Captain America: Civil War (2016) Marvel – Movie Review



Loosely taking off from an idea borne of the giant crossover storyline mostly under the direction of comics writer Mark Millar, Civil War is a movie that addresses something that is not often remarked upon in superhero stories, and that is the cost of the collateral damage, especially in human lives, when super-powered humans battle one another over an urban landscape. The beginning of the film shows us firsthand the cost of trying to save people, as the Avengers’ mission against villain Crossbones in a battle at the heart of Lagos, Nigeria, sees the deaths of many innocent bystanders, including many from the (fictional) country of Wakanda.
Enter Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross, who pushes forward the Sokovia Accords, a law that requires United Nations approval and oversight when engaging in future world-saving battles that might jeopardize the lives of helpless people. Tony Stark, haunted by guilt of a young and promising teen’s death resulting from his own perceived recklessness, signs on, thinking that this law will not only be inevitable, but that agreeing with it now saves them from a more severe implementation down the road. Steve Rogers, once used as a government propaganda tool for things he didn’t always believe in, think it’s a bad idea, not only opening up the superheroes to be used as a tool for a bunch of selfish bureaucrats, but also because the absence of quick and decisive action, or even inaction in some cases, may cost countless more lives down the road.
After a terrorist explosion ends up killing the Wakandan leader, his son, prince T’Challa, who is also a super-powered human clad in a pliable form of vibranium (the same nearly indestructible substance from which Cap’s shield is composed) known as the Black Panther, vows revenge on the responsible party, with signs pointing toward Bucky Barnes, once the Soviet-brainwashed assassin called the Winter Soldier, as the main culprit. Barnes disavows any knowledge, Captain America, who sees the good in him when he’s not triggered into malice, protects his old friend, and together they vow to unearth the real mastermind behind the tragedy. However, they can’t get far, as acting on their own brands them as criminals, which means the Avengers who’ve signed the new law, led by Iron Man, must keep the peace so that costumed vigilantes aren’t acting of their own accord, possibly causing more distrust from the public and governments they’ve sworn to protect.


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