I've compared “Avengers Infinity War” to the classic movie cliffhanger in The Empire Strikes Back.
But the Marvel Cinematic Universe actually pulled off an almost-“Empire”-level story a couple years before that, in Captain America: Civil War.
The MCU started off with multiple movies setting up Iron Man, Captain America, and others.
Going from single-hero crowdpleasing blockbusters, the Avengers movie took it to the next level.
With Civil War, they raised the bar again. But not by raising the power levels of everyone and making the threats even bigger and more cosmic; they did it with a deep dive into character.
Everything gets turned on its head in Civil War. The Avengers take different sides and turn on each other. But what's powerful about it is how it's done. Tony Stark, the rebel, takes the side of the government who wants more authority over the team. Captain America, the patriotic military man, takes the other side.
Both characters have good, believable reasons to make the choices they do, that have been set up in previous movies in the series.
It gets intense, and pretty dark.
The plot is complicated, and the emotions are real, and heavy at times. But it's also a blast, with a couple of new characters showing up and making their mark in the hero vs. hero battle.
It hits the perfect balance in my opinion, between serious conflict and human emotion, and fun, colorful superhero spectacle.
To me it's the very best of the Marvel movies. I would even say that if the whole series of movies is framed as one big story, Civil War is the one, more than any other, that the entire franchise hinges on.
2021 is the five year anniversary of Captain America: Civil War. Highly recommended!
Banes at 12:00AM, Feb. 18, 2021
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