Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Daniel Brühl, William Hurt, Martin Freeman, John Slattery, Alfre Woodard, and Marisa Tomei
Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Building off the events of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Civil War asks the question as to whether the Avengers do more harm than good. Following the devastating damage the Avengers helped to cause when taking down Ultron who was intent on destroying Sokovia, worldwide agencies want to make the Avengers answer to a governing body in an attempt to keep them from simply running rampant across the world. Sure they do good, but the Avengers are also reckless at times. Tony Stark is amenable to this treatise, but Steve Rogers feels that it will severely inhibit the Avengers' ability to fight evil. Our superheroes -- Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), and the newest member Spider-Man (Tom Holland) -- take sides, all while Captain America tries to figure out if his former buddy Bucky Barnes AKA the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) is responsible for an attack on the United Nations-esque body that is responsible for instituting the Sokovia Accords.
For me -- someone who isn't a huge comic book movie fan, despite having seen all of the new era of Marvel films -- the biggest reason for the success of Captain America: Civil War (which isn't really a Captain America movie so much as another Avengers picture) is that the villains here aren't foreign entities like superhuman computers or outer space creatures, but based in reality. Add to that, the tension that arises within the Avengers group themselves is surprisingly palpable and dramatically effective. Plus, in typical Marvel fashion, the film knows when to lighten things up, creating nice pops of humor when the heavier story desperately needs it. The Russo Brothers who did a great job with Captain America: Winter Soldier do an even better job here and I look forward to what they can bring to the oftentimes over-bloated Avengers films.
The character of Captain America is one that didn't start out successful for me in the slightest. In fact, the original Captain America film is one of my least favorites in the Marvel canon. However, as the character of Steve Rogers has grown and developed, he's become compelling and captivating. Placing him front and center here in a battle against some of his former allies creates what I think is the best Marvel film to date.
The RyMickey Rating: B+