I would say that this weekend marked the release of the most anticipated Marvel film to date, but really, with each release they are each the most anticipated movie ever (that isn’t Star Wars). Although it could be argued that the anticipation level on this one was pretty high, possibly higher than the last Marvel film.
Obviously, there are spoilers ahead.
It wasn’t until recently that I read the Civil War comic story. It has high points and low points, it’s not the best story I’ve ever read and far from the worst. But it is a solid story and a classic trope of heroes fighting each other and the role of government involvement and regulation. In this Civil War, it’s a not a story of registration and revealing identities but rather of government oversight and control. The Avengers are to become a tool of the United Nations and not an independent entity through the signing of the Sokovia Accords.
The arguments for and against are persuasive and each side has a valid point of view. Unlike Batman V Superman the reason and build up to the fight make sense and the story reaches it logically. Iron Man is pro-registration, Captain America is against it. It’s both simplistic and complicated. Not to continually compare Civil War to Dawn of Justice, but the Marvel films have reached this point after 11 other movies of character build up and story progression while DC tried to jump straight to it with only 1 other film.
The plot has many layers and much like the previous Avengers films the story is pretty complicated, but unlike Age of Ultron I never felt like the story was rushed or that there were chapters in the story that I had missed. You don’t need to have seen every Marvel movie to date, but it helps if you have seen the previous 2 Avengers movies and the 2 Captain America films. Essentially the plot is the registration acts mixed with the hunt for Bucky’s Winter Soldier and it’s all being orchestrated by Zemo in a pretty great story of vengeance and how you best topple someone or something as powerful as the Avengers.
The movie is filled with fantastic moments. Spider-Man is terrific in his few scenes, Black Panther is fantastic although Chadwick Boseman’s accent might need a little bit of work. I’m so excited to see both of these characters solo films when they come out later. Both of the post-credit scenes involve either Black Panther or Spider-man and help to build anticipation for those films. The action scenes are simply terrific with some original action moments and some very unexpected moves.
A real stand out for me is Scarlet Witch. In the fights, we see her doing some fantastic things and she really feels like a member of the team. She also gets some of the heart of the film in her scenes with Vision and Hawkeye paying off beats from Age of Ultron. Also, seeing Vision wearing clothes was something I didn’t realize I wanted to see until he showed up on the screen in a sweater and slacks.
In the end, Civil War simply works on nearly every level. Looking back on the film it’s hard to find a flaw. I’m not saying the movie is perfect and without fault, but there were no moments that left me wondering why or scratching my head. There is a lot going on in the film, and not everything is completely necessary, but everything works in the film. It never feels overstuffed or that they have taken on too much. It could’ve easily been called an Avengers film but the story really does boil down to and revolve around Captain America. I’m excited to see what is coming for Black Panther, Spider-Man, and the next Avengers films.