I had the opportunity to see this recent release tonight, with my sister Linda. Civil War continues the Avengers saga, with a return of familiar characters and the introduction of a couple of new ones. This film has a long run time. We settled in to enjoy the action packed story.
Captain America: Civil War stars Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Tom Holland, Daniel Brühl, William Hurt and John Kani. This action/adventure/sci-fi was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and has a run time of 2 hours and 27 minutes. It is rated PG-13, for extended scenes of violence and intense action.
After another altercation between the Avengers and a former nemesis results in the death of civilians, Secretary of State Ross (Hurt) informs the team that regulations must be put into place. The proposed Sovokia Accords, ratified by 117 countries, states that the Avengers will be under the supervision of a panel, acting only when the panel finds it necessary. Each member of the Avengers is asked to sign the document, or retire. The Accords will go into affect in three days.
The Avengers immediately divide over their decisions to sign the Accords, or not. Tony Stark (Downey Jr), aka Ironman, agrees that the group of superheroes needs to be overseen. The deaths of innocent civilians is weighing heavily on him. Siding with him are Natasha/Black Widow (Johansson), Vision (Bettany), and Lt. James Rhodes/War Macine (Cheadle).
Opposing the Accords, on the grounds that the world might need the Avengers’ help and they will not be allowed to go, are Steve Rogers/Captain America (Evans), Sam Wilson/Falcon (Mackie), and Wanda/Scarlet Witch (Olsen).
As dissent is dividing the Avengers, an explosion in Vienna halts the proceedings concerning the Accords, while killing King T’Chaka (Kani) of Wakanda. His father’s death enrages the son, Prince T’Challa (Boseman), who vows to kill the man responsible for the bombing. That man appears to be Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Stan), friend of Captain American. Cap realizes he needs to get to Bucky before T’Challa does, and goes rogue, violating the Accords. Ironman and his team arrive to apprehend Cap and Bucky, saving them from newly introduced Black Panther, who unmasked, is revealed to be Prince T’Challa.
Into this volatile situation, Col Zemo (Brühl) infiltrates the compound where Bucky is being held prisoner, using a spoken code to activate the Winter Soldier’s aggressive programming. Zemo appears to have a mysterious agenda of his own. Captain Ametican escapes with his old friend, reminding him that he is Bucky Barnes, and believing that he was not responsible for the explosion in Vienna. Ironman and his team are sent to bring Captain America and his group in.
Both groups beef up their teams. Ironman recruits Black Panther and brings in the teen from Queens with unique abilities, Spider-Man (Holland). Captain America adds Hawkeye (Renner) and Ant-Man (Rudd) to his team. The line is drawn. It’s Civil War.
This was a fun, action-packed film. As superhero movies go, this one has to rank near the top, with a great cast and an interesting storyline. There were humorous moments interspersed throughout the movie, to break up the intensity of the action.
I was struck with the thought that although they were divided by opinions and beliefs, neither side was entirely right…or entirely wrong. Both teams operated out of the knowledge that they had, which was incomplete for all. And although they disagreed over outcomes and courses of action, each person lived from a code of behavior that was larger than the individual. They each knew there was a bigger story going on, and an enemy outside of themselves, which enabled them to still respect each other in spite of the very physical battles that they engaged in.
I thoroughly enjoyed this latest chapter in the Avengers. This obviously was not the end of the story, and I’m very glad about that. I’m not ready to say goodbye to this group of superheroes.