Rating A

Release Date: May 5, 2016

When conflicting beliefs are forged into weapons, every conversation becomes a personal war. The strength that once held Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) as brothers in arms, has now made them into enemies at arm’s length. One year after the destruction of Sokovia the Avengers continue to fight the remaining shadows of Hydra. Unfortunately their best efforts are the ideal breeding ground for even greater confrontation. Crossbones/Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) steals a biological weapon from Lagos, Nigeria. In the attempt to stop him, relief workers from the nation of Wakanda are injured and some are killed.  In light of this recent event and the still smoldering Sokovian aftermath the United Nations is prompted to question the Avenger’s accountability by creating the Sokovia Accords, a new rule book that gives the team a short leash of maneuverability. In the process of redefining what it means to be an Avenger new lines are drawn and adversarial sides are chosen. Captain America believes that governmental agendas will impede the team’s true objectives. Iron Man believes it’s time for governmental overhead due to the amount of damage and recklessness that has happened so far. Once footage of Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) is revealed shortly after a bombing takes place the team’s limits are thoroughly stretched. This single act outlined the breaking points and exposed the hairline fractures that delineated the fragile bonds holding together the tight knit Avengers. Little do they know that a new villain skulks in plain sight counting on their downfall.

aeryary-000223681            As a child, like many other children I read comic books. (I still do.) My imagination was the energetic fuel for many action packed dramas whether it’d a crashing building, scientific experiment gone awry or a purple space giant attacking cities on planet earth. I would show my friends an awesome-two-page-super-battle but they wouldn’t see the sheer “epic-ness” the way I had. Captain America: Civil War represents the brilliant clashes I saw in those pages. This motion picture in my opinion is a cover to cover comic spread of heroic feats powered by human emotions. Directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) in tangent with screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (Thor: Dark World/Captain America Civil War) translated what was only a two dimensional medium into a tangible cinematic reality.

ktuykuyiluy-000223128            I can tell you two things about this film: the scripting was the muse for the cinematography and the cinematography fell in love with the scripting . Also the people that worked on this film didn’t get any sleep. The inexhaustible efforts of the creative team are felt in the punches and frequent in the punch lines. It is a huge undertaking to develop a single story into a successful film. This movie has achieved that and also assembled several distinctive stories into a giant mixture of motivations, consequences and morals. For example Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) wants vengeance whereas Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) wants to be free of his past. Captain America wants to protect his friend while Iron Man wants to set things right. Equally entertaining are the fight scenes. I’d argue this has the most exciting battles of any Marvel film ever made. Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Sharon Carter/ Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp) are heroes that may be considered weaker on the power scale than everybody else. However seeing them in combat didn’t slow down the movie’s pace, it sped it up. Agent 13 and Black Widow’s fight scene was short, technical and fluent. They weren’t wearing capes nor did they have the power to stop a psychic attack but they were full on fighting with everything they had. So just imagine the powerhouses going at it. Observing how much the coordination in the fight sequences has grown since the Captain America The Winter Soldier was excellent to watch.

635927830827125544-sp-35243-r           There is a main focus on Iron Man and Captain America however it is the allies that support their views that make their rivalry so compelling. War Machine (Don Cheadle) fiercely backs Iron Man. Falcon (Anthony Mackie) is literally Captain America’s wingman. Ant Man (Paul Rudd) and Spiderman (Tom Holland) were swept up in the ensuing “Awesomeness.” These two by the way, Ant Man and Spiderman, have several minutes of camera time which are among my favorite parts of the movie. They reacted how any of us would, if we were surrounded by heroes. “Just happy to be there.” The hype for Black Panther is solidified. There are various ways that a man in a cat suit could fail on screen, however Chad Boseman controlled the role. He is the Black Panther and I-want-to-see-his-movie…now preferably, right now. I felt the same way about Spiderman, a teenager that accidentally got super abilities and now has to cope with the ramifications of his decisions. Iron Man and Spiderman’s conversations could be a whole show on its own. I’d watch that just to see what happens next. Seeing Martin Freeman (The Hobbit/Sherlock Holmes) as Everett K. Ross was one of the coolest appearances. Vision (Paul Bettany) was this logical-big-picture-type-of-guy in Avengers Age of Ultron and true to form he remained in that stoic status. Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) had a revelatory conversation in the previous Avengers movie. That interaction continues as she is still finding her place in the world of heroes. Just a note, she is really powerful and not a throwaway character.

3            Comic book wise not every hero is here. Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) for instance are missing in action but it’s understandable because there is so much ground covered that only a select number of stories can be told at once. Trailer wise, I can tell you that the whole movie isn’t shown on the screen. The trailer “eludes” but it does not “conclude” the movie. There are secrets, hilarious perspectives and final decisions that cause a lot of commotion for the team.

Power is prevalent. Super heroes are defined by what they can do. But they are also defined by who they are beneath their masks. Joe Simon and Jack Kirby made Captain America to be a symbol of the times. They understood this simple principle and at this moment their ideals are still resonating in the minds of fans across the globe. My suggestion, is that whichever side your choose Captain America or Iron Man, choose to enjoy the film. If you need a reason to see this film I’ll give you plenty. Black Widow, Captain America, Iron Man, War Machine, SPIDERMAN, The Winter Soldier, Black Panther, Falcon, Hawkeye, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Ant Man and that’s just the beginning.

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635927830721200865-sp-16380-r2Captain, while a great many people see you as a hero, there are some that prefer the word vigilante.  You’ve operated with unlimited power and no supervision. That’s something that the world can no longer tolerate.

After the defeat of Ultron, the Avengers thwart an attempted theft of a biological weapon in Lagos, Nigeria. While Scarlett Witch works her magic to maneuver the thief, Crossbones, away from the public as he detonates a suicide bomb, she accidentally steers him toward a building that contains many relief workers from Wakanda.  As a result of the deaths, several countries come forth with a mandate called the Sokovia Accords that govern any individuals with enhanced abilities.  Riddled with guilt from the deaths that occurred in Sokovia at the hands of Ultron, Tony Stark/Iron Man immediately agrees to sign the Accords. Steve Rogers/Captain America, however, does not think that governments should regulate their activities since government agendas tend to get corrupt.  This difference in opinion causes a great divide in the Avengers.

At the ratification of the Accords in Vienna, a bomb explodes killing King T’Chaka of Wakanda and footage implicates the Winter Soldier as the responsible party. The King’s son, T’Challa vows revenge. Captain America and Falcon find the Winter Soldier who claims that he was not responsible, but the three of them end up getting arrested. When The Winter Soldier is examined by a psychologist (Colonel Zemo), a sonic blast disrupts the power which allows Zemo to utter Hydra’s trigger words that sends Winter Soldier into a rage, allowing his escape along with Captain America and Falcon. Both Iron Man and Captain America gather recruits to join their teams which falls right into Zemo’s plan. As the tension mounts and secrets are revealed, which side will you join?

Cap: This doesn’t have to end in a fight, Tony. Iron Man: You just started a war!

While the plot of Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 13th installment into the franchise is far too complicated to summarize, I hope that I have given enough info to pique the interest of the non-diehard fans. Of course, true comic fans and followers of the franchise should walk away very pleased and here is why. With a $250 million budget, the film has grossed $241.5 million before its North American May 6, 2016 release date from its April 12 world premiere and international markets.

635927830819949498-sp-07554-rEven with the absence of Thor and Hulk, the expansion of the universe introduces an impressively well cast Spider-Man and Black Panther who will star in their own films in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Spider-Man captured my heart with his witty web slinging humor and Black Panther grounded me with his sage wisdom. The American screenwriter duo Markus and McFeely, who are known for their work in the MCU, exquisitely capitalize on the chemistry of the characters and continues their storyline from the 2015 Avengers: Age of Ultron film without missing a beat.

The returning cast, led by Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr., offer up the same intense performances that make this franchise so enjoyable to watch. The MCU takes its most serious leap in this film and the action scenes are perfectly sequenced between the multi-plot building and the reveal towards the end. Henry Jackman also returns to provide the musical score for the film which intensifies and accentuates the incredible work that the cast and crew put into building a franchise that will continue into 2019 with Avengers: Infinity Wars Part 2 in 2019.

After my screening, I have a ceremonious nod of respect to Stan Lee for creating the Marvel Universe and to the Russo brothers for directing the enormously talented cast, the fantastic cinematography, soundtrack, story, and editing. I highly recommend that you run, fly, levitate, or swing on into the theater to capture this one on the big screen!     ~Movie Buffette

This job… we try to save as many people as we can. Sometimes that doesn’t mean everybody, but you don’t give up. ~ Steve Rogers

Marvel's Captain America: Civil War Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) Photo Credit: Film Frame © Marvel 2016

Filmed at Pinewood Atlanta Studios and Metro Atlanta, Captain America: Civil War captures the essence of a traditional superhero comic book movie. It blends action, drama, humor and, of course, special effects.  I heard all sorts of rumors prior to screening the movie, so I was prepared for everything.  Sorry, I am not going to give away anything.  You will just have to go and watch the movie the way it is made to be seen – in a theater on a big screen.

The film features an ensemble cast with most of the regulars and a few new faces.  Although I enjoy looking at Thor and watching the back and forth banter between Dr. Bruce Banner and Stark, it was not until the end credits that I really missed their presence.  The introduction of new characters like T’Challa/Black Panther, flawlessly portrayed by Chadwick Boseman (42) kept me engrossed in the story.  I can’t wait to discover the legend of the Black Panther.  Relative newcomer Tom Holland’s (The Impossible) performance as Spider-man was amusing, especially the dialogue between Parker and Tony Stark.  I really liked the way they brought characters from other films such as Ant-Man and Spider-Man into the mix.

Screenwriters Markus and McFeely did an exceptional job with the script.  It was balanced with dramatic statements and events that make you laugh.  The directors keep the film moving along with the correct mix of action to keep the audience engaged. Kick off the summer blockbuster season with a film that is sure to break records and keep movie patrons entertained. ~A.S. MacLeod

Chris Evans as Captain America

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man

Scarlett Johansson as  Black Widow

Sebastian Stan  as Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier

Anthony Mackie  as Falcon

Don Cheadle as War Machine

Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye

Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther

Paul Bettany as Vision

Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch

Paul Rudd as Ant-Man

Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter

Tom Holland as Spider-Man

Daniel Brühl as Zemo

Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow / Crossbones

Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo



About Perry Boyd