a critiQal film review Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Plot: Steve Rogers (Evans) leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain (Bruhl).

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When Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) first came out, I was hesitant about checking it out. Even after the success of IRON MAN, I was worried the big screen wouldn’t do this iconic hero justice. After all, most of his exploits took place years ago, and he’s spent most of the time since frozen in ice. But, after CAPTAIN AMERICA managed to make this hero’s story just as interesting as IRON MAN, I was definitely looking forward to the sequel.

With Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Marvel continued to do the character justice, bringing him into the now with a compelling storyline involving his old pal Bucky. After that film, however, I was wondering what Marvel would be able to do when Captain America: Civil War was announced, which sounded ominous.

Would this new dark turn for the heroes be worth checking out, or was Marvel planning on taking them places we wouldn’t want to go? We couldn’t wait to check out Captain America: Civil War and find out. Amid rumors that this is the last Captain America movie, we had no idea if this was going to be Captain America’s swan song, but we still didn’t manage to scrape together the cash to see the film in theaters.

Recently, it popped up on Netflix, and we were excited to find out what we’d missed in Captain America: Civil War.

Chris Evans still imbues Captain America with a style and personality that some of his turns in the comics seemed to lack. There, he always seemed to be the iconic soldier, but seemed rather stuck in his soldierly ways, not really managing to be worth much off of the battlefield. With these films, Chris Evans has turned the unfeeling soldier into a human being once more, and that continues to pay off in Captain America: Civil War.

Robert Downey Jr has taken the forefront in most of the hero films, and he once again takes a front seat for Captain America: Civil War. His angst and confliction seems genuine, and he really brings feeling to his role once again.

With the rest of the cast, they aren’t quite as much in the limelight as Evans and Downey Jr, but they all get a piece of the spotlight at least for a moment. That’s impressive considering the larger cast this time around, with everyone from Anthony Mackie, Paul Rudd, William Hurt and Martin Freeman (among many others) getting a spot to shine. Despite spreading around the spotlight, they still manage to introduce two new characters (to the Avengers universe): Spider-Man (played with panache by Tom Holland) and Black Panther (played by a somber Chadwick Boseman). With each of these new characters starring in upcoming solo films, the idea of introducing them in this big film was a smart move, and both manage to do a standout job with their parts.

With all of the time the film spends managing to split it’s time between all of it’s characters, there is one character that gets the short end. With Captain America: Civil War, that’s the villain of the pic, Baron Zemo. Played by Daniel Bruhl, this character isn’t really up to the snuff that previous villains have brought. Instead, he tries to go the conniving route, distracting the heroes rather than making them fearful. It’s a different approach, and it’s done with finesse, but Baron Zemo still manages to come off as a little bit pathetic.

But then again, the villain isn’t really the main focus of Captain America: Civil War. Instead, it’s all about the internal strife that rips the group apart. How they manage to get over their differences and come together for The Avengers: Infinity War (or if they even do) still remains to be seen, but this strife does not bode well for the future of the group.

As with all good things, there comes a time when they must come to an end. As The Avengers: Infinity War draws closer, there’s a good chance that this group of heroes may be finishing up there time on the big screen as well. Will it all end in their deaths? It’s a possibility, although not one most fans of the films want to contemplate.

Captain America: Civil War, sadly, looks to mark the beginning of the end for this group. While it’s an excellent film that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats throughout, many viewers may walk away feeling a tinge of regret. Why couldn’t this team just keep going on as they were? Why do things have to change? Of course, if the characters become stale, viewers will stop going to the films. Also, unlike comic books, a mistake can cost millions or more, so there is more of a need to speed things along. Still, it looks like the era of these Avengers is drawing to a close, and while sometimes we may not want to, we just have to see how it all turns out.

If Captain America: Civil War is any indication, chances are the series films (like the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok and The Avengers: Infinity War) are headed down a dark path. Hopefully, Marvel will keep treating the characters to the best treatments they can. That way, even if the end of an era is coming, we’re sure to enjoy every moment along the way.

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