Into Phase 3 we plunge with the third of the Captain America movies, a very lose adaptation of the Civil War comic series.
The heart of that conflict (Cap vs. Iron Man) is installed here in a modified story structure, but the emphasis of Iron Man wanting heroes to hand their IDs at the door against Captain America’s freedom to work as they see fit remains.
The film from the same writing and directing team of the previous Captain America installment have upped their game in terms of what they are handling. You may have read stories about this truly being a Cap story and not Avengers 2.5. In all honesty the film does plant Cap as our prime protagonist against Tony Stark, but there is less time spent on Steve than in his own previous films. This is mainly down to such a large ensemble cast showing up throughout the film and remaining there. Even when there is a call to action often Rogers isn’t the focus of attention. With that in mind it sits slightly out of place against the first two Cap movies and does edge more towards an avengers film. To the point where you can even swipe the 2.5 out of the way and simply call it Avengers 3. In the same way that Avengers 2 was about them all, but had a slight focus on Tony creating Ultron. Here we have Steve racing to keep his old friend Bucky alive.
And oh boy do people want Bucky dead and he has more than his fair share of fighting to do, pretty much going up against every Avenger at one point or another.
But the one who seems to want him the most is new kid on the block Black Panther who holds him responsible for a bombing incident early on in the film.
Tony Stark also enlists the help of even newer kid on the block Peter Parker (who has already been establishing himself as Spider-Man).
So new friendships are founded in the face of everything falling apart and before you know it you have an even split of heroes all trying to do the right thing.
To say anymore is to really start to give too much away. Throw in some sturdy official types (in the form of a returning William Hurt), and a shadowy figure manipulating events in the form of Zemo (Daniel Brühl) and you have one hell of a cocktail mix.
As ever in a Marvel film there are moments of levity, and there are some truly hilarious moments in this film, but overall this is probably their most serious project to date and accountability is really delved into. But more importantly consequence is also dealt with – so don’t expect a rose tinted hand shake and hug ending that previous “Avenger” movies have dished out.
If Phase three takes this on board then we are in for an interesting set of movies that finally move things forward.