The Russo Brothers proved to be just as unstoppable a force as the Captain himself when they released the game changing smash hit “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” With Marvel’s Phase 2 finished, Phase 3 begins with a climatic clash of heroes and allies in the Captain’s third epic outing: “Civil War.” Based on the well-known comic story of the same name, a disastrous event ends the lives of innocent people on Captain America’s (Chris Evans) watch; forcing the government to step in and enforce a mandatory draft for all superheroes to abandon their vigilante status and work as fully sanctioned government super hero agents.
The Cap feels this is a bad idea and they should keep doing things their own way. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.); devastated by the events of “Age of Ultron” feels the Avengers need to be “kept in check” and sides with the government. Iron Man and Captain America gather a troupe of super hero supporters for each of their opposing sides and are left with no choice but to end their friendships and battle it out until one side is left standing as the victor. It’s a bit of an oversimplification to condense all the reasons these heroes are duking it out in one paragraph, which is a very good thing. After the embarrassment that was “Batman V. Superman,” it’s clear audiences needed to connect with their warring heroes and make their epic confrontation mean more than just big explosions and fighting in the rain while cramming 42 new characters.
“Civil War” is crammed with characters but they manage them all beautifully well, and it gives much more depth to the outcome of the fight considering we know all these heroes; aside from Black Panther and the new Spider-man who we are meeting for the first time (both of which make spectacularly splashing debuts). This truly is an all-star cast: Ant-man, Winter Soldier, Black Widow, Hawkeye, The Vision, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch and War Machine. Each side has a perfectly executed presentation on why their reasoning is right and the other is wrong. It’s clear from the beginning everyone here is right and wrong at the same time. Downey and Evans have frightfully excellent chemistry together, even more compelling as enemies then they were as friends in previous films. Whether they’re appearances are ant sized or giant sized, no actor, no character, no component of this film is delivered at nothing short then the highest quality.
In a way, this almost feels like “The Avengers 3.0” with such a large cast of heroes onscreen at the same time. There’s hardly a moment to breath with all the constant fighting, fighting and oh yeah, MORE fighting! But again, that’s not a bad thing, in a movie called “Civil war” you expect nothing less than an all-out free-for-all war and not one action sequence disappoints, not ONCE in the entire 2 and a half hour running time. This is truly the penultimate Marvel universe experience. We’ve watched these heroes grow and expand in solo films, other heroes solo films; learning about their powers, their pasts and what brought them all to this thunderous conclusion. It truly feels like the end of a long journey for us, finally seeing where everything ends and we’ve still got a whole new phase worth of films to go through.
If I had to force myself to concoct a complaint, it would be the severe underutilization (a common flaw with SOME Marvel movie villains) of Zemo; played superbly by Daniel Brühl. But in truth, it makes sense the villain was mostly behind the curtain since this is after all the heroes’ movie; it’s their internal conflicts that serve as the true villain to this story. Overall, when Joss Whedon stepped down as the “go to guy” for the future of Marvel movies, whoever took his place would truly have to prove his/her movie mettle in spades. The Russo Brothers proved that once with “Winter Soldier” but if there was ever any doubt; “Civil War” smashes it beyond belief. This is a masterpiece of a Marvel movie, a super hero’s superhero movie, it works on every level and fails on none. “Civil War” mashes all of the past heroes stories together is one glorious finishing move of a movie and even though it feels like an ending of epic proportions; it’s only just the beginning.