The second phase of the Marvel cinematic universe has come to a close, and the first film of the MCU’s third phase, and the third film in the Captain America series, certainly sets an even higher standard for these movies in the future.
In the previous Marvel movies, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), and Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), have had their fair share of disagreements. Although they have worked well together on multiple occasions, tensions have slowly arisen between them.
In “Captain America: Civil War,” their divide grows larger than ever before when, in response to the collateral damage caused in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and a recent deadly explosion in Lagos, Nigeria, the U.N. decides to vote on a bill known as the “Superhuman Registration Act,” which requires superheroes to be monitored by their respective governments.
Stark is all for the idea, thinking that it could be a good way to minimize civilian casualties. Rogers, however, strongly disagrees. He sees it as too much government interference, and he still believes the best hands to control his powers are his own.
As the two friends gradually split over their opinions, the other superheroes gather around them seem as though they are forced to pick sides, thus starting a superhero civil war.
Meanwhile, Bucky Barnes, formerly known as the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), is still struggling with having been brainwashed by the Soviets in the 1950s. He has been identified as a prime suspect in the bombing of the U.N.’s Superhuman Registration Act conference but, assures Rogers that he is innocent. He is now on the run from German police and, T’Challa, the newly introduced king of the fictional African country of Wakanda who is also known as the “Black Panther” (Chadwick Boseman).
The fight choreography in this film is absolutely incredible. The many long fight scenes are very fast paced, but at the same time they are very memorable, as every fight is imaginative, complex and most of all, dynamic. These scenes almost make the movie, as they show many characters working together and apart in very defined, well-engineered ways that can be dramatic, serious and even very funny at times, but not in any way that detracts from the narrative.
The story and main characters of the movie are both very engaging. Not only is there the moral struggle between friends and rivals Captain America and Iron Man, but the internal struggle of the former Winter Soldier who, with the help of Captain America, is trying to clear his name, overcome his brainwashing, come to terms with his actions and escape the claws of the Black Panther.
Captain America also faces his own moral dilemmas. He feels forced to fight Iron Man over their difference of opinion, which makes him think about what really matters, his friends or his freedom. Iron Man just believes in what he thinks is right, but struggles with his self-centered personality and his internal longing for his fight with Rogers to be resolved and for everything to be back to normal. His ego and his desire for Rogers to be his friend again also enable him to see Barnes as a target and a source of jealousy.
The supporting characters also work very well together, and each react to the stark reality of having to choose sides. In addition, some surprise characters join the rival teams without being involved in the issue, such as Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Hawkeye just wants to lay low and spend time with his family without having to be monitored, but Black Widow believes in the registration act as long as it keeps people safe, although she does have second thoughts since she doesn’t want to see her friends fight. Their interactions only heighten the tension between the two sides and increase the scale of the fight scenes with more and more heroes in each consecutive battle.
Overall, “Captain America: Civil War” is not only a visual spectacle, it’s a film that has been built up since the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008. Every interaction between these characters has been leading up to this movie, and will only develop even more in Marvel films of the future. It portrays every aspect in the dignified, dynamic way it deserves and could be regarded as one of the best superhero movies to date.
Quinn Zack is a freshman at Hamburg High School.