[Review] Captain America: Civil War : Watch It Twice! No, Thrice!

Dzikri Mahfud

Captain America: Civil War—or just Civil War, because the original title is too long—officially hit theaters a month ago, on April 27. The film functions as a sequel to both 2014 Captain America: The Winter Solider and 2015 The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

What so great about Civil War is that the superhero hype in this film is real, because it has everything: it has Captain America (Chris Evans), it has Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), it has Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), it has Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), it has Falcon (Anthony Mackie), it has War Machine (Don Cheadle), it has Vision (Paul Bettany), it has Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), it has Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), it has Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), it has Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), it has Spider-Man (Tom Holland), and even Dr. Wats…Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman)—like I said, it has everything. Check out this fan made poster:

Oh cool! All heroes gathered in one film! But wait a minute, this seems familiar… (credit: http://cdn.movieweb.com/img.news.tops/NEbchxKYXqq6ej_1_b.jpg)

…right. (credit: http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/powerrangers/images/b/b4/WF_10_Red_Rangers.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20070720183315)

Assuming not all of the readers understand what this film is about, I will give you the overview of the movie. There are no major spoilers ahead so, no, you do not have to cover your eyes.

The film is based on the 2006-2007 Marvel Comics event series that shares partially same title, Civil War. It is basically Captain America working with his Avengers teammates throwing his shield at everything to stop whatever threatens the world. However, after a mission in Sokovia ends up causing a huge collateral damage, the team suddenly became the subject of controversy, and led the United Nations to question whether these superheroes should be allowed to continue functioning as a private organization—and finally they decided to control them. In order to put the team in check, Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) presents them the opportunity to sign the Sokovia Accords to make The Avengers work under United Nations. This idea is supported by some, including Iron Man, Vision, Black Widow and War Machine, but not Captain America, Falcon and Scarlet Witch. Their disagreements and misunderstandings eventually led them to fight each other—thus civil war.

Fun fact: Sherl..Cumberbatch will play Stephen Strange, in this November Doctor Strange. Check out his trippy trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lt-U_t2pUHI (credit: 9gag)

Later on, a terrorist attack is pinned on Captain America’s super-mega-ultimate-beloved-best-friend-forever-turned-assassin, Bucky a.k.a. Winter Soldier, and while Cap is told to leave the situation alone, he rebels—turning him into a fugitive (whaaaat). Along with all that happened, Helmut Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) moves in the backstage, asking everyone about “Mission Report, December 16, 1961”—Bucky’s past, the key to the civil war.

Go go, Baron Zemo! (credit: https://pics.onsizzle.com/when-u-hear-someone-talking-about-mission-report-december-16-2522989.png)

The headliner is the conflict between Captain America and Iron Man, of course, but this film is not just about superheroes brawling each other; it is about how these heroes relate to each other, and the Russo brothers has done a great job in that. There are two newly introduced heroes in this film: Black Panther and Marvel’s Spider-Man (yes, the two former Spider-Man are not Marvel’s, boo-hoo), and also newly developed heroes relationship: Falcon-Bucky, Vision-Wanda, Tony-Spidey, and even Cap got many chance to be with his beloved Bucky. Way to go, Cap!

Poor Andrew and Toby. (credit: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ChVFMRSWMAEHVos.jpg)

Falcon and Bucky, have one of the most complex relationships in the film, because they were once opponents, and now they are teammates. Falcon shows that he dislikes Bucky by not wanting to help Cap retrieve his best friend forever, but he did anyway–he even refused to moves his seat in that long-awaited-Cap-and-Sharon-kissing scene—and they finally work alongside. But they did a surprisingly good job when fighting Spider-Man (so many laughs). On the other, more serious side of the story, Wanda and Vision are wonderfully brought together, not only because of their relationship in the comics (SPOILER ALERT: they got married) but also because there is a bond between them as newcomers in the superhero realm. Tony seeks Spider-Man for help, and they developed a family-like relationship. In the short scene where Tony came to Spidey’s house, it feels like they have known each other well for a long time, it feels like they are uncle and cousin. Somehow, everybody gets a moment with everybody, and yet Civil War has zero fat and never swings too far away from the central plot (pun intended).

Good news! We can see them bonding again in the 2017 Spider-Man: Homecoming. (credit: personal screenshot from marvel.com)

Besides this hero and that hero relationship, the film also brilliantly brought the audience to care about two particular heroes’ motivation—what drives them to act. The two are T’Challa a.k.a. Black Panther and Tony a.k.a. Iron Man. I am going to step up more into the details of the film so, major spoiler alert.

Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa a.k.a. Black Panther. (credit: http://www.modernmythmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/new-civil-war-trailer-shows-the-first-look-at-black-panther-unmasked-958967-e1462229424685-830×450.jpg)

Black Panther made his first ever appearance in this movie, and he is as cool as he can be. I mean look at those details—those claws on his full vibranium suit, and did you hold your breath when he is being shot continuously by a military helicopter while beating Winter Soldier to pulp and he just sat there chilling? Or scream a little when he was being shot by Hawkeye’s explosive arrow right in the face, literally, and did not even shake? I did. But what I want to focus here is that he is being Black Panther not because he wanted to, but the situation and his emotion drive him to. His dad, T’Chaka, was killed in the terrorist attack while giving speech of peace regarding the Sokovia Accords. Later on he saw the footage that it was Bucky who blew the building. What then confuses the audience is whether his motivation a good reason or not, because, he did not want to drag Bucky to trial, but straight to grave. As a son whose father was killed, it is a good reason to punch—or claw the murderer right in the face, but as a king (after his father’s death he became one), I think he needs to calm down. Here is a little advice; when your parents’ murderer is standing next to you, try a punch or two.

Yes, Tony. So was I indeed. (credit: https://media.giphy.com/media/feDwwmINSXFwQ/giphy.gif)

The title says Civil War, and yes it is a civil war from the beginning, but the real civil war feels is there in the last fighting scene—Cap and Bucky v Iron Man. The act starts with Tony followed Cap and Bucky to the island where they search for Zemo, intending to ceasefire and help them. When they finally found Zemo, however, the villain showed an old footage of the mission report he had been looking for. It turned out to be a footage of Tony’s parents assassination, and the one who did it was *drum rolls* Bucky. Driven by anger, Tony tries to punch Bucky, but Cap tries to calm him down. What surprises the audience next is that Cap knew about this and did not tell Tony, and that resulting in Tony brawls both of them. There are so many emotional conflicts in the fight: Tony was too angry to understand that Bucky was brainwashed. Cap helped his beloved best friend forever rather than stopping them, but on the other side, Howard Stark (Tony’s father) was his best friend too. So many wrongs so many rights, it is hard to decide who is to support, but I am with Tony on this one.

All in all, Civil War is equally thrilling, fun, emotional, smart, thought-provoking, and really everything you want and expect, bringing together tremendous character dynamics; bold structure; an emotional narrative; and spell-binding, fun action sequences, it is everything a blockbuster should be. It is worth watching, even twice or thrice. You should see it though, if you haven’t.

(credit: http://cdn3-www.superherohype.com/assets/uploads/gallery/captain-america-civil-war/civil-war-poster-3.jpg)


Captain America: Civil War movie.




Movie discussion with:

Tubagus Firmansyah

Great Ray

Word Count: 1324 words.

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