While providing the biggest ensemble of superheroes on the big screen until Avengers: Infinity War, Civil War succeeds in challenging audiences’ minds by forcing them to take a side. Although this film does have an antagonist in Zemo, the central point of the story asks audiences to side with Captain America or Iron Man. This sets it apart from the other movies featured in the MCU and makes it one of the best entries in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.
Beginning with the relationship between Tony and Steve, the film puts them on opposite sides of a political debate. When the United Nations (UN) decides the Avengers must be used at the discretion of the government, Tony agrees due to his guilt after the events of Age of Ultron. However, Steve feels that the Avengers should have control of their actions because although they are not perfect, the safest hands are still their own. Steve fears that the government may not allow the Avengers to operate if they feel a situation doesn’t require their help. This conflict makes the film interesting because both sides are right. Tony is just trying to have the team comply so they can operate within the law while Steve is putting his trust in the team to make the best decisions.
The conflict between Steve and Tony is emotional in a way we haven’t seen from other Marvel films minus Black Panther. While we know the film is made with Captain America as the protagonist, Tony’s argument also sits well with many people. The same could be said for Black Panther and Killmonger. This rooting interest in the opposing side makes the film much more enjoyable than past Marvel villains whose goals have been to take over something or gain power for the sake of gaining power. However, the true antagonist of this film is Zemo.
Zemo wants to tear the Avengers apart from the inside as means of vengeance because his family died during an Avengers mission. He uses Bucky as needed in order to have him, Steve and Tony watch together as Bucky murders Tony’s parents. This of course pits Tony against Steve and Bucky, resulting in the end of our film. Zemo’s character is logical and makes sense within the universe. He may not be the most compelling villain, but his character operates organically to the story.
Visually, the action sequences are amazing. The effects are up to par with the rest of the Marvel films, but the shot composition during the final fight sequence make this film worth watching repeatedly. The music in this film fills the background properly. Although it does not stand out as with other superhero films, it is efficient enough to portray the emotions within each scene.
Overall, I’d rate this film an 8.5/10. While the conflict between Steve and Tony is well thought out and keeps the movie interesting, Zemo is not as compelling as other villains for him to sustain the role he had in the film. The music is efficient and the cinematography outside of the fight sequences is the same as the music: efficient.
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