Starring : Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Tom Holland, Emily VanCamp, Daniel Brühl
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is expanding to include many new characters and in Captain America: Civil War this expansion is fantastically envisioned as the first film of Phase III. Old favorites return and new favorites are born. Though this is clearly a movie about its titular character, our ever star-spangled Captain America, we are given a brooding, darker look at Tony Stark and a delightfully cheerful look at a character who had previously been forbidden entrance into this universe, our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. Other new characters include love interest, Sharon Carter, Wakanda’s Prince/King T’Challa, The Black Panther, and emerging villain, Hulmut Zemo.
Tony Stark has clear issues about his breakup with Pepper and this plays a significant role in his disgust with himself and the choices he has made that have hurt not only those he loves, but those innocents he’s never met. The premise here is that the Avengers have been fighting without regard to human casualty despite the ironic fact that they all believed they were fighting to save humanity. Cap and the rest of the Avengers are faced with a choice to sign the Sakovia Accords, a two-inch thick UN sanctioned treaty created to keep the Avengers in check both domestically and abroad. Immediately, the Avengers are forced to make a choice to sign or be disbanded. Steve Rogers and Tony Stark are at odds as Tony wants to sign while Steve believes that it is a terrible, freedom-relinquishing idea. Then, of course, something happens that needs Captain America’s attention and it has personal implications, but misinformation keeps the Avengers at bay and war among the Avengers becomes inevitable.
Marvel Studios has gone down a darker road with this film though it is still filled with the occasional jovial humor and comic book allusion expected from them. It is not a film of resolutions and feels a bit like a bridge to everything expected to continue through MCU’s Phase III films, but it is highly entertaining all the same. Steve Rogers remains true to his ideals and principles of freedom while bending the rules in order to defend his friends. Zemo’s character in this film is not so psychotic as his comic book counterpart, but his role is equally as dangerous and his villainy sets the tone for what will undoubtedly be huge repercussions for every film ahead. It is filled with the action and drama that one can expect from Captain America, but the villain is far more subtle and less physically destructive as villains were in previous films. When the final battle of the film takes a turn that is expectedly unexpected, no spectator is left for wanting as the battle is epic and emotional.
There is nothing more exciting than discovering Easter Eggs that allude to the comics or imply future films, but Spider-Man’s role in this film could not have come at a more perfect time, and play a far better role in the film than simply a fun cameo. With the legal rights to the character owned by Sony finally relinquished to Marvel in negotiations announced several months ago, Spider-Man has truly come home. His brief appearance in this film was perfectly appetite-whetting for the Spidey fan and will undoubtedly do, despite the backlash over another reboot, for Spider-Man what fans have wished Sony could have done 5 films and billions of dollars ago.
Captain America: Civil War will leave you wanting so much more, while thoroughly satisfying every geek, fan, and action film movie-goer alike.