Political interference in the Avengers’ activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.
As some of you know, I was going through a bit of superhero fatigue last year-ish but it sort of picked up after watching and enjoying Ant-Man (review) and Doctor Strange (review). As a result, I finally got around to picking up Captain America: Civil War and watching it with my family. MASSIVE SPOILERS if you haven’t seen the movie!
Again, why didn’t I watch his movie sooner? I knew it was going to be a rollercoaster ride coming into this movie but omg
Not my gif
Okay, so where to begin? I appreciate that this movie was a culmination of events that have happened in previous Captain America, Avengers, and other Marvel movies; there’s a sure sense of continuity (it helped that it was the same directors for this movie as The Winter Soldier (review)) but the consequences of the previous movies do come to a head here and the pay off is there. If anything, this was the Avengers movie we should’ve had, though events from Age of Ultron do make an appearance here (yeah, I never reviewed that movie, never got around to it). It’s also what makes the Captain America and Iron Man conflict all the more greyer than it seems; you see both sides of the argument, they both make valid points, but how do you go about such a dilemma? Which outcome works best? Natasha makes a point as well, the realist of the bunch with her covert ways 😛
All of which results in not only some fantastic action sequences but just that clash between all of these characters we’ve come to learn about and grow to love in the past eight years. It’s painful really to see them fight it out, where the friendships fractured (or didn’t; I thought Natasha and Clint’s exchange was kind of hilarious, I knew they wouldn’t really be pissed at each other or anything) or budding connections cut short (Wanda and Vision, in this case). It was also great to see more recent superheroes enter the fold, like Wanda and Scott (oh man, Ant-Man’s stuff was great, from his interaction with Tony Stark (because that’s totally how that would go down) to meeting the other Avengers (him fanboying over Captain America was great) to just his role during the showdown at the airport (
Speaking of which, I know Zemo’s sequences seem like secondary–or even tertiary–to the clash amongst the Avengers and the introduction of several new characters, but you do get where he’s coming from and why he did what he did as well. Daniel Bruhl felt a bit underutilised in that sense but nonetheless he was a chilling villain in his own way because of what motivated him and how far he went–and how patient he was–to get what he wanted.
But there were just so many character moments, everyone had a moment to shine. I could go on and on just picking apart every sequence. But despite the ensemble cast and appearance, the very heart of the movie is still very much a Captain America movie and the culmination of the conflict between his own ideals and a shifting world where agendas are murky and difficult decisions have to be made. How do his ideals fit in with our world? And his loyalty to his best friend and to the Avengers really has him at a crossroads. I suppose what this movie once again hits home with me and amazes me is how through thick and thin Captain America is steadfast in what he believes in. You can’t fault him in that. Just as you can’t fault anyone in this movie for choosing the path they take here–and how they won’t stop at nothing (Black Panther, Captain America, Iron Man, etc.). Everything is tested, hence all the feels.
Also, it was great that despite the seriousness of the movie and all the characters clashing, there were still bits of humour peppered throughout (e.g. Sam and Bucky, Natasha and Clint’s exchange during the fight sequence, Ant-Man).
Two other notes: Firstly, I’m glad that Natasha and Steve didn’t fight (I realise there were plans for them to in the initial storyboards but I’m glad they scrapped the idea). Their friendship has been absolutely wonderful to watch that yeah, I don’t think I could’ve handled that. Secondly, Wanda really comes into her own here, doesn’t she? I mean, she was pulling quite a bit of weight during the airport sequence and she is still coming to terms with her abilities. I hope her character continues to grow and settle into her role as the movies progress in the MCU.
Honestly, I could go on and on and on about this movie but suffice to say Captain America: Civil War was a very satisfying watch and a satisfying conclusion to the Captain America trilogy. It’s open enough to move into the next Avengers movies but it’s a good conclusion arc to Captain America’s journey that started with The First Avenger (review) and, to a lesser extent, Bucky Barnes’ story. Ideally I should’ve rewatched the first two movies heading into this third one but story-wise there was a lot of payoff with what was introduced in previous movies. Absolutely solid, highly recommended!