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Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), constantly reminded of how his creation, Ultron, caused so much damage and destruction, believes signing the “Sokovia Accords” — which, once passed, would allow the UN to assign a governing body to dictate when and where the Avengers would be allowed to operate — to be the best course of action. However, Captain America (Chris Evans) firmly believes it is not, as the Avengers could potentially be forced to compromise their morals at the behest of those (very possibly corrupt) in power, and refuses. As he puts it, “I know we’re not perfect, but the safest hands are still our own.”
Civil War has a very similar atmosphere as the previous Captain America film, The Winter Soldier; not surprising considering both were directed by Anthony and Joe Russo with screenplays by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. There is quite a bit of jumping around between locations, as well as some flashback scenes, but despite all of the different new plot points, background information, and characters being introduced, the film does a great job keeping things from getting too confusing through the use of good pacing and dialogue to help keep things on track. The choreography of the fight scenes is fluid and fast-paced, resulting in a spectacular, yet realistic combination of martial arts and stunts with CGI. Though kids will surely be entertained by the non-stop action and impressive visual effects, it is certainly not a movie aimed primarily at children. The film examines mature subject matter such as morality, responsibility, and accountability, along with friendship, loss, and how anger, conflict, and the desire for vengeance can consume us. For a superhero, even more so. As Vision (Paul Bettany) muses, “Our very strength incites challenge. Challenge incites conflict. And conflict … breeds catastrophe.”
Despite the serious subject matter of the film, there is still plenty of clever comic relief to keep things from feeling too heavy.
Ant-Man’s (Paul Rudd) awkwardness never fails to result in some very amusing moments and dialogue. And the somewhat strained relationship between Bucky (Sebastian Stan) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) had the whole theatre laughing on more than one occasion.
Another huge source of laughs and excitement came in the form of one of the characters finally introduced to the Avengers in this film. When I heard Tom Holland had been given the role of Peter Parker, my first thoughts were, “Really? Another new Spider-Man?” But considering Marvel’s casting is so often on point (for example, I think most of us would agree that Robert Downey Jr. basically is Tony Stark), I was more than willing to give him a chance, and was certainly not disappointed. Holland absolutely nails the part, perfectly portraying Peter Parker’s adorable, nerdy nature as well as his slick, web-slinging side.
The other highly anticipated character introduced in this film is Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), who becomes entangled with the Avengers while trying to avenge the death of his father. Boseman definitely captured the character: somewhat mysterious, strong, stoic, and thoroughly badass, his excellent performance left me even more excited for the standalone film which is currently underway.
Overall, I believe I can say quite confidentially that if you’re a fan of Marvel / superhero flicks, you will most likely love this film. And if you’re not, you very well still might, though it’s probably best to catch up on some of the older movies / history before viewing in order to enjoy it in the fullest. Marvel Studios continues to astound with their uncanny ability to translate from the comic page to the big screen, successfully delivering while leaving us waiting excitedly for more.