|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||Captain America: Civil War|
|Genre:||Action, Adventure, Fantasy|
|Direction:||Anthony & Joe Russo|
|Production country:||USA 2015|
|Running time:||Approx. 146 min.|
After Batman and Superman from the DC Universe just kicked the crap out of each other, Captain America and Iron Man from the Marvel Universe are now doing the same. The First Avenger: Civil War picks up directly where Avengers: Age of Ultron left off. After the destruction of Sokovia, voices are growing louder that see the Avengers not as heroes, but as a danger to humanity. When a small team of Avengers led by Captain Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) causes another international incident, voices are raised calling for control of the Avengers by an independent board. While Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in particular is willing to sign a treaty initiated by over 100 countries, Steve refuses to give up what he sees as necessary freedoms for the Avengers. Serious tensions arise within the team, which threaten to escalate completely when an attack occurs at the treaty signing, which Steve's old friend Bucky (Sebastian Stan) aka Winter Soldier is apparently responsible for. When Captain America and other Avengers side with Bucky, the end of the Avengers seems to be upon them.
The First Avenger: Civil War kicks off the third phase of Marvel's Cinematic Universe. And neither the studio, nor the fans, could have asked for a better start. That's because the third Captain America movie is one of the best Marvel movies ever. Anthony and Joe Russo, who previously directed The Return of the First Avenger, got almost everything right here that critics and viewers found fault with Zack Snyder's superhero duel. For instance, the reasons why Captain America and Iron Man are at each other's throats after all these years of working together and even friendship are quite understandable. It is well worked out why the conflict has to escalate in such a way and why individual superheroes choose one side or the other. And when it comes to the big showdown between the two teams at the end of the second act, the viewer gets to see a truly great superhero brawl.
However, that's not really why this movie works better than Batman v Superman, or even significantly better than Avengers: Age of Ultron. Even though there are some very good, at times again arguably fast cut action sequences and spectacular special effects, the story is never lost sight of. And this one has some really interesting aspects to offer, through which the dynamics within the Avengers will change permanently. To be sure, the film focuses primarily on the titular hero and on Iron Man. But the relationship between Vision (Paul Bettany) and Black Widow (Elizabeth Olsen) or Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) will also be noticeably altered by the conflicts.
Besides the familiar heroes, which include Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), the film also has a surprising amount of room for two new additions: T`Challa aka Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and the new Peter Parker aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland). These two characters are very well introduced into the Avengers universe, with Black Panther's motivation to stand up to the Winter Soldier in particular being completely understandable and extremely well executed. His reason for hating Bucky and Captain America is another rather dark element to the story. Now, one might assume that the film as a whole has turned out to be even darker and more serious than it already was with the almost completely humorless Batman v Superman. But once again, the Russo brothers prove to have a perfect sense of tone and timing. Because time and again, the action is lightened up with really amusing sayings and little gags. The First Avenger: Civil War is just not a pure superhero-bashing-spectacle, in which all participants constantly run around with grim faces, but a quite great popcorn fun with great wow-factor, but also a good story and funny moments. And as much as I liked Batman v. Superman, despite its obvious flaws, it's in direct comparison that it becomes clear how good it would have been if the story hadn't taken itself so terribly seriously - and if the motivation for the violent conflict had been fleshed out a little better, as is the case here.
One quick word about the film's actual villain, played by Daniel Brühl. He, too, is a refreshing change from the usual antagonists of the Avengers. His motivation is not the destruction of humanity or the attainment of world power. He is driven by very personal motives and uses means to do so that could be described as more subtle, but extremely effective. This makes him a really interesting character who brings some fresh air to the Marvel villain universe, especially after the all-powerful Ultron.
The First Avenger: Civil War is truly not a perfect movie. But it serves its fans in the best way possible, making up a lot of ground after the criticism of Avengers: Age of Ultron, while providing a perfectly timed platform for not only Captain America, but other heroes and the two newcomers. And as is so common with Marvel movies, fans should definitely stay seated as the credits roll, as there is still a mid-credits and an after-credits scene that set the mood a wee bit for the upcoming solo appearances of two superheroes. All in all there is a clear: Absolutely worth seeing!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp