‘Captain America: Civil War’ rises up to be one of Marvel’s best installments

Team Cap runs into action.

courtesy of collider.com

Team Cap runs into action.

Alec Badalian, Magazine Editor

Ever since Marvel Studios went to Disney, their track record has been pretty much perfect. With the exception of the underwhelming and highly forgettable Thor: The Dark World, this cinematic universe has been filled some truly astounding films, particularly Captain America: The Winter Soldier which is by far the best of the bunch. After the impact that film had on audiences, it’s no surprise that they were left in great anticipation for the continuation of this franchise, especially since the writers and directors of The Winter Soldier would be returning. It’s no wonder why Captain America: Civil War is as amazing, if not more amazing than its predecessor.

Exploding into theaters May 6, this third installment in the Captain America series revolves around a tense conflict between Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) which is sparked by their political differences on whether or not the Avengers should operate under government regulation after all of the chaos they have caused as a result of their world-saving actions, primarily the destruction of Sokovia, which occurred in the finale of Avengers: Age of Ultron. In response, the government creates a document called the Sokovia Accords, which essentially puts the Avengers under government control. While Stark is in full agreement with legislation, Rogers is not, which completely splits the Avengers and forces them to pick sides, ultimately ending in what the title announces: Civil War.

Right off the bat, it’s terrific to see a big superhero movie finally show some of the consequences these larger-than-life figures must face after they’ve created such collateral damage. The Avengers literally picked up an entire city and dropped it in Age of Ultron and now they have to pay the price, which is such a mature, realistic idea that most superhero movies wouldn’t acknowledge. Batman v. Superman and Man of Steel clearly had no intention of doing so after having literally obliterated two cities into a pile of rubble, but thankfully, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have made a tremendous effort to ground this grandiose universe into a very real-world setting, making the drama much more powerful by implementing some legitimate political intrigue.

Along with the genuinely smart script, the action sequences are also incredibly effective and exciting. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo shoot the combat with a very Bourne-esque style while also utilizing some beautiful wide angles in the more grand scale fights. One specific sequence that takes place at an airport, which will undoubtedly become one of the greatest action scenes in a comic book movie, manages to be both extremely thrilling and surprisingly hilarious. This scene alone is worth seeing the movie.

The only problem with that sequence is that it takes place in the second act, which undercuts the strength of the following third act. It’s not a bad finale by any means, but the fact that it comes after the most incredible part of the movie makes it less impressive by comparison. But that’s about the only problem here.

All the acting is terrific as expected, for the whole cast has fully developed and immersed themselves into these characters. The new addition of Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther provides some great diversity to the cast and some great emotional resonance to the story. But the best newcomer by far is Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, who, based on this film alone, has proven to be the best on-screen Spider-Man. He’s funny, enthusiastic and brings a refreshingly joyous take to the character that was absent with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s take on the wall-crawling web-slinger. Anyone who was nervous about this new incarnation of this beloved has nothing to fear and next year’s Marvel-produced Sony release Spider-Man: Homecoming has now shown some great potential.

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will surely be pleased with their latest film and even those who are plainly looking for a great summer blockbuster with genuine humanity and awesome action will also be satisfied.