15 May 2016 | lnvicta
The Winter Soldier has competition.
The Winter Soldier has competition for being the best Marvel movie. There's no other way to say it: Civil War is phenomenal. Marvel continues the trend of upping the stakes by pinning our favorite heroes against each other: Captain America and Iron Man. There are a lot of other characters, so much so that it feels more like an Avengers movie than a solo movie, but the story is told in such a way that the spotlight is always on Cap and Bucky.
Civil War is tonally different from Winter Soldier in that it's more bombastic in its storytelling. Again, there are a lot of Avengers in the movie (more than the freaking Avengers movie). While Winter Soldier was a relatively grounded, dark political thriller, Civil War is a louder, more colorful take on the political theme, and a much more personal one as well. This time it's a matter of morals and ethics, and it's amazing how the movie pulls off giving each side of the argument weight and credibility so you could argue about who's right and who's wrong all day.
Steve wants to protect his best friend Bucky who was brainwashed by Hydra and is now a fugitive from the law. He doesn't trust any form of government faction. He saw how far up corruption goes and he's not willing to lose jurisdiction of the Avengers to yet another corrupt governmental body. Tony wants everyone to sign an agreement for the UN so they won't be seen as a threat by the world governments due to their track record of leaving behind messes and casualties. It's a terrific plot, very thrilling and character driven. At its core it's a very personal story between Steve and Tony. The other characters are written as complimentary pieces to one puzzle. It's not gratuitous at all. You understand everyone's ideologies - why they disagree with each other, why they're on the sides that they're on, why they're fighting for what they're fighting for - and they're each given enough screen time for us to care. And the action scenes are TWS level. Nothing quite beats the first confrontation between CA and WS, but the end of the second act of this movie has an action sequence that is absolutely mesmerizing. It's the civil war. Seeing all of these superheros go against each other is exhilarating, and their interactions are hysterical, especially since a lot of them are meeting each other for the first time.
The new characters are excellent - Black Panther makes a hell of an impression as a sophisticated Wakandan diplomat, and Spider-Man is easily the best live action interpretation of the character; major props to Tom Holland for sounding exactly how you'd expect Spider-Man to sound like. It's an absolute joy to watch. One aspect of Civil War I find especially fascinating is the use of its villain, Zemo. You have no idea what he's plotting for a good chunk of the movie. He shows up intermittently as the first couple of acts are playing out doing cryptic stuff vaguely involving Hydra, and finally the third act converges on Zemo and why he's doing what he's doing, and it's about the simplest thing: vengeance. It's incredible to watch this ordinary man - no powers or abilities - just a smart, patient man, have a conceivable shot at destroying the Avengers. And the actor is excellent too. It's a nice change of pace from the invincible demigods and dull dark elves we've been getting in previous installments.
Civil War is an expertly made film all around. The acting is top notch as always, the directing and the writing are masterful, I can go on and on. It's a political, personal, and powerfully conveyed story with tons of popcorn blockbuster appeal, rivaled only by The Winter Soldier in the MCU. Highly recommended.