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Review: Captain America: Civil War

By Christine Petralia

Image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

May 7, 2016


Remember how you felt after you watched the first Avengers film? That’s how you’ll feel walking out of Captain America: Civil War. It’s the third installment of the Captain America films, and who can keep track now in the Avengers/Marvel universe. And it’s pretty freaking awesome. It’s got action, humor, eye candy and a plot that anyone can follow. What more can one ask for for a May blockbuster film to kick off the summer movie season?


In a little prelude, it’s 1991, Hydra operatives activate Bucky Barnes/Winter Solider (Sebastian Stan) to intercept a special serum and kill the occupants of the car carrying the serum. Fast forward to present day, and a year after the Avengers defeated Ultron, and devastated Sokovia, and they are at it again, trying to stop the bad guys from stealing a biological weapon from a lab in Lagos. As the bad guy kills himself, Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) tries to deflect the blast and ends up toss it into a building, causing civilian casualties.


Back at base, the government, while grateful for the work the Avengers do, is not happy with the devastation and innocent lives being taken. Government officials want the Avengers to sign the Sokovia Accords, which will create an international group to basically police the Avengers. And of course, the team is divided, with Tony Stark/Ironman (Robert Downey Jr.) leading the charge to sign the accords and Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). Stark feels guilty and responsible for Ultron, while Rogers believes he’s capable of making good decisions for himself and the team.


And each Avenger takes a side as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) heads to Vienna to make sure the accords get signed during a UN meeting. A bomb goes off, killing a bunch of people, including King T’Chaka of Wakanda. His son, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), vows to kill the suspect, who authorities believe is Barnes.


Rogers can’t believe his friend would be responsible for such devastation, despite the fact that he’s a trained assassin who can be triggered at any moment by Hydra. Getting some tips from Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp), he reaches Barnes first. But he’s not fast enough, as he, Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Barnes and T’Challa/Black Panther are arrested by War Machine/Rhodes (Don Cheadle). During interrogation, Barnes is triggered, as the interrogator, Helmut Zema (Daniel Bruhl) has infiltrated the government to get to Barnes. Everyone escapes.


And thus the Civil War begins. Stark just wants to bring Barnes back, while Rogers wants to figure out what the hell is going on. Barnes explains to Rogers that there are other Winter Soldiers out there, and whoever is after him, is obviously trying to trigger them as well. Stark doesn’t want to hear it. They each man up their teams and battle it out on an airport hanger.


Stark builds up his group by adding Spider-Man (Tom Holland) to Black Widow, War Machine, Vision (Paul Bettany), while Rogers has Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Barnes, along with Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). The battle is ridiculous, but it ends with a very injured Rhodes, and Rogers and Barnes headed to the hidden Winter Solider pad.


Everyone else on Cap’s team is arrested. Soon, though, Stark realizes that Zemo is behind everything, so he goes to get info from the arrested group. Falcon gives up what’s going on, and Stark heads to the solider pad as well.


Turns out, Zemo’s family was killed in the battle with Ultron. And he planned everything to get the Avengers to turn on themselves. He wants nothing to do with the Winter Soldiers, he just wants to see Captain America and Ironman get angry and beat the crap out of each other. And to do this, he shows a video of Barnes killing Stark’s parents, as they were the ones he assassinated in 1991.


Things get pretty nasty between Stark and Rogers. As they battle it out, Black Panther finds Zemo and refuses to let him kill himself, deciding he needs to be punished instead, as he arrests him.


Everyone is still divided in the end, but Rogers sends Stark a note that he will always be there for him, as he breaks out his buddies.


Downey and Evans are fantastic friends and foes. Downey is his usual witty, cocky self, but you definitely get the sense being a superhero is taking a toll on his character Stark, especially with his love Pepper out of the current picture. I’d like to say I’m on Team Captain America, but within reason. The Avengers to have this sense of, we are invincible and we’ll destroy everything in our way to get to the bad guy. But I don’t necessarily agree that they should sign the accords as is. So yea, essentially that’s what the Cap was saying. So I’m Team Cap. Plus, Ant-Man and Hawkeye are awesome, so who wouldn’t want to be on a team with them?


As usual, the runtime at two hours and 30 minutes is a little long for my liking, as they probably could have cut out Spider-man entirely. One, you really didn’t need him. Two, I’m against yet another reboot of the series, though Marisa Tomei as hot Aunt May is interesting.


Do you need to see every film before it? Probably not, but it would definitely be helpful if you’ve seen a handful. And then just sit back and enjoy!

It’s 30 years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire and the galaxy faces a new threat from Kylo Ren and the New Order. Can the newcomers, with the help of some old friends, save the galaxy? Or better yet, can they find Luke Skywalker?


This reboot is a darker, more plot-driven Marvel superhero film. It follows four super geniuses as they manage to break the space-time continuum, travel to another planet and end up with super human powers.


Want more film reviews and more!  Check out the archive section for all of my writing!

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