by Sherry Lipp
I have now seen Captain America: Civil War three times. For me that’s a lot in the short time it’s been out. The first time was on the Thursday preview night with an excited packed theater. The second time was a little over a week later because I couldn’t wait to see it again and the third was a spur of the moment work outing only a few days later. I was a little worried that the third viewing might sour the film a little for me and I’m happy to say it didn’t. Unlike the disappointing Age of Ultron, this film holds up well to multiple viewings. While I wouldn’t say it’s the best of the Marvel movies to date, it’s full of fun and excitement and deepens the continuing story of The Avengers.
Civil War could almost be called Avengers 3. If not for most closely following the events of Winter Soldier, and missing a couple key players, this film is everything Age of Ultron should have been. Though there’s no shortage of action, its heart draws on human emotion. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) wants more than anything to hang on to the last remnants of his past. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) wants to win back his estranged girlfriend Pepper (who is only in this film in spirit). These desires put the two men at odds.
What works best about Civil War is the personal battles it forces the characters to fight, not just with each other, but with themselves. They must act on their own morals and what they think is right and that doesn’t always mesh with what everyone else thinks. In fact it’s not exactly cut and dried as to who’s right and who’s wrong. Is Captain America’s desire to save his friend Bucky (Sebastian Stan) worth losing everything else? Is he only standing on principal or is he letting his personal feelings cloud his judgment? Is Iron Man allowing personal guilt cloud his?
What the best films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have going for them is heart combined with cool action. These are comic book superhero movies after all. This being number 13 in the lineup, I started to wonder if the action was becoming old hat. How many car chases and building bashing do we need? Not that it’s not still fun, but where’s the surprise? As it turns out there was a surprise right around the corner in the form of a rousing battle at an airport.
While Hulk and Thor were missing from this film, there was no shortage of superheroes. I loved seeing Paul Rudd back as Ant-Man. It’s hard not to be excited about the addition of Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) who had small, but pivotal, roles in this film. They’ll both have films of their own in the near future. It was also cool to have Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) back in the mix. It’s the first direct connection to 2008’s Incredible Hulk we’ve had.
Thirteen films and still going strong. While all the films have not been great, the MCU is still way more hit than miss. It’s hard to believe the output has maintained such a high standard for so many years and through so many films. Civil War proves there’s still plenty of good stories to tell.