Thursday Night Movie Club
Captain America: Civil War
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Release Date: 6 May 2016

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Chris Evans
Robert Downey Jr.
Scarlett Johansson
Sebastian Stan
Anthony Mackie
Don Cheadle
Jeremy Renner
Chadwick Boseman
Paul Bettany
Elizabeth Olsen
Paul Rudd
Emily VanCamp
Tom Holland
Daniel Brühl
Frank Grillo
William Hurt
Martin Freeman
Steve Rogers/Captain America
Tony Stark/Iron Man
Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier
Sam Wilson/Falcon
Lt James Rhodes/War Machine
Clint Barton/Hawkeye
T'Challa/Black Panther
Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch
Scott Lang/Ant-Man
Sharon Carter
Peter Parker/Spider-Man
Brock Rumlow/Crossbones
Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross
Everett K. Ross
Captain America: Civil War movie poster Captain America: Civil War movie poster Captain America: Civil War movie poster
Captain America battles Iron-Man in Captain America: Civil WarOf the many Marvel Universe movies, the Captain America series has been consistently the most interesting and challenging. Captain America: Civil War is the best thus far. The film poses an interesting question and then spends the rest of the movie leaving the question unresolved.

In Lagos, Nigeria, Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), and Vision (Paul Bettany) are tracking the movements of Hydra Agent Brock Rumlow/Crossbones (Frank Grillo). He is there to steal a very deadly virus. The Avengers Team is there to stop him.

Mayhem ensues with two important events happening. First, Crossbones tells Steve Rogers his childhood friend Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) still remembers Rogers. Crossbones sets off an explosive device on his vest. Scarlett Witch is able to contain the blast momentarily. When she loses control, the explosion kills several innocent people.

William Hurt stars as General Ross in Captain America: Civil WarBack at Avengers Headquarters, the debate begins. General Ross (William Hurt) tells the team that many see the Avengers as heroes. Others see them as vigilantes. Ross delivers a copy of the Sokovia Accords, ratified by 117 countries. The Avengers must sign the accords and submit to government oversight or they must retire.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) feels guilty after he is shown a photo of a boy that died during the battle with Ultron. Steve Rogers remembers the words of wisdom from his mentor: Be a good person. Rogers cannot be a good person with someone constantly looking over his shoulder. In order for Rogers to be a good person, he needs to be independent. Rogers makes his own decisions.

Sebastian Stan and Chris Evans star in Captain America: Civil WarIn Vienna at the ratification signing of the Sokovia Accords, a bomb explodes killing several dignitaries. Photo show the bomb was planted by Bucky Barnes. Orders are given to shoot-to-kill Barnes on sight. Rogers knows Barnes would not act this way unless he was brain-washed. Rogers goes independent to bring in Barnes before he is killed.

Thus rises the question that splinters the Avengers unity: Which side are you on: Government oversight or independence of action? Each side has its merits and demerits. The answer is complex. It has no single, or simple answer. Each Avenger chooses a side based upon their own personal histories. The battle pitting friend against friend begins.

Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans star in Captain America: Civil WarCaptain America: Civil War raises this question. The movie-going audience is also a part of the question. Which side would you take?

As the Marvel movie universe grows, there is one constant. The acting is fantastic. The actors bring a human element to their characters. Yes, they have super powers but they are still human beings. They are all struggling with their dual identities. Does Natasha Romanoff feel the same way as Black Widow?

Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil WarThe highlight of Captain America: Civil War is the first appearance of Spider-Man (Tom Holland) as part of the Marvel franchise. For the brief time he is in the film, Spider-Man is hilarious. The Winter Soldier hurls a car at Spider-Man. Spider-Man catches the car in his web. He yells, "You forgot something!" before slinging the car back at the Winter Soldier.

Chris Evans is growing in his role as Steve Rogers/Captain America. Rogers is driven by his personal code of conduct: Honor and Duty. Rogers values friendship. Rogers has to find his friend Bucky Barnes first, and at all costs. Alive, Barnes can be saved. The rest of the world wants Barnes dead. He is guilty of heinous acts, therefore, no trial is necessary.

Robert Downey Jr. adds a level of angst to Tony Stark. Stark is driven by the knowledge that his company, Stark Industries, supplied weapons to governments as well as terrorists. The number of innocent lives lost because of Stark is rising. Stark welcomes the government oversight so these circumstances will never arise in the future. He who forgets the lessons of the past is doomed to repeat them.

Chadwick Boseman stars as T'Challa/Black Panther in Captain America: Civil WarAdding another level of complexity to the story is the introduction of a new Marvel character Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). T'Challa has inherited the mantle of Black Panther from his father. The former King of Wakanda. T'Challa is now the King. He seeks revenge on Winter Soldier. No one will get in his way, not the police, not Rogers, not Stark. Black Panther is a loose cannon with his own personal agenda. Which side is he on?

Directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo have their hands full. New characters are introduced. Old characters return including Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), fresh off his own spin-off. The action scenes are amazing even with all of the superheroes flying around battling each other. Somehow, they are able to choreograph the complex action sequences while balancing each character's individuality. Captain America: Civil War remains grounded in reality and capitalizes on the humanity of the individual.

Action sequence from Captain America: Civil WarHumor comes at every turn. Black Widow is battling Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). She suddenly stops and asks him, "We're still friends, right?" Hawkeye replies, "Depends on how hard you hit me."

Captain America: Civil War is the most complex Marvel Studios production. The conflict continues after the film ends. There is no resolution. The question is left unanswered.

Where the Marvel universe goes from here remains to be seen. In the meantime, enjoy this tour-de-force film!