Rating 4/5

Marvel released the third installment in the Captain America series as part of the ever-expanding Marvel universe earlier this year. Although the title was Captain America: Civil War, it did feel somewhat more like an Avengers film, and others have agreed with that sentiment. I believe it was a great story to bring to this third Captain America because I believe it did center more on Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and his childhood friend Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). However, the overall story and plot involves every superhero and their ultimate actions and consequences, but I do believe at the heart of it was the relationship between Rogers and Barnes.

Your favorite Avengers are back: Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Vision (Paul Bettany), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), and newcomers Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland).

The performances were as good as any previous Marvel film and even the newcomers performed well in their respective roles. Fans have waited for the appearance of Spider-Man ever since the announcement that Marvel had finally acquired the character from Sony. What I’ve heard and people I’ve talked to say that was one of the highlights of the film. There has been discussion I’m sure as to why Spidey didn’t get a solo film before his appearance in this adventure. All I can say is, “Come on, it’s Spidey.” I mean do we really need another origin film for Spider-Man at this point? With Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man in 2002 and the recent reboot in 2012 with Marc Webb directing The Amazing Spider-Man, I believe fans, and audiences alike, are familiar with the web-head. Now that the character is in the famed Marvel Cinematic Universe, much anticipation awaits for the release of the first solo film, Homecoming – set to be coming July 2017. Some may have considered Spider-Man’s appearance a bit rushed and a poor storyline to add him into the mix, but I disagree. As mentioned, we have already seen two different origin films within the past several years and there was a mention of Spider-Man in Marvel’s Ant-Man. The set up here in Civil War was Tony’s dialogue about the need to see him. So I believe the character is adequately introduced into the Marvel world. The one exception I have (and I may not be alone in this) is casting Marisa Tomei as Aunt May. Not that I have anything against Tomei (she is a wonderful actress), it just seems to be an unusual casting choice on some level (of course the same might be said as casting Sally Field in the role in Marc Webb’s reboot).

But anyhoo.

Back to Cap and the gang. The trailer pointed out a showdown between the heroes with each taking sides – some with Cap and some with Iron Man. The “feud” comes about as the government attempts to intervene and provide an oversight committee, a sort of accountability, for the heroes. Iron Man thinks it’s a good idea and Cap doesn’t. Therefore, you have each taking sides resulting in an ultimate superhero smack down. And that sequence was as compelling as the other fight scenes in The Avengers, but this time it was hero on hero.

What works for me in this film is how directors Anthony and Joe Russo weaved all of the characters, story and visual elements into a cohesive, entertaining film while developing character and story arcs. It was a bit lengthy, coming in at nearly two and a half hours, but there were plenty of action sequences, fights, and character moments that kept me in the film. All of the elements (costume, lighting, cinematography, visual effects, sound) come together in this film to bring these wonderful Marvel characters to life in a fun, entertaining way.





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