Avengers 2.5 or Captain America Civil War was a major hit in 2016 and continues to be a favorite among fans. It is no where near perfect but it’s a great addition to the MCU and shakes up the universe immensely. While it is a Captain America film, it is also the most inclusive film in the series to date. It has more Avengers than the previous two Avengers films and successfully introduces two characters who have now gone on to have their own respective solo films.
If Civil War did nothing else well, the introduction of Spider-Man was perfect. I honestly like Spider-Man’s small role in Civil War more than his solo movie. This isn’t a knock against Spider-Man Homecoming. Rather it is a testament to the success of the Russo brothers. They have delivered 2 of my top 5 MCU films and are responsible for the biggest MCU film to date in Infinity War. The few minutes that Spider-Man is in this film he steals the show. His humor and charm bring me immense joy especially at the airport. Unfortunately the solo film didn’t deliver quite like the limited role in Civil War.
Speaking of the airport scene, I think we can all agree it is epic. It’s by far my favorite part of the film and I have found myself turning it on just to watch this scene more than I probably should. The choreography and special effects are top notch and every Avenger involved gets a fair amount of screen time. I also love how Marvel almost expects people to watch every film as they introduce characters and story points that will come up later in Solo films. For instance, Black Panther and Spidey are introduced here. Additionally, Ant-Man shows off a new ability to be giant man. Everett Ross is introduced here and plays a decent role in Black Panther. A person going in to watch Black Panther without seeing Civil War is going to miss out on details that would greatly enhance the experience for them. Even Age of Ultron, a film that came three years before, introduced Klaue who played a big part in Black Panther as well.
As great as the airport scene is, the film isn’t without its flaws. Marvel has a bad track record with villains and Zemo is no exception. I’ve seen the arguments online defending him but his plan is absolutely full of coincidence after coincidence and it takes me out of the experience every time. His motivations are atrocious and his plan completely unbelievable. I could get behind a vengeance motivation if he was out to kill IronMan and Bruce Banner only. Blaming the Avengers as a whole is ridiculous and makes absolutely zero sense. Tony Stark created a monster in Ultron and the rest of the team went to Sokovia to clean up the mess. Zemo blaming the Avengers equates to a child throwing a tantrum because his parents saved him from being run over but his favorite toy was destroyed in the process. Zemo could have been great had they made his motivation better and plan less full of coincidence. Had Zemo been better, Civil War would be able to stand toe to toe with Captain America Winter Soldier.
The climactic final battle adds a layer of depth that many MCU films don’t have. The emotion is clear in the acting, direction and music. The tragedy of seeing these two friends tear each other apart, especially once Bucky is down for the count, gets me nearly every time. The Russo brothers expertly directed this battle and gave us a wonderful payoff with the below shot (image on right) that is taken right out of the comic book (image on left) that inspires the film.
From Cap and Bucky double teaming Tony, to the one on one brawl between the two heroes, this final battle leaves a devastating rift between two of the most prominent Avengers that I’m fully expecting to be paid off in Avengers Infinity War. At the end of the Day, Civil War is one of the best MCU films out there and delivers a stellar story and enough spectacle to go back to for years on end. The Russo brothers couldn’t live up to their MCU debut film but they still managed to knock it out of the park with a top 5 MCU film in my rankings.