Published on April 20th, 2016 | by Simon Maracara0
Movie Review: ‘Captain America: Civil War’ or ‘That Was Brilliant, Can’t Wait To See It Again”
The latest installment from the Marvel Cinematic Universe serves both as a closing chapter for the Cap’s trilogy and a foundation brick to the next phase in the reigning monopoly 1 1 of superhero movies helmed by Disney. Being big on action, plot and banter, ‘Captain America: Civil War’ is probably the strongest Marvel feature since 2012’s The Avengers and a big win for comic book fans everywhere. Everywhere.
WARNING: Mild spoilers ahead.
Just about ten minutes in, on the first hero sequence (you know, the one with all the leathered up heroes fighting together to stop the bad guys), it’s easy to see that this is a more serious take on the franchise, one where Team Cap (the shield wilding Chris Evans, Anthony Mackie as Falcon and Elisabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch) is not shying away from using lethal force against human-terrorists and with a Tony Stark dealing with even more personal demons than before.
Soon the exposition and building of the plot follows with a visit of the US State Secretary, Thaddeus Ross (played by William Hurt), whom recounts the disasters following the heroes’ showdowns in previous movies and making emphasis on the number of civilians killed in the crossfire, which serves as an excuse for the media and governments around the world to question the unsupervised actions of The Avengers. Ross brings with him the Sukovian Accords, referencing the events in last year’s ‘Age of Ultron’, a proposal for the regulation of heroes activities in the world and that is backed up for 170+ countries in the UN.
The idea of an international board controlling and disposing enhanced humans (movie term for comic book heroes) serves as a perfect fracture in a team that took over eight years to come together. The accords find support in Team Iron Man (the man in the suit himself Robert Downey Jr., followed by a bad ass Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, and rounded up by Don Cheadle’s War Machine and Paul Bettany’s Vision), believing that giving up their autonomy is a small price to pay in order to avoid (intergalactic?) war casualties and improve their image in the eyes of the world.
But the Cap knows too well the story of the government with good intentions, and would not to trust any other agency but his own. “The safest hands are still our own,” he explains to a very rugged and very stressed Stark wearing a Tom Ford suit in movie that splits the action between conference rooms and the streets of Bucharest, Berlin, Siberia and Lagos. With the “talking scenes” matching the urgency and violence of the majestically choreographed action scenes: from high speed chases, some mano a mano pair ups against the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) and the biggest hero brawl to be seen yet on a live-action hero movie.
Halfway through the film, the stakes are high enough so that both teams need to seriously man up, with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) getting in line with the Cap, and Stark pulling the big guns in the form of Black Panther and the friendly neighbour Spider-Man. Both Chadwick Boseman and Tom Holland inject a much needed fresh air to the franchise without overcrowding an already super team of Marvel’s best.
Here is where one can start to understand firsthand the building of what is to come in the intricate release schedule for the following years. Presenting a serious and sci-fi mixed tone around the King ruler of (the fictional African nation) Wakanda, T’Challa, a handsome and powerful young man with a traditional set of morals and a futuristic array of weaponry at his disposal. And the actual joy that comes with seeing Peter Parker and Aunt May (play by the very attractive Marisa Tomei) shining, as briefly as it is, in the second act of a very serious movie.
With lots (lots!) of moving pieces, and as many characters as a season of Game of Thrones (Emily VanCamp and Daniel Brühl also help moving the plot along as the romantic interest with a kick and the big brooding bad guy respectively), this Captain America movie comes as a masterclass in storytelling and structure from the Russo Brothers (Anthony and Joe Russo) and leaves no room for doubt as of why Kevin Feige, Marvel honcho, picked them to direct the upcoming Infinity Wars chapters of the Avengers.
Would be wise to remember that despite the bigger-than-ever ensemble, this is very much a movie about Steve Rogers and his navigating through a world unknown to him since he was rescued from the frozen tomb where he spend more than 50 years at the bottom of the Arctic Sea. His principles, his alliances, and his perfect teeth are the ones put to test here, on journey set to break them under the crushing force of steel, politics and deceits.
Rating: Shut up and go see it!
P.S. There’s only one mid-credits scene. No need to stay ‘till the very end for another one.
‘Captain America: Civil War’ opens in Ireland on April 29th 2016.