With the many billboards, commercials, promotional items, and hushed spoilers told between a lucky few, it’s evident that the entire country is once again gripped in Marvel Mania. Today, Captain America: Civil War hits American theaters after tremendously successful openings overseas. Critics are calling the film the greatest film from Marvel Studios yet, and fans of the franchise are lining up to view the film based on the most acclaimed special event in Marvel Comics history. While the hype for the movie might seem a little intense, it’s not undeserved. There’s a lot going on Civil War, and even the least enthusiastic Marvel movie fan is going to want to check it out.
First off, to those who haven’t seen any previous superhero films from which Civil War stems from; now’s the time to start. Like, right now, because there’s quite a few spoilers from previous films ahead. Done? Ok, good. While Marvel mastermind Kevin Feige has previously stated that audiences don’t need to see the previous films to enjoy the most recent, that’s all changed with Civil War. The film explores, in-depth, the complicated relationship between Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), and his corrupted sidekick, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), as introduced in The Winter Soldier. Bucky’s recently shaken off his brainwashing and looking for a way to reunite with his best friend after nearly killing him. Steve’s strained partnership with Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) after the events of Age of Ultron is also a focal point of the film, with Steve distrustful of Tony after secretly creating Ultron; and Tony distrustful of himself and all the other heroes for the potential harm they could inflict on the world.
That’s when the world’s super powers come into play. No, not superheroes, but the planet’s most powerful governments, who share Tony’s fears about the capacity for destruction caused by super powered people. They want full control of the Avengers, but Steve is old enough to remember what happens when a group of people attains that much power and influence; and why he was chosen to wield the power he possesses. The friendly camaraderie shared by Steve and Tony was already strained by the end of their last film together, but this proves to be the breaking point. The issue is big enough that it causes the other superheroes we’ve met in other films to turn on each other; each side insistent that their way is best.
While Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) are sadly not in the, there are a couple of exciting new heroes coming out of the woodwork to join the battle! Chadwick Boseman (known for playing Jackie Robinson and James Brown on the big screen) joins team Iron Man as Black Panther. Known in diplomatic circles as T’Challa, Boseman’s character is the prince of a small, yet technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda. Bad news for Captain America, whose shield is made from Wakanda’s fictional primary export, vibranium. Civil War introduces the character ahead of a solo Black Panther movie, due next year. Also joining Team Iron Man is the most highly anticipated character to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Spider-Man. Played by Tom Holland, the latest incarnation of the web-slinger is a young teen just starting out in the superhero game, who finds a mentor in the genius inventor, Tony Stark. Kevin Feige has stated that Marvel Studios has full creative control over the most recent Spider-Man, and that he’s locked in for three more films after this one.
Unfortunately for the fractured Avengers, there are some pretty nasty villains appearing in the latest chapter. Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) was introduced as Steve Roger’s teammate in The Winter Soldier, before turning on him at the request of S.H.I.E.L.D/Hydra and World Security Council head, Alexander Pierce. Now he’s back, and has a bone to pick with Steve as his new super villain alter ego, Crossbones. Actor Daniel Brühl appears as Helmut Zemo, but won’t be adhering to the villain’s cannon that was established in the books. Zemo’s role as a Sokovian terrorist means that no one will be addressing him as “Baron” in the film, and the character’s signature purple mask has been done away with. While Zemo does appear briefly as a villain in Civil War, it’s only to set up his involvement in future films.
So, while it seems as if Captain America: Civil War is receiving more hype than any of Marvel Studios’ previous films, the movie also eloquently packs more action and excitement into 147 minutes than ever before. Don’t miss out on what is sure to be one of the biggest films of the year, and find showtimes and tickets for a showing near you, right here.