Review by J.T. Johnson
ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: April 12, 2016
DIRECTORS: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Trent Opaloch
WRITERS: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
MUSIC: Henry Jackman
When Marvel Studios announced that “Civil War” would be adapted into the next “Captain America” film, I couldn’t believe that we had finally come to this story. As the announcements started pouring in about who would appear in the film, it felt like this may be more like “Avengers 2.5” than a Captain America film. Make no mistake, however, that this is indeed Captain America’s film.
The film opens showing us that the Avengers are still an independently operated organization not tied to any one government. During one of their missions, the Avengers accidentally cause the destruction of a building that takes out Wakandan civilians and causes the world to question the safety that the Avengers provide. In addition to this, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is feeling racked with guilt over the losses incurred at the Battle of Sokovia.
The governments of the world unite to provide an answer with the Sokovia Accords. Should the Avengers sign, they would have to answer to the United Nations. Tony feels that the Avengers need to be kept in check otherwise they are no different than the bad guys that they chase. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) has seen what can happen when a government controls them and wants no part of the accords.
Soon, there are two sides led by both heroes and the following story will bring them into a great conflict where maybe no one will walk away from. What impressed me most about this film is how well the Russo brothers brought everyone together. This is an amazing yet very full cast, but the brothers manage to give every character something good to do.
I never felt that any character was wasted, especially during the action sequences. In this film, there is an impressive chase as Captain America tries to catch his old friend Bucky (Sebastian Stan) while the newly introduced Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) makes an impressive debut chasing after both of them.
The most impressive action sequence, though, takes place at an airport in Germany. This is where both major sides collide and it also successfully introduces Spider-Man (Tom Holland) into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this sequence, there’s a giant Ant-Man, a brief yet cool exchange between Spidey and Cap, and plenty of other spectacular moments that have to be seen.
As far as the story is concerned, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely give both sides a valid argument. Neither Tony or Steve come off as completely wrong and neither of them come off as completely right either. It is left completely up to the audience to decide which side that they should support.
I also like that nothing is tied up in a neat little bow by the end of the movie. It looks like both sides may come together by the end of it all, but something happens which not only adds to the division but also to the emotional impact of the story. After that, things have changed forever not unlike how “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” changed things by its conclusion.
I don’t know what else I can say about this film that hasn’t already been said before. Every time I watch it, I’m left feeling completely entertained. I honestly have a hard time finding anything wrong with this film and like “The Winter Soldier” before it, “Civil War” turns out to be an outstanding film and a great final solo adventure for Steve Rogers as Captain America.