What resulted was perhaps the most complete and refreshing entry into the Marvel collection and an overwhelming response for the Russo Brothers. They were asked to direct the next two Avengers films and also revisit the world of Captain America with the latest entry into the franchise; Captain America: Civil War.
It becomes very clear just minutes into Civil War that Disney and the Marvel Universe have discovered something extremely special with the Russo Brothers.
Captain America Civil War is completely different from any other comic book movie. The storyline of the film is something far greater than good vs evil. Both deal with very serious moral issues that are not black and white and there is no clear wrong or right side.
Winter Soldier dealt with the use of unlimited power. The main question that film raised was if the government had the potential to prevent any terrorist attack or threat to our safety should we allow that? Or would the access to that power become a threat to all of our well being?
In Civil War the question that the Russo Brothers film brings up is how much power should the Avengers be trusted with? Should they have complete unlimited power? And does their power to protect us instead become a threat to all of us?
That question drives the action of the film and proves to cause a rift in the once impenetrable group of superheroes.
Civil War works so well because of an incredible script and solid, imaginative direction, but it would be nothing without its cast. The stellar writing of this film allow the actors to be people with emotions instead of walking, talking costumes with superpowers.
The incredible additions to the cast shows the credibility of the script. Adding amazing talents of new and old such as William Hurt, Martin Freeman, Daniel Bruhl and the fantastic Chadwick Boseman. There also is the clever and incredibly hilarious addition of Spider-Man played by Tom Holland.
It is hard to think of anything this film does wrong. But there is one thing this film does better than any film I can ever remember.
The line between good and evil is usually something so clearly drawn out in any film one goes to see. There is typically right and wrong and the audience usually has a shared interest and a clear nudge in who and what to root for.
In Civil War that is completely thrown out. The Marvel franchise has done such a beautiful job in creating so many characters we know and love; they make us cheer, they make us laugh and they can make us truly care for them. In perhaps the greatest scene in any Marvel film ever these characters square off against each other in a battle for what both sides believe is right and good.
It is an incredible test of emotions for the viewer. These are all people we love who are attacking the other people we love. It is hard to imagine a similar moment in film where this was handled so eloquently and so well. Zack Snyder could have learned so much from every frame of this film.
Captain America: Civil War is the best comic book film since The Dark Knight. This is due to the filmmakers choosing not to just make a great superhero movie, but instead make a great film that blurs the line of what the world expects from them. While The Dark Knight was an incredibly heavy film that felt more like a Scorsese gangster classic with a man dressed as a bat, Civil War feels like a genre clash of all that is good. It has moments that are very dark, but it is so quick to follow up with fun surprises, huge laughs and thrilling action sequences. It’s nearly a perfect comic book film.
The Russo Brothers are continuing to raise the bar for the Avengers, Marvel and themselves. It was hard to expect a better film than Winter Soldier and they somehow pulled it off. Over the next three years they will direct both additions to the Avengers franchise with Infinity War Part I and Part II. Have they set the bar too high? Perhaps, but if there was any two people to trust with taking the Marvel franchise to an even higher high, it is. Anthony and Joe Russo.