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Since the success of The Avengers, crossover movies involving dozens of different characters have dominated Marvel’s film-making agenda. However, in Captain America: Civil War, Joe and Anthony Russo kept intact the individual character and story of Captain America while also balancing the roles of a dozen other ‘enhanced individuals’. The combination of tense action, genuinely funny jokes, and a compelling plot makes Captain America: Civil War not only an excellent sequel to the Captain America trilogy, but the Marvel universe as a whole.
Following the events of previous Captain America and Marvel movies, Civil War begins amidst a conflict between Captain America’s longtime villain Brock Rumlow and the Captain’s team of superheroes. After a lengthy and incredibly destructive fight, Captain America stops Rumlow, but at the cost of an entire city, leading to severe criticisms from the fictional media and government. It is at this point where Captain America’s ‘civil war’ truly begins as a divide emerges between superheroes like Iron Man who believe that their days of vigilante justice must come to an end; whereas Captain America and his followers seek to maintain their superhero freedoms from the government. Combined with friction intrinsic to Captain America and Iron Man, the ideological strife between the two heroes quickly became violent and merciless, resulting in a bloody clash between titans.
Although some aspects of the plot were cliche and cheesy, I found the general story of Captain America: Civil War to be incredibly engaging as I was often torn between the two philosophies of Captain America and Iron Man. Both sides made sense in their claims and thanks to the incredible acting of most of the characters, I felt genuine empathy for both groups. Moreover, the anguish and pain caused by the schism in the group manifested dramatically in the intense fighting scenes, giving each encounter purpose beyond flashy effects. For example, one of the last scenes involving Iron Man, Bucky, and Captain America invoked feelings of pity and sorrow rather than awe and excitement as the conflict served as the physical climax to the emotionally-driven plot.
However, a compelling and original plot cannot be actualized without a talented group of actors and thankfully for Captain America: Civil War, almost every cast member delivered their performances with incredible accuracy. It felt as if each superhero was written with its designated actor in mind, becoming even more astounding when realizing the sheer amount of characters featured. Even Paul Rudd’s performance as Antman felt more natural in this film than in the actual movie Antman. The humor was also well written and aside from a few cheap jokes, I found myself “laughing out loud” at the juvenile, but well-done comedy.
As a self-described cynic and pessimist, Captain America: Civil War, was a surprisingly enjoyable experience from start to end. The engaging and emotional plot was perfectly counterbalanced by well-timed jokes and delivered with the help of the excellent cast and directors, the Russo Brothers. I encourage anyone, regardless of experience in the comic book world, to come and enjoy this film and promise that unlike Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America: Civil War will be an experience you will remember beyond the walls of the theater.