So yesterday, the Amazon pre-order fairy brought me a couple of presents in the form of 3 Blu-Rays which I have eagerly been waiting for. One of them is a movie that had never been released on DVD and the only way you could get it was as an import, another is a movie that I decided to upgrade onto Blu-Ray. And then there is today’s movie, the first entry into the Third Phase of the MCU. I have enjoyed watching each one of the Marvel movies so far but today’s movie is one of the few movies in the series that I was really looking forward to because comic arc that it was based on was one of the more powerful stories in recent years and I was curious how they were going to pull it off. So let’s get right into today’s movie, Captain America: Civil War.
The plot: In 1991, Bucky Barnes is brought out of his cryogenic stasis and sent on a mission to kill someone and steal the super-soldier formula the man was carrying. In present day Lagos, Steve Rogers (Captain America) is leading an Avengers team consisting of Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow), Sam Wilson (Falcon), and Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch) to hunt down former Hydra agent Brock Rumslow, who is now a terrorist called Crossbones. Crossbones and his men break into a research facility and steal a biological weapon, then battle the Avengers as they make their escape. When Crossbones’ team splits up, Sam and Natasha go after Crossbones’ men and get the weapon while Steve deals with Crossbones. After being beaten by Captain America, Crossbones attempts to blow himself up and kill Steve as well but Scarlet Witch manages to contain the explosion and attempts to shift it up into the air but she accidentally let’s it go off near a building, killing and injuring hundreds of people. Some time later, Tony Stark is at a MIT function where he is telling the assembled students that they are the recipients of funding from a new foundation he created. As he takes a moment to collect himself after the teleprompter inadvertently reminded him that Pepper Potts had left him, he is approached by a woman from the State Department, who blames Tony for her son’s death in Sokovia when the Avengers battled Ultron. At the Avengers compound, Steve is trying to assuage Wanda’s feeling of guilt over what happened in Lagos when the Vision enters the room and says that Tony is there, as well as the Secretary of State Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross. Ross tells the Avengers that 117 countries have decided to create the Sokovian Accords, which says the Avengers will be under the authority of a U.N. sanctioned panel and can only operate if the panel deems it necessary. Ross says that the Accords will be ratified in Vienna in three days and if the Avengers do not sign it, they will no longer be Avengers. Meanwhile, Helmut Zemo tracks down Bucky’s old Hydra handler and after torturing the man, retrieves the book with the code words that would activate Bucky’s brainwashing. Back at the Avengers compound, the Avengers are arguing about whether they should sign the Accords when Steve receives a text saying that Peggy Carter died and abruptly leaves. Steve and Sam head to London to attend the funeral and are shocked to learn that former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sharon Carter was Peggy’s niece. After the service, Natasha approaches Steve and tells him who signed the accords and says that she is going to Vienna to attend the signing and tries to convince Steve to go but he refuses to sign them. In Vienna, Natasha briefly talks with Prince T’Challa of Wakanda before his father, King T’chaka takes the podium and starts speaking but T’Challa notices activity on the streets below and tries to warn everyone just as a bomb explodes and kills his father. Steve is talking with Sharon when Sam gets them and shows them the news reports about what happened, and how Bucky is being blamed. In Vienna, Natasha speaks with T’Challa and tries to convince him to let the task force handle things but T’Challa swears to kill Bucky himself. As he leaves, Natasha receives a call from Steve asking if she is ok and she warns him to stay out of things or he will be arrested. Steve meets with Sam, who agrees to help him, and they are given a file from Sharon of where Bucky was last spotted. Steve heads to Bucharest and finds Bucky, who swears he wasn’t in Vienna and that he doesn’t kill people anymore. When the authorities show up to arrest Bucky, he fights with them as he makes his escape and Steve is forced to fight them as well in order to keep them from killing Bucky. As Bucky leaps to another building, he is attacked by T’Challa, who has taken the mantle of his country’s protector The Black Panther. Steve, Bucky, Sam, and T’challa are all eventually captured by the authorities and taken to a holding facility, where Steve finds Natasha and Tony there as well. In the facility, Tony tries to convince Steve to sign the accords but the two continue to argue over their different ideals. As Steve and Sam watch Bucky’s interrogation with Sharon, Steve realizes that the bombing was done in order to flush Bucky out of hiding so he can be caught, just as an EMP that Zemo had sent to the local power plant goes off, blacking out the power to the facility. Zemo, who had entered the base disguised as a UN psychologist, begins reading the trigger words to Bucky and activates his brainwashing. Steve and Sam get there and Steve questions Zemo just as Bucky starts to attack them, knocking Steve down an elevator shaft. Sam chases after Zemo but loses him in the crowd leaving the building. Meanwhile, Tony, Sharon, Natasha, and T’Challa try to stop Bucky but he escapes them and makes it to the roof but when he tries to escape in a helicopter, Steve stops him and they end up falling into a river and Steve drags an unconscious Bucky to safety. When Bucky comes too, Steve questions him to find out if he is still under the brainwashing and Bucky tells him that Zemo asked about Siberia and tells Steve and Sam that there are more Winter Soldiers stored there. Steve and Sam try to plan their next move since they won’t have much help and Sam mentions that he knows someone that might be able to help them. Back at the facility, Tony is arguing with Ross about letting him go after Steve and Bucky and Ross gives him 36 hours to find and capture them. When Natasha says they are understaffed, she goes to talk to T’Challa to get his help while Tony goes to Queens and speaks with Peter Parker, who is secretly known as Spider-Man, and convinces him to join them. Meanwhile, Clint breaks into the Avengers Compound to break Wanda out, and when Vision tries to stop them, Wanda uses her powers to deal with him. Back in Germany, Steve meets with Sharon, who brings him his shield and Sam’s Falcon suit and the two end up kissing, after which Steve comments about the bad timing of it. Steve, Sam, and Bucky meet up with Clint and Wanda, who brought Scott Lang (Ant-Man) with them after Sam recommended him. When they hear the airport is being evacuated, they realize that Tony and the others know they are there so Steve goes outside to draw them out while the others try to find the Quinjet. Steve and Tony continue to argue their opinons and the Steve’s team ends up fighting with Tony’s team, which consists of Natasha, T’Challa, Vision, Spider-Man, and War Machine (James “Rhodey” Rhodes). Realizing they all won’t make it out of there, Sam tells Steve and Bucky to get the Quinjet and chase after Zemo and Scott uses his suit to grow to giant size to provide a distraction to escape. When Steve and Bucky reach the Quinjet, they find Natasha there but she chooses to let them go, and prevents T’Challa from stopping them. As Tony and Rhodey chase after them, Vision shoots a laser at Sam but inadvertently hits Rhodey, causing him to crash, despite Tony and Sam trying to save him. Back at the Avengers Compound, Tony talks with Vision while Rhodey is getting an MRI, then he notices Natasha standing outside. Tony speaks with Natasha, who says that they played the situation wrong, and Tony warns her that T’Challa told Ross what she did and that they would be coming for her. Tony receives a message from Berlin and learns that Steve was telling the truth about Zemo and sends the information to Ross as he makes his way to the Raft, a prison for super powered criminals, where the Steve’s team is being detained. Tony tries to convince Ross to search for Zemo but Ross refuses after what happened in Germany. Tony makes his way through the cells, where Clint taunts him over what happened, and speaks with Sam. Tony briefly knocks out the av feed to the cells and shows Sam the information he received, saying he was wrong and he needs to find Steve and Sam tells him where they went. Tony leaves the raft and then secretly gets in his Iron Man armor and flies to Siberia, unaware that he is being followed by T’Challa. Steve and Bucky reach the Hydra facility and are joined shortly by Tony, who offers a truce between them, and the three head into the facility only to find that the other Winter Soldiers have been killed by Zemo. Steve questions why Zemo did all this and Zemo says it was to have the Avengers destroy themselves, as he blames them for the loss of his family in Sokovia. Zemo then plays the tape of Bucky’s mission in 1991, and Tony learns that Bucky had killed his parents. Steve tries to stop Tony from going after Bucky but when Tony learns that Steve knew what happened and never told him, he starts fighting both of them in order to avenge his parent’s death. Outside the facility, T’Challa confronts Zemo, having heard that he was the one that killed his father, and prevents Zemo from killing himself, saying that justice will be served. Meanwhile, Tony manages to destroy Bucky’s robotic arm but Tony is eventually incapacitated by Steve. As Steve goes to leave with Bucky, Tony yells that he doesn’t deserve to have the shield his father made and Steve drops it in front of Tony. Some time later, Tony is back at the Avengers Compound and helping Rhodey get used to the exoskeletal leg braces to help him walk. Tony receives a package from Steve containing a letter, in which he apologizes for keeping the secret about his parents death, and a cell phone, saying if he ever needs him to call him. Tony receives a call from Ross saying that there was a breakout at the Raft, as Steve had broken in and freed his friends from the prison. Steve and Bucky go to Wakanda, where Bucky goes back into suspended animation until they can find a way to remove Hydra’s brainwashing, and T’Challa assure Steve that they will be protected there. Meanwhile, Peter’s aunt May is fussing over him about the fight he was in and after she leaves the room, Peter examines the gift that Tony left him in his web-shooter.
Captain America: Civil War met with high praise from the critics, earning a certified fresh rating of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Captain America: Civil War begins the next wave of Marvel movies with an action-packed superhero blockbuster boasting a decidedly non-cartoonish plot and the courage to explore thought-provoking themes.” In 2015 Marvel began a viral marketing campaign for the movie, starting with a post credit scene in Ant-Man, with the teaser trailers becoming some of the most watched trailers on record, with the first trailer being viewed 61 million times in the first 24 hours and the second topping it with almost 95 million views in 24 hours. The movie was box office success, earning over $1.1 billion off of a $250 million budget, becoming the 12th highest grossing movie of all time.
Hands down, the Captain America movies have been some of the most impactful stories out of the entire MCU. I have constantly been going back and forth over which movie I like more, between this and Winter Soldier and I still can’t decide because they are both really good movies. The acting was incredible in this movie, with a lot of emotion being shown by both Chris Evans (Steve) and Robert Downey Jr. (Tony) during their arguments over the Accords. The introductions of both Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa) and Tom Holland (Peter) was very well done and both actors did a great job with their respective roles. The story was good, with some obvious changes from the original comic story being necessary, due to the obvious lack of all the characters originally involved, but they did a great job with the characters they had. The sub-plot about Zemo starting the fight in order to destroy the villains was a great touch, but I didn’t particularly care for the character back story of Zemo, as he was one of the great villains in the comic books. The action scenes and special effects were very well done. I loved when they added the surprise of Ant-Man changing to Giant-Man as it made for a great surprise portion of the fight. A great movie that definitely sets the stage for the following movies in the MCU.
Rating: 5 out of 5