The Captain America trilogy just gets better and better with each installment. Let’s see what the numbers say on this one.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Overview: After a mission gone wrong with the new Avengers, many world leaders consider removing their autonomy and turning them into weapons of the state. Tony Stark supports this and Steve Rogers doesn’t. What’s worse, Steve has found Bucky Barnes, but not before he’s implicated in a bombing at the signing of these new accords. The Avengers get split down the middle as each side tries to get the other to see reason.
The story has a crazy tragic finale, but even still, the writers manage to blend enough humor into the story to keep it from feeling completely bleak.
Also, there are a LOT of plates spinning. We’re introduced to two new heroes (Black Panther and Spiderman), and there are three plots that all come together: Steve’s search for Bucky, the Sokovia Accords, and Zeemo’s revenge story.
This could have easily been an incoherent mess, but it works!
Everything looks fantastic. And there are so many iconic moments that really stick with you (Steve’s arms vs. an escaping helicopter?? Scott goes MACRO?? The final showdown between Steve and Tony??).
I love the design of Spidey’s new look, and Black Panther’s outfit is completely awesome.
Everything moves like clockwork and everything fits together. And while it reaches a wonderful peak with that insane airport brawl, it doesn’t let bombast ever get in the way of the story, which is hard to do in Comic Book Land.
The Villain: 10/10
Zeemo is a wonderful villain. He’s complex and his motivations are at least partly understandable. His methods are suspect, but he feels like a person and not a cardboard cutout. What’s more, his deal is left unsaid for most of the movie, leaving room for the conflict between Steve and Tony to develop.
Count: a bunch, but not too many
I like that they keep things pretty restrained up until the airport brawl. The opening sequence, the attack on the accords, and the tunnel chase sequence are all awesome, but they don’t just explode everything for no reason.
After Scarlet Witch’s mistake at the beginning, every explosion after that feels like a slap across the face rather than something fun and meaningless, which I think helps keep this movie grounded.
The Hero’s Journey: 10/10
There are so many. I don’t even want to list them all, so I’ll just do the broad strokes.
The conflict between Steve and Tony drives this whole thing. I like how the writers really make sure to keep Tony on the spiral into a more conservative guy that started with Iron Man 3. He’s trying to escape Iron Man but can’t, and in this one, he pulls too far (even though the things he’s fighting for do make sense). In a sense, Steve and Tony are both right and both wrong, and I love that.
I love how we get Natasha caught in the middle and her decision to save lives rather than back the winning team.
T’Challa is amazing, too. He could have just been “generic revenge-obsessed wild card,” but you really come to like him and respect him. I can’t WAIT for his solo movie.
And Peter Parker. He’s exuberant, a clutz, fearless, and absolutely hilarious. He’s not in much of the movie, but it’s a better intro to the character than most full length films. Again, I’m STOKED for Homecoming.
I like that Cap gets some closure both with Bucky and with Carter. The thing with her niece is a bit weird, though.
And finally, I love the growth that Wanda goes through, coming to terms with her power and finding her own confidence.
*hugs Ant-Man, Falcon, War Machine, Vision, and Hawkeye*
Score and Rank
1. Captain America: Civil War (49/50) Whooooo! New number one!
2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (46/50)
3. The Avengers (45/50)
4. Iron Man (43/50)
5. Iron Man 3 (42/50)
6. Guardians of the Galaxy (41/50)
7. Captain America: The First Avenger (40/50)
8. Thor (39/50)
9. Avengers: Age of Ultron (39/50)
10. Ant-Man (38/50)
11. Thor: The Dark World (36/50)
12. The Incredible Hulk (34/50)
13. Iron Man 2 (33/50)