Captain America: Civil War, 4/22/17, 4.5 Stars.
Avengers, disassemble! We’ve seen the Avengers fight two faceless armies, so now, it’s time for them to fight: each other. Before that, we start with Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) going on one of his brainwash missions, where we learn how he’s used and see just how strong he is when he sends a car into a light pole with his bare hand. Fast-forward to the present in Lagos, where the Avengers are assembled! Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) cover the ground, while Falcon (Anthony Mackie) takes the skies. When they realize their target is headed somewhere else, enter Captain America (Chris Evans), who kicks butt, and after a cool fight sequence, Crossbones (Frank Grillo) sets off a suicide bomb, but Scarlett Witch throws him up and a building gets blown up. After that, she’s confined to the new Avengers facility, and what follows is Batman V. Superman if it had had 12 previous movies and 120 episodes of television under its belt: the consequences of vigilantism, and the Russo brothers do an amazing job of presenting both sides of the conflict, where nobody is right or wrong, just bringing their viewpoints to the table. Vision (Paul Bettany) brings a logical view based on calculations, while Captain America makes it clear that their hands are still the safest to be in. All this leads to the airport battle promised by the promotions, then the real climax, which takes a long time to get to. However, the plot is coherent, and you know what’s going on and why. The effects are, once again, stunning, especially at the airport fight, but it’s the conflict that’s at the heart of this. Henry Jackman also does another great job with the soundtrack, which captures all the appropriate emotions, such as Winter Soldier’s eerie motif, which comes into play when he’ll be the most dangerous to anyone. Despite all the darkness, Marvel still brings some good laughs so we don’t forget they’re human beings at the center of the conflict at the end of the day. They also use saltier language than most of their movies, but it’s all called for. Overall, Civil War is a reminder that actions have consequences, and adds a layer of reality to this universe by having that be the case.