Captain America: Civil War, otherwise known as Avengers 2.5, was written and directed by the Russo brothers, and stars so many Marvel characters it would take the entire review to mention them all (though that’s not a bad thing).
The film brings the issue of civilian casualties to the forefront, taking the time to establish the issue and the reasons different characters would have their own views on it, creating a believable situation where disagreement could exist, something necessary for the rest of the movie to work. The specifics of the issue revolve around an international agreement that would put the Avengers under the control of the United Nations through an accord that they would sign. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) leads the team against the accord, while Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) leads the team in favor of the accord.
The inciting event occurs at the signing, where Bucky, the childhood friend of Captain America, becomes a wanted man. Throughout the film, Rogers is trying to help Bucky as the world pursues him, and the script keeps a pace that lets the characters solidify their points so that both sides are right, but both sides are wrong as well, because the issue is complicated, much more complicated than you may expect from a comic book film, which is a credit to the screenwriters, who are giving their audience credit for intelligence.
Another aspect of the film that benefits from the writers giving credit to their audience is the introduction of some new superhero characters without any backstory. We don’t have to sit through the origin of each of them. The film allows you to just get on board and take the ride, and the ride moves along at a pace that lets you follow along without a problem while still having a fun moviegoing experience.
The last sequence has a few twists, and the film has an ending that is definitely setting things up for the next Avengers sequel, which is okay, as most viewers of the Marvel cinematic universe are watching most, if not all, of the films, which have become so interconnected at this point that one knows that if they missed something, the answer can probably be found in another one of the films or the television shows.
The fight scenes have fun choreography, and the new characters, many of whom are familiar, such as the not-so-secret appearance of Spiderman, are used well without being overused or wearing out their welcome. The film also keeps some of the banter that Joss Whedon brought into the series, though this film is decidedly darker than most of the Marvel films.
The film is a must for Marvel fans, with many inside references that those who aren’t well versed in the Marvel universe may miss. If that happens, just go back and check out the previous films.
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