Batman v Superman, take notes. This is how it’s done.
Captain America: Civil War pits the Avengers against each other in a battle of ideologies (and fists) while remaining very personal. Does it unite to rise or divide to fall? Well, let’s take a look at the trailer and find out.
All our favorite heroes are back, including Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, and past heroes Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, and Paul Rudd. The Winter Soldier alums Emily VanCamp and Frank Grillo reprise their roles as Agent 13 and Crossbones respectively, and William Hurt returns to the role of Thaddeus Ross from The Incredible Hulk. Newcomers include Chadwick Boseman of 42 as Black Panther, Tom Holland of In the Heart of the Sea as Spider-Man, Daniel Brühl of Rush as Zemo, Martin Freeman of The Hobbit trilogy as Everett K. Ross, and Marisa Tomei of The Lincoln Lawyer as Aunt May.
Brothers Anthony and Joe Russo return to direct this sequel to The Winter Soldier, my personal favorite Marvel movie. They’ve established a track record for clever movies that know how to handle many characters and even give bit players chances to shine, and they’re very story-focused, so I trust their ability to pull this one off (although only time will tell if they’ll be able to handle the massive Infinity War films on the horizon).
The trailer opens with a glance into Bucky’s Siberian cryo cell as Cap tells us, “In this job, we try to save as many people as we can. Sometimes that doesn’t mean everybody, but you don’t give up.” Then Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, now Secretary of State by the way, rubs everyone the Avengers didn’t save in their faces. New York, Washington, Sokovia, all the big action set pieces are there, and you can see how much guilt and pain Falcon and Scarlet Witch feel about their respective disasters. Even Cap has to say, “That’s enough.” We get it; people died, we’re responsible. Gosh, this trailer wasted no time turning on the feels.
“People are afraid,” Ross tells Cap as what appears to be the Wakandan Embassy blows up around Black Panther. Even Tony “I wanna do things my way” Stark knows it’s time for some checks and balances, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make sure all heroes are accountable. Even if that means building an underwater prison for anyone who resists the new order of things (I might have a slight #TeamCap bias). Cap sees the inherent dangers, though, and can’t keep quiet about it. “Sometimes I wish I could,” he tells Tony. “Sometimes I want to punch you in your perfect teeth,” Tony replies. This is the Marvel Universe, Tony. Everyone has perfect teeth.
The Black Panther chases Bucky and Cap chases them both as he says, “I know we’re not perfect, but the safest hands are still our own.” As proof, Bucky shoots Tony in his Iron hand, leaving no damage except a shocked expression on Tony’s face. Cap runs through an exploding building, and Bucky appears to shoot Tony’s best friend War Machine in the chest, knocking him out of the sky and leaving him motionless and bloodied in Tony’s arms. This just became the Battle of the Best Friends, and it’s not going to be pretty. “I was wrong about you,” Tony says to someone, probably Cap. “The whole world was wrong about you.” You don’t wear red, white, and blue underpants after all.
Soldiers pile out of a truck, but Black Widow makes quick work of them, telling Iron Man, “I’m not the one that needs to watch their back.” No, seriously, Tony, there’s something crawling on it. “This doesn’t have to end in a fight, Tony,” Cap says. Tony gives him a 1,000% done look and smacks him across the room, saying, “You just started a war!” You might even say it’s a … Civil War. Eh? Bucky and Black Panther continue to fight, Black Widow watches explosions with sad wonder, Scarlet Witch takes down the Vision (giving us a glimpse at their future marital spats), and Hawkeye fires Ant-Man on an arrow. Crossbones punches Cap hard, and Iron Man tells Cap to “Stay down. Final warning.” In a beautiful callback to the first Captain America film, Steve replies, “I could do this all day.”
And the trailer ends with Cap lighting into Iron Man (no doubt breaking his fists on that armor) and the two sides charging at each other. Which would be awesome enough, except that it actually ends with Tony calling for someone named “Underoos!” Webs are slung, and Spidey himself grabs Cap’s shield. You know, in case you had any doubts about how well he’d fit into the film. Even if he’s only there for five minutes, he’ll be amazing.
So based on the trailer, do I recommend this movie? Absolutely! It’s got emotional depth, great characters, two sides of an issue–both of which have pros and cons–and amazing action. Plus there’s still plenty of plot points and characters the trailers haven’t delved into, like Agent 13 and Zemo’s involvement and what role Dr. John Watson will play. It feels like everything in the Marvel Universe has been building to this point, and I can’t wait to see it in theaters.
Though I will say it doesn’t feel much like a Civil War without Abraham Lincoln.
Captain America: Civil War is owned by Marvel Studios.