Synopsis: Connected with broken Bucky Barnes (the former Winter Soldier assassin), Captain America and Iron Man lead separate factions in a violent argument on Superhero oversight.
• A well done and well acted storyline about hard truths that no one really knows how to handle.
• Succeeds in still being a Captain America film in spite of having nearly all the characters from prior Avengers films.
• The heroes and villains are one in the same.
• The introduction of Spider-Man (Tom Holland) is more than welcome, as Holland’s rendition seems more right than his predecessors.
• Lacks a jaw dropping revelation like that of HYDRA’s deeply expansive corruption in Winter Soldier (2014).
• Picking a side is unnecessary for the viewer, even though the film suggests we should until the final scenes.
The film’s story is quite brilliant in its own way. Not only does it conclude the Bucky Barnes story-arc of the three Captain America films in explosive fashion, but also set the perfect tone for MCU Phase 3. No one was on the right or wrong side of the argument, which was ultimately about the things Bucky did or did not do while under the control of HYDRA. They were all right and wrong in their own ways over how to deal with themselves as blunt tools of protection. Hancock (2008) was one of the earliest if not first film to deal with the problem of superheroes and antiheroes, who often leave a mess for others to clean after they “saved” everyone. In the prior MCU films, billions or even trillions of dollars would have been required for disaster recovery, and it had not always been clear how much the saviors of humanity aided in that. Indeed, like in the case of Ultron, the world was sometimes saved from a mess the heroes created. The world was grateful to be saved, but spiteful at the mess left behind.
So how can the world deal with such great power to save and destroy? In the argument depicted in Civil War, our “heroes” again caused significant destruction, largely proving the point of those wanting to rein in on their power. Yet, forcing the registration of specific types of people might be devastating to those registered in the long run. There is no true answer shown in this film, and that might be the only way to conclude the argument over and among superheroes. What is necessary may change as the world and villains change. Metaphorically and literally, the old shield of Captain America needed to be left behind for whatever was to come.
Rotten Tomatoes — 91%