Age Of Ultron which pitted assembled Avengers against a metahumanoid Ultron in the ultimate save the day save the world scenario, is just a rare far off shadow when run parellel to Civil War. The latest Marvel extravaganza, touted very truly as the biggest movie event of the year, is so perfectly conceptualized and executed by Russo brothers, that every other marvel movie looks like a silent purr. Kevin Fiege, Marvel’s go to man right now, has masterfully used the directors of Winter Soldier to helm the Avengers bandwagon from hereon. And watching this movie in the midst of continual persistent grins, and wide eyed fandom, Russo brothers have established the fact why they deserve all the trust.
Captain America: Civil War is a superhero film that undermines its superheroes. It’s not grim dark, all-heroes-must-die, hating gods-among-men like this year’s other superhero brawl, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It undermines its heroes to turn them into humans, and while I admired Captain America: The Winter Soldier for not giving Captain America (Chris Evans) feet of clay, directors Joe & Anthony Russo have wisely moved the character forward with a more personal story that requires him to be on uneven ground for the first time. He can no longer be the rock of the Marvel universe, and this is a movie with no rock. Both Captain America and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) are in the wrong, and yet they’re both admirable nonetheless.
Following a mission in Lagos, an accidental explosion is the final straw that calls for the Sokovia Accords, a document that would make the Avengers subservient to a UN council. Some superheroes, led by Tony Stark, believe they need to be kept in check and that the cost of innocent lives has become too high. If they answer to somebody, and if there are regulations, then they can be kept in check and people will be safer. Other superheroes, led by Cap, believe that “the safest hands are still are own.” It’s the libertarian point of view, where it’s better to trust the individual than a government institution, or worse, a bureaucracy that would prevent them from going off to do good.
The conflict explodes when a terrorist act gets pinned on Cap’s pal Bucky (Sebastian Stan), and Cap makes things personal by going after his old friend to protect him, thus putting the Sokovia Accords to the test—do the Avengers get to run their own operation, one that has no time for government oversight, or do they turn themselves in and let the law run its course even if the law is misguided and there are nefarious actors, in this case the mysterious Helmut Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), at work?
And it’s a personal film that’s 12 movies in the making. This couldn’t be the third film in the trilogy. It may be the third Captain America film, and it has some important things to say about his character and what he represents as an individual and as a symbol, but you can’t get to this movie without the Iron Man films and The Avengers and everything else from the MCU. Only Marvel could have made this movie, and the results are tremendous. In its own way, Captain America: Civil War is even more impressive than The Avengers.
It doesn’t hurt that the action is absolutely bonkers. The Russos already impressed with what they accomplished on The Winter Soldier, but that now looks like child’s play compared to what Civil War breaks out. Every single action scene is flawless. It hits hard, the action is easy to follow, the cinematography is dynamic, and everyone feels powerful whether they have superpowers or not. It’s like every character is the star of their own movie when they’re on screen even though this is Captain America. You see it when Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is borderline-parkouring down the streets in Lagos, when Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) is showing off his unique martial arts, you see it in every shield toss from Cap, every size shift from Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), every web-sling from Spider-Man (Tom Holland).
At the end of the day it’s the perfect dubstep mix of political commentary and superhero action which is poised to overtake a new phase of film making rather than opting for grim telling. And Oh did I say, Spider Man is the doppiest.