"Captain America: Civil War" Review

The world entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with 2008’s Ironman. Eight years later the MCU enters phase three with its latest installment, Captain America: Civil War. Believe me, the eight years you’ve devoted to following the MCU is well worth the culmination and seamless integration of characters, emotion, and action in this film!

Over the years some people have criticized the explosions and destruction in these films. Captain America: Civil War addresses the issue head on. It raises the ethical and moral questions of “what innocent collateral cost comes with superhero protection?” and “who watches the watchers?” in a way that Batman vs. Superman attempted to, but does a far superior job. After a mission with the Avengers stopping mercenaries from executing a terrorist plot ends with the loss of innocent lives, the United Nations steps in to put the team in check.

The UN draws up a huge document called the Accords that will stand as a law for super humans and those with powers to abide by. This sparks a rift between the Avengers in which they are forced to choose sides. While Captain America (Chris Evans) thinks there has to be another way, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) thinks that being governed and held accountable makes sense. While this perspective seems unnatural for these characters (you might think it should be switched) it works well and makes for great conflict both internally and externally with our heroes!

While the team takes sides, a mysterious enemy named Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) creates problems that they must deal with. But with a rift in the team on how to handle situations, it becomes a squabble on numerous levels! The squabbling is awesome to watch! The action sequences are phenomenal. We get to see each character’s power used in ways that highlight their skill and supplement the team fights. There are so many scenes in which directors Andrew and Joe Russo let the action happen in front of the camera (don’t worry, you can follow the action on this, unlike the Avengers: Age of Ultron) in beautiful choreography between the two. One chase scene through a market feels like a verite documentary as the camera tries to keep up.

This installment introduces us to T’Challa aka Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Peter Parker aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland). Both characters are introduced effortlessly and are showcased well! Holland may be the best Spider-Man to date (including Toby Macquire) in my opinion. Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely nailed Spidey’s trade humor, verboseness, and youthful energy. I can’t wait to see Boseman in his solo film in 2018! Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) made his entry into the MCU last year with Ant-Man, and we finally get to see him interact with the Avengers on a larger scale!

Captain America: Civil War fires on all cylinders, and is certainly the film to see this weekend! Save your money though, and see it in 2D. I saw it in IMAX 3D and it did nothing to enhance the film. Nonetheless, once again, Marvel reigns supreme!

Rating: A-

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Kevin Sampson

The fact that Kevin Sampson is not just a film critic, but a writer, producer, and director as well makes his understanding of cinema even better. Coming from a theoretical and hands on approach, he understands both sides of the struggle of viewing and creating great works. After receiving an MFA in Film & Electronic Media from American University in Washington, D.C in 2011, Kevin took his love for film to the next level by creating and producing Picture Lock, an entertainment website, podcast, and hour long film review TV show that runs on Arlington Independent Media’s public access station in Arlington, VA. The show covers new releases, classic films, and interviews with local filmmakers in the DMV area. He is also a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association and African American Film Critics Association. He is currently looking forward to filming his first feature film in the near future. He believes that film is one of the most powerful art forms in the world, and he hopes that he can use the craft to inspire others and make a difference in it.