Just had to see this one, and I wasn’t disappointed. Civil War was probably the closest rendition of the characters as they are in the Marvel comics. In spite of all the characters having a story to tell, it was done sparingly on that angle, and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), and Spider Man (Tom Holland) are the only ones to get any extended background checks.
What it boils down to is this: after the big battle in last year’s Age of Ultron caper, the United Nations decides that the Avengers must be controlled and their actions monitored. U.S. Secretary of State Ross (William Hurt) is delegated with being in charge, and he uses a lot of S.H.I.E.L.D’s technology to do so. Captain America and Iron Man become at odds over how the Feds want to capture the Cap’s friend Bucky after he’s suspected of bombing a U.N. meeting. Various heroes align themselves with either side, and the action commences in earnest.
There are a few surprises in store as some of the characters are recruited as the plot evolves and they are introduced and are faithful to the comics. The story of how the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) enters the fray is well handled. Peter (Spider-Man) Parker is a revelation. He is introduced just months after going into action and gets a major makeover from Iron Man’s Stark Industries. As in the comics, he’s only a teenager who’s under the impression that this is an audition for an Avengers job, and he revels in it. He, just like in the comics, engages his opponents in a lot of banter and wisecracking comments.
An on-going story within the story involves Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), who was responsible for the death of Iron Man’s parents and the corruption of Bucky. Zemo wants to destroy the Avengers, and this is his big chance to do it. He attempts to find the place where Hydra’s Winter Soldiers were created. and this leads to the final battle between Iron Man and the Captain.
The fight scenes are exciting, highly visual, and well-spaced within the story, and the characters reveal a human side that other Marvel movies have omitted. Marvel head guy Stan Lee makes his usual cameo as a mailman, as has become his habit. If you see only one movie this year, try to make it this one. You can thank me later.