Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Sebastian Stan, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Chadwick Boseman, Daniel Bruhl, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Tom Holland, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Jeremy Renner, Emily Van Camp, Frank Grillo, William Hurt, John Slattery, Hope Davis, Martin Freeman, Marisa Tomei
Directed By: The Russo Brothers
Basically, this is another Avengers film. The only two Avengers not featured are Hulk and Thor. The previous Captain America film focused a lot more on just Captain America, but this one is more balanced in the dynamic between Cap and Tony Stark/Iron Man as well as his best friend Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier. Those are your three leads, with Winter Soldier getting a lot more actual acting to do in this than he did in the last Captain America film.
The plot follows Captain America and his crew as they go out on a mission to defeat Crossbones (Grillo) who is trying to steal a deadly virus. The teams battle escalates and lives are lost. The world governments can no longer allow the Avengers to operate outside of the law. Tony believes they need guidance after meeting the mother of a boy killed in Age Of Ultron. He feels responsible (well, he did create Ultron), so he’s ordering the Avengers to sign the treaty that puts them under the command of the United Nations. Without approval from the UN, the Avengers can’t act. Cap has a problem with this, and refuses to sign. Sides are taken, and Falcon ends up follow Captain America out of the Avengers.
While attempting to sign the treaty, a bomb goes off and tragedy pulls Black Panther (Boseman) into the fight. It looks like Winter Soldier might have set the bomb off, and Cap knows he has very little time to find Bucky before others do. So, with the help of Sharon Carter (Van Camp), he and Falcon go secure Bucky and become fugitives. Bucky maintains his innocence, and we all know it’s actually Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) who has been working this whole time with a hidden agenda.
With Cap on the run, it’s up to Tony and his team to bring him in. There’s a climactic fight. Sides are taken, friendships broken. No one survives this unscathed.
Oh, and Spider-Man. Actually, he’s not just a cameo. The movie stops for about 10 minutes just to bother to recruit Spider-Man and introduce him to the audience. We also get Aunt May (Tomei), but it’s Tom Holland as Peter Parker that everyone will be talking about. His youthful enthusiasm and charm give his take on Spider-Man a whole new perspective. He’s young, but he’s ready to play.
Because of so many characters, some long-time Avengers take a huge backseat. Hawkeye takes the biggest backseat, not even appearing until technically needed in the film. War Machine’s screentime is minimal, despite playing a rather large part in the overall story, and Ant Man’s actual character development is non-existant. He’s just there to expand on the idea of what he can do as a superhero.
The pacing in this film is incredible. Time flew by for me. I felt like only an hour had passed when it was actually two. It’s pretty much non-stop action, and every scene feels like it matters. Even the plot halting introduction to Spider-Man I can kinda forgive because it was entertaining. Perhaps there’s love in the air between Aunt May and Tony Stark? Maybe that’s why Robert Downey Jr is shooting the Spider-Man film?
Captain America: Civil War is a great film. Yes, I noticed how the plot came to a halt when Stark recruited Parker. Yes, Ant-Man had virtually no character development. Yes, the lack of mentioning of Quicksilver was disturbing. However, I enjoyed the film. It’s definitely on par with Captain America: Winter Soldier, and better than Age Of Ultron. Definitely a great way to start off the summer movie season.
DC and Zack Snyder should take notes.
FINAK GRADEL A-