Captain America: Civil War provides perfect development for franchise

Not only have they created my favorite movie of all time, Captain America: Winter Soldier, but the Russo brothers have once again restored my faith in superhero ensemble films and any storylines including Captain America or Bucky Barnes for the foreseeable future. The previous Avengers film, Avengers: Age of Ultron, was disappointing, and DC’s attempt at competition in the form of Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice was laughable seeing how shockingly bad that film was. The two comparable films were muddled with unnecessary and sometimes unbelievable plotlines, but Captain America: Civil War has a plot that is fast-paced and coherent. The character development is surprisingly rich for the amount of different people’s storylines to cover, and the mix of humor, action and tension forms a tone that feels natural and completely in-character.

As a major fan of this franchise, the payoff from the tying up and furthering of the different characters’ storylines in Captain America: Civil War is so satisfying. The main conflict between Iron Man and Captain America is maddening, but not because it is idiotic or unbelievable, but because they are both characters that I have developed deep affection for since their first films. Plus, both sides make coherent and reasonable points, which just adds to the depth given to Tony Stark and Steve Rogers. And I may be a bit biased because Bucky Barnes is dear to me, but characters like him, who had less depth than some of the main crew, were also developed. Bucky’s transition from emotional villain to recovering ally was something I’ve been waiting for since Captain America: Winter Soldier and threw a perfect wrench into the friendship between Iron Man and Captain America.

Despite how much I loved the development, the balance in the tone of this film was possibly the best part. Ant-Man’s ridiculous, blind devotion to Captain America in the peak fight of the film was so refreshing and hilarious after the intense conflict between our beloved characters. Plus, even in the strained conversations between people on different teams, the familiarity lends itself to some levity. When Vision and Scarlet Witch are together in the Avengers’ new base, their relationship is still friendly even though they are at odds. The same is true with Black Widow and Captain America. Because this group of characters has so much history in their numerous previous films together, the Russos were given an opportunity to add levity through the character’s relationships instead of relying on forced, awkward jokes, and they clearly took it.

To be fair, this movie is not made for those new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I doubt it would be as enjoyable for newcomers to the franchise, but Captain America: Civil War is exciting and funny regardless of your past with the movies. Adding more original characters and ones from other films didn’t crowd or confuse but instead provided the perfect transition from the standalone Captain America films to the Avengers films, making Captain America: Civil War a satisfying end to the Captain America trilogy.