2015’s Ant-Man rounded out phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Captain America: Civil War begins phase 3. As the first film in the biggest MCU phase to date it has big shoes to fill. (P.S. if you’re new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or are just curious, the phases just mark different periods of time with different characters. For more information on all the back story and what movies to watch click here.) After the over-hyped let-down that was 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Civil War had to pick up some slack as well as move the story of Earth’s mightiest heroes forward. Luckily, the third entry in the Captain America does just that as it sprints into the next story line.
Civil War follows the events of 2012’s The Avengers, as well as Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. To fully understand the events that unfold in the movie, I recommend watching at least those, as Civil War takes place because of the consequences of those movies combined, if you have seen them, a refresher may be nice as well. The film divides the Avengers onto two sides, that of Captain America and Iron Man. The previous two phases did a good job of building fully developed characters so that when they are divided it’s no easy task to just pick a side. They both share valid opinions and hold arguments that are viable, and Civil War goes beyond a comic book movie and discusses how government regulation should work. It asks important and relevant questions, one of the biggest being, “if you have the most powerful and destructive weapon on Earth, shouldn’t there be a limit? restrictions? regulations?”
Marvel movies have a difficult task of trying to balance action, plot, and humor. It resembles a three-legged stool and too much of one makes the whole thing topple over. Fortunately, Civil War finds that balance, while displaying one of the most beloved Marvel comic book story lines, and introducing new characters such as the new Spider-man as well as Black Panther, there’s a lot to take in, but it works. There are areas of the movie that could have been stretched out longer, and it easily could have been made into two movies with the amount of story that had to be told, but it’s not to the point that the movie is too overwhelming. It’s a movie that has something for everyone, it differs from the comic book, but still stays relatively true to the story, it keeps the moral in place. It has great action sequences, but not to the point that it takes away from the plot. It creates new story arcs, and brings together and divides characters, but still holds it’s comedic moments even in it’s darkest territories. You’ll leave the theater with questions, but mostly anticipation for what happens next, which is one of Marvel’s shining points, but before you leave don’t forget to catch the mid-credit and after-credit scenes.
Captain America: Civil War premiered Friday May 6 and has a running time of two hours, 27 minutes. As always, Marvel does a great job of kicking off the summer movie list and Civil War is definitely not one to miss. I’m giving Cap’s third film a 9/10 for bringing my favorite characters together again on the big screen, and always leaving me waiting for more. You can watch the trailer here.