Be sure to have your ticket for “Captain America: Civil War” when it opens this Friday, because you won’t want to be left out of the conversation come Monday.
The hype is real, folks.
The latest Marvel movie matching Team Cap versus Team Iron Man proves that, though there are many trying to do it, Marvel Studios is the best storyteller when it comes to superhero movies.
Under the direction of Anthony and Joe Russo (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”), “Captain America: Civil War,” as the title suggests, puts the focus on Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). But what sets this standalone Marvel movie apart is the inclusion of so many of the Avengers.
As with “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” collateral damage sets the stage for the action. In “Civil War,” it’s the death of innocent people when Scarlet Witch saves Captain America from an explosion, but sadly it goes into a building instead.
This leads to 117 countries signing the Sokovia Accords, named after the country that was the site of the huge battle in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” The hope is that the Avengers agree to stand down until they are called upon by a UN panel.
Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Vision (Paul Bettany), and others are for signing it, while Captain America and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) don’t see the reason to be policed.
This starts the friction that only grows when The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) is accused of setting off a bomb at the meeting of the declaration of the accord.
I won’t say much about what transpires next, only to add that the appearances of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) are highlights that make you excited for their standalone films. And the appearances of other Avengers during a key battle is thrilling.
This is all a testament to Marvel and Disney’s creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has been built up for years now. “Civil War” is the payoff when all those pieces are used to perfection.
It’s extremely difficult to create a movie like “Civil War,” in which so many characters (established and new, by movie standards) must have a chunk of screen time for the audience to get sucked in. But the Russo brothers do it flawlessly (thanks to a 146-minute running time), giving us layered performances while also telling a story about principle and loyalty that never feels rushed.
Warner Bros. and DC Comics can certainly take notes from MCU. As “Batman v Superman” tried but stumbled in laying the groundwork for its dark universe filled with conflict and adult themes, “Civil War” proves you can have all of that – and some lighthearted fun along the way.