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Movie Night – Viewers must pick sides with superheroes

By Bradley Griffith

“Captain America: Civil War” deserves an A solely due to the sheer amount of superheroes in the film.  It’s a unique situation where the good guys are also the bad guys.

As the movie opens approximately one year after the events in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” Captain America (Chris Evans) is leading a team of Avengers, including Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), in Lagos, Nigeria attempting to stop a mercenary and his crew from obtaining a biological weapon.  They are able to recover the biological weapon and defeat the mercenaries, but several innocent civilians from the African country of Wakanda are killed in an explosion during the battle.

Shortly thereafter, the United Nations, with the support of over 100 countries, is prepared to pass the Sokovia Accords.  The Accords establish a United Nations council that will oversee and control the Avengers.  Basically, the Avengers will go where they are told, fight where they are told, and stand down when they are told to by the council.  The Avengers are each asked to sign the Accords as a manner of showing their support and recognizing their duty to obey the council.

The Avengers are divided on the Accords.  Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is the champion for the Accords.  He argues that it’s time someone had some type of control over the Avengers to reduce collateral damage and stop innocent civilians from getting caught in the crossfire.

Captain America sees it differently.  He believes that the decisions of when and where the Avengers should fight is best left to the judgment of the Avengers themselves.  If Cap sees a situation where he needs to fight, he would not stand down because a UN council told him to do so.  Cap believes his judgment is better than an international group of politicians with unknown motives.

The action really heats up when the president of Wakanda, T’Chaka (John Kani), is murdered when a bomb explodes at the UN summit to ratify the Sokovia Accords.  Law enforcement officers quickly identify Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), also known as the Winter Soldier and Cap’s friend, as the culprit.  T’Chaka’s son, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), vows revenge and becomes the Black Panther.

Cap moves to protect Bucky while Iron Man moves to capture him and Black Panther tries to kill him.  What results is a battle between superheroes the likes of which no one has seen before.  But not everything is as it seems.

“Civil War” has the most superhero action of any movie ever made, and it’s not even close.  Once the action gets ramped up with the search for Bucky it rarely slows down for more than a few minutes, with the ultimate superhero showdown taking place on the tarmac of an airport that appears to be abandoned so they can go to war without any worries of collateral damage.

In many ways “Civil War” is the third Avengers movie.  All of the new and old Avengers are present and accounted for other than the Hulk and Thor.  It’s not quite as funny as the other Marvel movies, mainly due to the fact that Tony Stark is more serious and less flippant than in his previous outings.  The Black Panther makes an impressive debut on the big screen with great action scenes and a very good performance by Boseman.  His stand-alone movie will be highly anticipated.

The filmmakers wanted the viewers to have difficulty deciding whose side to take, Iron Man or Captain America.  It wasn’t that hard for me, maybe it will be more difficult for you.  The most unusual part of the movie is watching beloved characters fight each other.  But that’s also the reason that the fight scenes are so captivating.  “Captain America: Civil War” is a must-see for fans of the superhero genre and fans of action movies in general.

Grade: A

Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence, action, and mayhem.