Is Captain America: Civil War the best movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far? No, but it is certainly entertaining. The film is rolling out in stages around the world, which means we are not seeing the kind of explosive reaction that often tends to meet ‘day and date’ releases – but this thirteenth instalment in the phenomenally successful comic book movie franchise will undoubtedly be well received and generate lots of money, nonetheless.
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), and written by Captain America stalwarts Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, Captain America: Civil War sees the Avengers called in to account for their destructive unilateral actions in sovereign territories. The team are asked to sign a United Nations legislative bill, titled the Sokovia Accords – an agreement reached by 117 countries, that requires oversight and monitoring of the ‘enhanced individuals’. Any member of the Avengers failing to sign the Accords would then, by default, be operating outside of the law, and be subject to all the repercussions which accompany that fugitive status. Iron Man supports the Accords while Captain America does not.
With this international situation as a backdrop, we see a more intimate story unfold concerning Captain America and his childhood friend, Bucky Barnes. Previously in the franchise, Barnes was revealed to be The Winter Soldier – a product of psychological conditioning and the super soldier serum, as administered by HYDRA.
He remains the Achilles heel of Captain America, and the villainous Helmut Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) – who lost his family in the Sokovia incident of Avengers: Age Of Ultron – is determined to exploit that weakness to get revenge. As the nefarious actions of Zemo sow further seeds of conflict between Captain America and Iron Man, these fissures are amplified by more, devastating revelations.
As a whole, Captain America: Civil War succeeds by staging great moments – and there are several of note. This is hardly surprising when you consider that the movie features more superheroes than any other Marvel movie to date. Other than the titular super soldier (Chris Evans), we have Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Vision (Paul Bettany), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), and War Machine (Don Cheadle). Then, there’s Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), as well as helpful CIA agent Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp). That’s a lot of iconic personalities, but they all get their moment to shine.
Here then, are my 8 favorite moments of Captain America: Civil War. While I’ve taken care to skirt around the biggest plot twists, it’s clearly impossible to talk about a film’s best moments without revealing information that some might consider to be a ‘spoiler.’ You have been warned.