s disappointing that their disagreements are rarely more eloquent than “I’m right,” “No, I’m right!” There are a number of potentially fascinating philosophical discussions on the value of one life lost compared to thousands being saved that are never explored. A lot of time is spent in the first act trying to provide the background motivations for all the characters, but it all boils down to guilt and/or revenge.
Thankfully, even with the muted plot, everything else is exceptional, and the Russo brothers are able to deliver a thrilling chapter in the Steve Rogers Saga. Chad Stahelski & David Leitch, the directors and fight choreographers from “John Wick,” were brought on board as Second Unit directors and were in charge of the fight scenes in “Civil War.” The result is action sequences that are much more kinetic and impressive than the usual fare. The improved fight scenes are much easier to follow and frequently have bodies flying through the air, crunching into all variety of structures and objects. Cap takes on increasing complex shield bounces to take out enemies, Falcon uses his wings for more than just flying, and Black Widow has perfected her moving motorcycle dismounts.
Joining the regular ensemble this time is Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) an African Prince from the fictional country of Wakanda. He’s a relatively cool character, but is overshadowed by the other new addition: Spiderman. The rumors are true, Tom Holland may be one of the best Peter Parkers ever and makes an Amazing Spiderman (!) His appearance is short, but he steals every second on screen. The upcoming “Spiderman:Homecoming” may now be one of the most anticipated films on Marvel’s slate.
“Captain America: Civil War” is a very good film, but the simplified plot keeps it from besting the previous two Cap-Films. For even the most casual comic fans, it’s certainly worth seeing, even if it can’t live up to it’s epic heritage.