After the various disasters that have occurred over the years involving the various members of the Avengers, the United Nations led by the King of Wakanda have decided to pass the Sokovia Accords which put the Avengers under the control of the UN. Some members are in favor of it, such as Tony Stark, and some are opposed, such as Steve Rogers. Things get more complicated when at the signing of the agreement, there’s a bombing which ends up killing the King of Wakanda, with Roger’s old friend Bucky Barnes as the prime suspect. Rogers defies the Sokovia Accords to attempt to catch Bucky Barnes before the others do, especially as they have orders to kill on sight and the son of the slain Wakandan King T’Challa is after revenge. Rogers ultimately comes to the discovery that Bucky wasn’t the one that performed the bombing, rather that he was being framed, and that a larger plot by someone named Zemo was in the works, resulting in him attempting to escape with Bucky and stop Zemo himself. This leads others to follow him. Stark meanwhile is tasked with bringing in Bucky, and pursues them with his own group of allies, setting the two groups on a collision course.
While being called a Captain America film, Civil War is for all intents and purposes the next Avenger’s movie, and overall it’s not just the best Avenger’s movie we’ve gotten so far, but also one of the best films in the entirety of the MCU, and what truly feels like the beginning of the next phase of the MCU. The reason it does so well is that like other films that stand out, it’s not just the quality that matters, but that it does something new. The MCU already has a bunch of films on the same basic concepts that are incredibly high quality. Doing the same thing again but better is very difficult and even then the improvement isn’t enough for it to not feel repetetive. But doing things that are dramatically different works out very well, especially if it’s done as well as Civil War.
The plot loosely follows the comic book plot line, but it gets more personal which works out much better in the film medium and in general honestly, as I think they did a better job with this than the comics. Iron Man and Captain America seemed to have much realer motivations as compared to how things worked out in the comics, and they actually behaved in ways that you would expect of them. Stark still had his failings, but he didn’t seem like the completely obvious villain like in the comics, rather he felt like someone with complex feelings. Rogers too, felt more like a hero coming out of the entire affair than the train wreck that came out of the event in the comics. Ultimately, both characters personalities really showed through. One particular reason that helps with this is that there’s a true ‘villain’ for the whole affair, Zemo, who’s given a much more sympathetic character as compared to the comics, but still captures the true essence of Zemo, in that he’s someone with no powers, no resources, and not much in the way of special abilities, but just through planning and sheer will he manages to pull off being the most powerful villain the Avenger’s had faced so far. For all intents and purposes, he succeeded in almost all his goals, which is more than you can say about any other villain int he MCUU, expect maybe Loki. Another reason that the plot is so great is that it was legitimately unpredictable. The standard super hero flick involves a hero going through some set backs, coming to some inner realization, maybe with others, and then defeating the villain. Here, that obviously could not be the case, and hence there was real suspense in how things were going to go down and who was going to ‘win’ the Civil War.
The character roster too overall was very good. Hulk and Thor may have been missing, but really the completely new additions of Spiderman and Black Panther as well as the old cast of Captain America, Iron Man, Bucky, War Machine, Falcon, Vision, Black Widow, Maximoff, Ant-Man, and Hawkeye is a strong enough line up that played out great, especially in the main battle. Most of the characters such as Falcon and T’Challa I also liked a good amount more than the comics and Spiderman was the best film adaptation yet. All these characters led to some great intense action, the best action in all of the MCU as far as I can remember.The designs of everything were also great, as was the CG used. The comedy was still there, though I would have to say it was somewhat darker and more serious than other MCU films. The soundtrack was also excellent.
A very different but tremendously high quality MCU film that’s basically the next Avenger’s movie.