When Captain America: Civil War was announced, one wondered if Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) would still retain his goodness. Captain America’s adversary would be Tony Stark, alias Iron Man, (Robert Downey Jr.), the superhero who started this Marvel Cinema Universe eight years ago. In the comic book universe, the Captain America/Iron Man Civil War was a statement about Post-911 America, with Tony Stark and Steve Rogers representing the sides of security and liberty, respectfully.
The new movie opens with an incident from Dec. 16, 1991. The film flashes forward to the present day, in which Captain America leads the Avengers against the terrorist Crossbones (Frank Grillo). When there is collateral damage, the United Nations decides that the Avengers need oversight by an outside agency, and to be registered. While Tony Stark decides to go along to get along, Steve Rogers sees these new restrictions as destroying civil liberties.
To complicate matters, the Winter Soldier is loose. The Winter Soldier, alias Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) is a childhood friend of Steve Rogers. As the United Nations debate superhero registration, an explosion occurs – causing more collateral damage. While the Winter Soldier is blamed, Steve Rogers suspects his old friend is the patsy.
Captain America: Civil War builds to a logical showdown. The movie lives up to its comic book visualization when the superheroes battle each other in a German airport. While there is much humor, there is an aggression we have not seen before in a Marvel Comic Books movie.
This aggression leads to more collateral damage, which forces this film into more serious territory.
Given previous visual epics, this Civil War ends with personal fight based on painful motives. We see sides to Tony Stark and Steve Rogers that we have not seen before. To directors Anthony and Joe Russo’s credit, this big revelation feels truthful.
Given this wild political year, Captain America: Civil War is a timely commentary about the present day. Captain America’s final words provide much wisdom, and he is still my favorite Marvel Comics superhero.