In preparation for Avengers: Infinity War, I’m watching all the Marvel Studios movies leading up to it.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
I remember when they first announced that the third Cap movie would be based around the Civil War mini-series I was both excited and a little worried. I liked the main Civil War mini-series pretty well when it came out. But it divided fandom in ways that could get ugly sometimes. That, and some writers who wrote tie-in books at the time really ended up making Tony a straight-up villain. I’m happy to say the writers of the movie did a much better job of balancing their two viewpoints. Whether you agree with their choices or not at various points in the movie, they are all drawn upon the character work from all the movies that came before.
One thing that works incredibly well in the movie is how they are able to weave all the different storylines together, and make them matter in ways that go beyond a more philosophical debate. It gets really personal for a lot of people involved here. The way Spider-man and Black Panther are introduced and integrated is pretty much flawless, and actually even more exciting after seeing what fruit those seeds bore in Homecoming and the first Black Panther movie. I would never want superhero inter-warfare to become a repetitive thing (the comics made that mistake with the dreadful Civil War 2) other than the occasional misunderstanding. But, as a way to further the story of the MCU and really put these characters through their paces, Civil War is an enjoyable movie.
My one bit of sadness with the movie is that, since it’s so enmeshed in the ongoing storyline, it feels like a so-so send-off to Captain America’s solo adventures. It’s a stark (pun) contrast to Iron Man 3. I guess that might not be all bad though. Iron Man 3 FELT like the final movie in a trilogy, but has pretty much had that ending rendered a little pointless in subsequent movies. Thor’s third (and presumably final outing with Chris Hemsworth) didn’t even feel like an ending. It felt more like the Thor branch of the franchise was just getting started. I guess, if nothing else, I should think of the differences between the three final movies of the MCU’s first “big three” as being refreshing.