REVIEW | Captain America: Civil War

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Review by Dustin Heller

Captain America: Civil War is the newest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the sequel to 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger and 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  This is the thirteenth film in the MCU and it’s directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo who also directed the second Captain America movie, The Winter Soldier.  The Russo brothers are also signed on to direct the two upcoming Avengers: Infinity War films.

The huge ensemble cast includes Chris EvansRobert Downey Jr.Scarlett JohanssonSebastian StanAnthony MackieDon CheadleJeremy RennerChadwick BosemanPaul BettanyElizabeth OlsenPaul Rudd,  Tom HollandWilliam Hurt, and Daniel BrühlCaptain America: Civil War is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence, action and mayhem and will be released in 3D and IMAX 3D.

Nearly a year after the catastrophic events that took place in Avengers: Age of Ultron, a mishap occurs for the Avengers while on a mission in Nigeria resulting in the deaths of a number of relief aid workers.  This latest incident raises concern and a level of distrust towards the Avengers by the international community.  From this, the United Nations is trying to create an international governing body to regulate and monitor all superhuman activity.

This new act causes a split in the Avengers as some feel that this is necessary and others don’t.  One side is led by Captain America and the other by Iron Man; both are gathering their allies as they prepare for a Civil War of epic proportions.

A lot of people have been referencing Captain America: Civil War as The Avengers Part 3, but in reality it is more like The Avengers New Class.  We still have a number of our beloved heroes from the original films on display here, but some of the secondary characters from those first films are now becoming primary characters along with the introduction of some brand new characters to the franchise.

I think this is vital in moving the Marvel universe forward as Robert Downey Jr. is looking quite a bit older these days and he can’t be Iron Man forever (at least on-screen he can’t).  This also brings up the question of what future Avengers movies will look like without Downey in them.  He has sort of been the backbone of all of this and I think Marvel will really suffer when he’s gone.

Aside from all of that, let’s talk about the film itself.  I have been concerned about superhero fatigue for quite some time and it will come to a head at some point, but Captain America: Civil War is quite a bit different than all of the Marvel films that have preceded it (which is a good thing).  There isn’t really an evil villain running loose and wreaking havoc, and the world isn’t in danger of being destroyed.

Although this premise is different, I still found the story to be pretty lacking and not nearly as funny as past installments.  The first hour or so of the movie is actually quite boring and I can’t say that I was impressed with the Black Panther character at all.  I’ve seen Chadwick Boseman in a number of films now and I’m not sure he has a funny bone in his body.  He just didn’t feel like the right person for the character to me.

Once the action finally gets going, the movie gets a lot more fun and exciting.  Even still, it almost felt like too much unnecessary fighting by the end.  Captain America: Civil War is a solid (if unspectacular) entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also serves as a bridge to the future of the franchise.

Grade:  C+

Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters on Friday, May 6

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