Team Steve! Team Tony! Wait, this feels familiar…
I have just come from watching Captain America III: Civil War. I went into it with lower expectations than I might have; Batman v. Superman was…okay but flawed and I enjoyed it mainly by telling myself I was watching a Frank Miller interpretation of the real Batman and Superman. I think the main problem is that BvS’s writer and director were trying too hard to “re-imagine” those iconic heroes. Civil War, on the other hand, is proof that Marvel Studio’s writers firmly understand that they don’t need to re-imagine anything. Update the backstories a bit, yes, but in CV they have continued to hew as closely as possible to the character of the heroes we know and love. And the result is genius.
No spoilers this time, other than the setup and general theme. The setup is payoff on the fact that, even when they won (which is most of the time), the Avengers left a lot of collateral damage in their wake. Some of it they were responsible for. Plus they are a private organization that can dismantle national armies, and they answer to no-one. So, four years after the Avengers are founded, the United Nations is moving to put them under the control of a supervisory panel. If the team won’t allow it, it must disband.
That’s the setup.
The theme springs from the setup; before the members of the team can fully hash it out among themselves, a crisis immediately blows up around the Winter Soldier (no spoiler there since it’s in all the previews). The team becomes divided between those willing to, out of principle, follow the new law, and those who, out of principle, cannot.
Yes, Marvel set it up so that both sides are right at various times and with the information each has, and it hurts to watch this band of brothers (and sisters) get ripped apart. In the end, I don’t know who made the right call initially: Steve, or Tony?
You decide. Get thee to a theater. Go!
(Also, the introductions of Panther and Spiderman are awesome.)