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Captain America: Civil War Review

Ryan Shelton, Managing Editor

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Russo Brothers deliver a fun, action packed pseudo-Avengers sequel

Captain America: Civil War is a great movie. There is no way around it. Directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, the third Captain America not only is a fun and fresh entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it gives us what is perhaps the most “nerd-tastic”, action-packed scene in the history of comic book films.

Civil War begins with a bang, picking up from where Winter Soldier with Cap (Chris Evans) and friends (Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, and Anthony Mackie) on the hunt for Rumlow (Frankc Grillo), the guy who got the snot beat out of him in an elevator and had a building dropped on him in Winter Soldier. During this fight, innocents are hurt, and it appears to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for the governments of the world. It was nice to see that those seeds planted in Captain America: Winter Soldier came to fruition for Rumlow’s character, although I personally would have enjoyed a bit more screentime from him in future films, but alas, this is not comic books and there are only so many movies they can make.

Meanwhile, the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron haunted Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), as he  is confronted by the mother of a young man who was killed in the battle with Ultron in Sokovia. This confrontation, mixed with his guilt from being the creator of Ultron in the previous film, leads Stark to support the Sokovia Accords, a United Nations document that says The Avengers can only act if and whencthe U.N. decides they are needed.

And this is where Cap and Iron Man begin to clash. Captain America: Winter Soldier taught Cap that sacrificing freedom for order can never lead to anything good, and that the people inside the United Nations have their own agendas and could send them on any mission they want the Avengers to do. How long before Captain America becomes just another agent for a corrupt government entity as he found himself becoming in Winter Soldier?

Speaking of the Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), he has been in hiding since the events of the last Captain America movie. When the U.N. Sokovia Accords meeting is bombed, resulting in the death of Black Panther’s (Chadwick Boseman) father, he is framed for it. Cap refuses to believe his former pal could do such a thing, leading to he and Iron Man gathering their own forces and clashing.

Newcomers Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) and Tom Holland (Spider-Man) do an excellent job of hanging with the big boys here, and Tom Holland without a doubt steals the movie from the little screen time we get to see from him. He not only nails the personality and age of Spider-Man, but the true  soul of the character. Holland is not only an amazing Spider-Man, but an excellent Peter Parker. After seeing him in Civil War, I cannot wait to see what he brings to the table in his own upcoming film, Spider- Man: Homecoming, in 2017. Chadwick Boseman is impressive as well, as his character arc is one of my personal favorites of the film, and I cannot wait to see more from his own upcoming film, Black Panther, which will be directed by a very talented and upcoming director, Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station).

Perhaps the biggest flaw in Civil War is its true villain, Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl). Daniel Bruhl is one of my favorite actors, so to see him so underused in this film was extremely sad. But I also understand that Marvel has had a hard time truly selling any of their villains that aren’t Loki so far in the MCU. Bruhl was certainly serviceable, and by no means gave a bad performance, but his entire character came off as an extremely formulaic villain thrown in as an excuse for Iron Man and Captain America to throw some more punches at each other.

But, believe me when I say, if Bruhl’s Zemo is my biggest criticism of this film, then it is a very good film. It delivers a powerful status quo shift to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, essentially splitting the Avengers into two separate teams. This movie also felt more interconnected to the other MCU films more than any other movie put out by Marvel so far. This interweaved universe has truly grown into something spectacular, and I cannot wait to see them extend it further.

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Captain America: Civil War Review