First up let me get one thing out of the way straight away. I am a big Avengers fan and I like Iron Man more than I like Captain America. Now that my personal biases have been put out there, let me go on with my thoughts on Captain America: Civil War below.
Continuing with the events that unfold after Avengers: The Age of Ultron, the movie begins with an action set piece in Lagos, Nigeria where the entire team (sans the Hulk and Hawkeye, but with the addition of The Falcon and The Scarlet Witch) are in pursuit of Rumlow, ex-HYDRA agent who is there to steal a bio-weapon. While the Avengers manage to thwart Rumlow’s mission and save the day, the collateral damage that occurs in the form of civilian deaths sparks worldwide outrage and results in the UN Assembly ratifying what is called The Sakovia Accords. The idea behind this resolution being the establishment of an international governing body to oversee and control the Avengers. This immediately splits the team into two halves – the fors’ and the againsts’ setting in motion the so called Civil War among the Avengers.
While I am not going to talk about the plot and the set pieces in the movie (there are going to be more than enough reviews out there which already talk about it) I am going to focus on a few things which I found particularly interesting about the movie itself.
Firstly, the evolution of Tony Stark over the course of three Iron Man and two Avengers movies is nothing short of mind-blowing. His transformation from a philandering, womanizing, ‘don’t have a care in the world’ playboy to the Avenger is something which I think the Marvel Cinematic Universe has pretty much perfected to the T. And what’s more Robert Downey Jr’s casting in the role is nothing short of a brainwave and a masterstroke rolled into one. RDJ brings such gravitas coupled with impeccable timing when delivering his trademark one-liners that it is impossible for audiences to imagine anybody else playing Iron Man.
Couple this with Steve Rogers’ transformation from a geeky-thin teenager desperately trying to get enlisted in the US Army during WW-II in the first Captain America movie to being the default ‘leader’ and ‘moral compass’ of the Avengers over the course of the rest of the movies in this franchise. As Stark seems to be getting clearer and clearer with what he wants to do with the rest of his life and his ‘powers’, good old Captain America seems to be getting more and more confused as to his role in this new world. Adding to this confusion is the soft spot the Captain has for Bucky Barnes (aka the Winter Soldier) who seems to be flitting between the good and bad sides in the last couple of movies he has featured in. In fact, the Winter Soldier and his friendship with the Captain is one of the biggest driving forces in this movie as well.
The evolution of Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, their entirely opposing points of view on the Sakovian Accords and one mystery man’s actions involving the Winter Soldier; these form the driving forces of this movie. And trust me when I say this, it truly is a treat for all serious fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Avengers in particular.
To me, the most fun part was *****SPOILERS BEGIN*****inclusion of Spider-Man in the proceedings. The entire sequence where he was featured is nothing short of hilarious and heart-warming at the same time. This is how a teenager who suddenly discovers his superpowers would react and unfortunately none of the earlier movies featuring him brought out this aspect. Peppered with a liberal dose of humor, his contribution to one gigantic set piece in this movie remains one of the most fun parts of the movie for me. *****SPOILER END*****
Watch this movie with your family and kids. Even if you don’t quite enjoy the serious parts of the movie, the action set pieces (all of them) more than make up for the same. If you are a fan of the Avengers franchise, then this movie is a ‘must-watch’ for you at any cost; no two ways about that. You have to see this to make any sense of any future Avengers movies, for sure.