So Captain America: Civil War came out, and I was cautiously optimistic. You see, I had been burned by a previous love *coughBatmanVsSupermancough* and I didn’t know if I was ready to love again. But Captain America: Civil War webslinged into my heart and pulled my heart strings with its vibranium claws.
Our film picks up right where Avengers 2 leaves off. Cap is leading the new Avengers on a mission to apprehend Ruffalo AKA Crossbones, a left over Hydra agent from Winter Solider. Unfortunately, this results in collateral damage, becoming the straw that breaks the camel’s back, as far as world government is concerned.
Enter stage left Tony Stark, racked with guilt over his part in the creation of Ultron and the resulting deaths and mayhem. Stark is working in conjunction with Secretary Ross to introduce the Sarkovia accords. Essentially, a U.N.-lead oversight for the Avengers.
This is where we get the “Civil War” aspect of the film. With Tony pushing for the accords, seeing them as a necessary evil, Captain America questions how impartial such oversight would be and is concerned with how it would impact the Avengers’ ability to effectively protect the world.
The annoying thing about this film is that I think it failed to give either side of the argument a strong voice. I understand the characters’ motivations, having read a million or so comics and the comic series on which the film is based. But I can’t help but feel that general audiences are going to be left wondering why Cap and Iron Man are fighting.
Sure, Iron Man feels guilty and Cap wants to help his friend. But a storyline like this needs more than just basic needs or emotions like these to justify a superhuman war.
One could read further into Cap’s motivations with a little thinking. For me, after some thought, I felt that Cap was concerned that the U.N. is not without its own internal strife. What if a natural disaster wreaks havoc in a country governed by U.N. sanctions? Would the Avengers be allowed to help? Could they cross borders in an instant to stop a threat, or would they be halted, waiting for U.N. approval? These ideas are there, but you have to dig for them. I don’t think an audience member should.
But that’s enough griping. The complete project as it is works well, the story flows nicely, with good editing and great performances. Downey Jr and Evans have been embedded in these characters for such a long time that discussing how good they are in their roles would be redundant.
One point I do want to touch on though is that the story allows for both actors to explore the characters’ changing relationship. For the first time, we get a vulnerable Tony Stark, frazzled and lacking the confidence that audiences normally associate with the character. Downy Jr expertly conveys this to the audience.
Captain America seems weighted down by worry for Bucky and frustrated by the Government forcing him into a position he refuses to be shoved into. Evans easily conveys Cap’s feelings, and it was refreshing to see an evolution of a character that I have enjoyed watching for eight years.
So, time to take a look at the new guys. Tom Holland as Spider-man is fantastic. My Spider-man was the teenage version featured in the Ultimate Spider-Man comics, and that is what is presented in this film.
But that may be the rub for some people. Some have expressed his youth to be a hindrance to their enjoyment of the character. But I disagree and think that his youth is needed to add a bit of diversity to the character line up. We have enough scowling adults, time for a bit of youthful fun.
But for the ‘scowling adults’ crowd, Chadwick Bowsman as Black Panther is your ticket! Bowsman brings emotion, honesty and a strength that is required to play a king superhero. I just wished he had more to do in this film. Black Panther does get more screen time than Spider-man, but ultimately, he feels wasted. I can’t wait until he gets his own movie.
The rest of the assemble cast is on point, though some characters seemed less important than others. Sorry Hawkeye and Widow, but Vision was firing laser beams and Ant-Man… well, I’ll leave that as a surprise.
On a fanboy note, the ensemble scene in the middle is one of the best comic book action sequences I have ever seen in a film. I want to keep watching the film for that one Team Cap Vs Team Iron Man sequence. If you don’t enjoy this sequence then comic book films are not for you. Or you may be dead inside.
Ultimately, I felt that Civil War was a good film, better than Age of Ultron, but not quite as good as Winter Solider. Filled with action, humour and emotional resonance, this was the Avengers film we deserved and a nice apology for Age of Ultron.