Marvel’s famously united force has been fissured in two, leading to a throwdown between the titans
By Pamela Chow
After an Avengers mission results in devastating collateral damage, pressure from the authorities fractures the team into two camps.
The time has come for the biggest throwdown of the superhero season — Captain America: Civil War.
After an Avengers mission results in devastating damage, pressure from the authorities fractures the superhero team into two camps. Captain America (reprised by Chris Evans) aka Steve Rogers leads the fight against government interference, joined by the likes of Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie, last seen in this role in Ant-Man).
The other half is lead by Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) in his surprising decision to support government intervention. Those fighting alongside him include James Rhodes in his War Machine get-up (Don Cheadle) and, unexpectedly, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) — close friend of Cap and Hawkeye.
As Marvel’s stalwarts go head to head in high-octane action, the mysterious masked villain, Zemo (Daniel Brühl), is plotting his own agenda.
What will be the cost of heroes fighting against heroes?
A real struggle
Anthony Russo, one of the directors, said that even diehard fans of Cap or Iron Man may find it hard to pick a side. He said, “Both Tony Stark and Steve Rogers… have very compelling points of view.”
Evans sympathised with this dilemma and said, “It’s always pretty cut and dry for him to know which side of the coin to fall on but this one is tricky… There’s no clear evil going on, either side of this.”
He mused that it’s a “human [story] with a superhero feel as opposed to a superhero [movie] with human touches”.
Surprises from favourites
Johansson revealed a little of the motivation behind Black Widow’s apparent betrayal of Cap and Hawkeye. She said, “She dug her heels in and did not go down the road that would be personally more desirable. She chooses this greater calling.”
Ant-Man, reprised by Paul Rudd, also makes an appearance in Cap’s team (or on Cap’s shoulder). He admitted that he “turned into a bit of a 10-year-old” when on set with Team Cap.
Furthermore, fans who bemoaned Spider-Man’s absence in the Avengers films can rejoice: The web-slinger (in yet a new incarnation, starring Tom Holland) swings his way into Team Iron Man for what some have hailed as the character who steals the show.
Showstopping ‘Splash Panel’
For directors Joe and Anthony Russo, one scene in Captain America: Civil War is the real showstopper. This ‘splash panel’ sequence resembles a double-panel illustration in the Marvel comic, where all the characters collide in a single frame.
An example of a splash panel, or splash page. (Photo: ferretpress.com)
“[It is] probably one of the most epic scenes in any Marvel film to date. You have almost every hero in the Marvel universe out here and they’re going to war with each other,” raved J Russo.
This astounding scene captures the essence of why Captain America: Civil War will be a movie to remember for superhero fans: It has “the thrill of watching your favourite superheroes beat the hell out of each other,” said A Russo.
Whichever side you’re on, may the best heroes win. I, for one, will be keen to see who’s left standing when the dust settles.
Choose your side:
Team Iron Man
Led by mogul Tony Stark, Team Iron Man sides with government intervention.
Members include War Machine, Black Widow, Black Panther, the Vision and Spider-Man. The motivations of Black Widow and Spider-Man in joining Team Iron Man are currently a mystery.
Team Captain America
Fighting against government interference, Team Cap is led by super soldier Steve Rogers.
Members include Hawkeye, Falcon, The Winter Soldier (Bucky), Ant-Man, Scarlet Witch and Sharon Carter. Team Cap is one member stronger; however, the volatile Winter Soldier may be an unstable ally.
Captain America: Civil War [PG]
Director: Anthony & Joe Russo
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen & Jeremy Renner
Genre: Action, Adventure
Run length: 147 min
Release: 28 Apr
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of Weekender, Issue 151, April 29 – May 12, 2016, with the headline ‘Avengers asunder? ‘.