Movies for Breakfast CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR Review
The Avengers have fought before, but never like this.
Political involvement in the Avengers’ affairs causes a rift between Captain America and Iron Man.
Captain America Civil War released in 2016 as the third movie in the Captain America trilogy of movies. Captain America Civil War loosely follows the comic book story of the same name, with Anthony and Joe Russo coming back to direct it. The cast of this movie is the biggest of any Marvel Cinematic Universe film yet, bringing back every previous avenger from Age of Ultron as well as Ant-Man, and introducing Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa and Tom Holland as Peter Parker. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn’t have the cast required to do the full Civil War storyline justice, the quicker version we get in this movie does itself well albeit with a couple problems.
Following the events of Age of Ultron, the Avengers have mostly split up and the team now consists of Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, Sam Wilson, James Rhodes, Wanda Maximoff, and The Vision. While part of the team is on a mission to stop Brock Rumlow, a former SHIELD agent that turned to Hydra, Wanda accidentally pushing an explosion from the fallout into a building killing several people. This along with multiple other incidents involving the avengers in the past brings forth a new form of compliance they must adhere to in the Sokovia Accords. In the Sokovia Accords it is deemed that the Avengers come under the control of the United Nations and no longer act as their own entity that ignores foreign policies. This causes a rift in the Avengers team as some members agree to the policies, while others do not. Meanwhile Helmut Zemo, a former Sokovian soldier is bent on breaking the Avengers apart from the inside.
There is a lot to unpack in this movie, for starters while it does have all the Avengers present, it is not an Avengers movie. It is first and foremost a Captain America movie, and as such the focus is primarily on Captain America and him dealing with the consequences of the Sokovia accords. As well as him finally catching up with Bucky Barnes, aka the winter soldier, from the previous movie who is a wanted fugitive. Needless to say, there is a lot going on in this movie, and this leaves the rest of the avengers to get the backburner in terms of plot, as they only appear scene by scene and for a battle sequence that takes place in an airport. While the battle scene is fun to watch, it does feel rushed and the ideas and plotlines involving other characters come and go very quickly. With the plot of Civil War alone there is a lot that must go on, and they had an entire meal worth of plots they had to fit onto one plate, which leaves plenty of room for this to have been turned into two movies on its own. One featuring the plot of Captain America continuing to try and find Bucky, and one where the Sokovia accords are being put together and introduced with that conflict. It is all done well for the time they were given, but it leaves a sense of wanting more from both plots. If there was anything that ended up getting the short end of the stick due to this, it was Helmut Zemo whose entire plot could be removed from the movie entirely and it feels like there would be no loss. As a villain he is given barely any build up, and his scenes even seem more forced into the film than the cameos of other characters who pop in to say hello and disappear. Given the overall plots of the film, it doesn’t even feel like a villain is needed as the villain of the movie is the Avengers fighting each other over these new restrictions they are being given.
That all said this movie is very fun and watching some of the interactions of new and old characters is a blast. One of my favorite scenes in this movie is still seeing Scott Lang be introduced to the Avengers as he keeps the same level of charm and excitement from his own film and brings it here. As well this film acts as a great introduction for T’Challa and Peter Parker to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Peter Parkers involvement in the story does feel a little forced in, his excitement to be a part of what is going gives a good introduction to the kind of Spider-Man we can expect in his own upcoming film. T’Challa on the other hand has a great introduction in this story, where he is very involved with the overall plot. The way he is introduced in this film, and the way his action scenes played out give a good sense of excitement for his upcoming solo movie as well. A lot of his plot and scenes flow well within the story, and it feels natural that he is a part of it. Aside from the new characters seeing Tony Stark and Steve Rogers interact on a whole different topic is interesting in of itself. Seeing the strain these two go through in their relationship due to this disagreement, a disagreement which would still exist all the way up to Infinity War in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This film has a bigger impact on the future of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the relationship of these two, than the previous Avengers movie itself.
There is a lot to love about Captain America Civil War, but there is also a lot going on in general. With so many plots going on in this movie it does tend to feel a bit rushed at times, and with such a huge cast in a movie with a central focus on a single character the dispute feels very one-sided. There is a lot of story to tell in Civil War, and while a lot of it is done right, it still feels like this is two movies packed into one. It is still very enjoyable, and almost a required watch if going through the Marvel Cinematic Universe again in preparation for End Game. The events of this movie probably have the largest impact on the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe leading up to Infinity War.