By: Hannah Mitlak, Zehra Madhavan, and Michael Bamford
Set to be 2016’s biggest Box Office hit, Captain America: Civil War is the third Captain America installment from the one and only Marvel. The film stars most of the Avengers crew, with Chris Evans as Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, and Scarlett Johannson as Black Widow all playing significant roles. In this installment, rising tensions between Captain America and Iron Man create a rift within the Avengers crew amid larger conflicts and threats to the outside world. In classic trifecta fashion, we give you our various takes on this summer superhero release.
A few qualms with Civil War before we get to the central issue: 1. Why is this a Captain America movie if almost every Avenger is in it? 2. Who thought Civil War was an apt name for a conflict that occupies less than half the movie? 3. How can Captain America have been in love with Peggy Sue and then proceed to have an affair with her granddaughter? 4. When can I go to the movie theater and not see a Marvel movie?
The real problem with Captain America: Civil War, unfortunately, is the plot as a whole. The central conflict had the potential to be a commentary on modern U.S. foreign relations: both feature a supremely powerful force that is usually on the side of good, but often inflicts casualties on the innocent without check. Civil War fails in that Captain America prevails—but on the wrong side. Instead of taking responsibility for innocent deaths and allowing the UN to mediate appropriate times for the Avengers to step in, he and his posse choose to throw caution to the wind and take the risk of civilian losses.
For someone not entirely familiar with the intricate Marvel cinematic and comic universe, Captain America: Civil War raises many questions. But strangely enough, the film doesn’t require you to know all the answers right away. Instead, Civil War makes it easy to just enjoy the ride.
Based solely on the premise, this film seems arbitrary—why would Captain America and Iron Man fight against each other when they’re on the same side? However, Marvel quickly makes it clear that the conflict between these two characters encapsulates greater questions that all of the Marvel superheroes face—complex questions about morality, responsibility, and safety that will inevitably play into future movies.
In Civil War, viewers are introduced to new, intriguing characters and revelations. Although at times certain plot points make the film feel like a stepping stone for the rest of the franchise, Civil War is equally full of fast-paced action, quippy humor, and deep backstory development—a balance that Marvel seems to be mastering as its repertoire grows.
“Why are Mom and Dad fighting?” I ask myself after hearing about the Captain America: Civil War trailer. Tension has been building between Iron Man and Captain America since The Avengers, and this movie culminates in the sweet release fans eagerly awaited for four years. The biggest concern when fans speculated about the movie was that the fight scenes would not reflect the massive brawls that occurred in the comic books. While the sizes of Team Cap and Team Iron Man are underwhelming considering this is a “Civil War,” the fight scenes were thoroughly action-packed due to the fast-paced cuts.
The plot can be difficult to follow at times, but if you can understand its intricacies, then it proves to be rich and substantive. This is no stereotypical superhero movie; it’s a story, pinning two charmingly arrogant alpha males and their ideals against each other. The Captain America Trilogy finishes well with a stubborn yet honorable leader, who puts his long-term friendship and good nature over the well-being of the country he was created to serve.