By now there must be close to ten billion dollars of revenue for the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. These films feel like watching action figures of your favorite comic book characters duke it out. Disney could’ve kept the same ball rolling, played the same tricks over and over again and people would turn up in droves just the same. But they chose to raise the bar once again.
Captain America: Civil War shares part of the qualities that made up the disappointing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. They raise issues that are relevant, they have dark moments and the action is unrelenting. But where BvS sputtered to the finish line, Marvel handles with the poise of a veteran. It’s like Ra’s al Ghul’s battle with Bruce Wayne on top of a frozen lake in Batman Begins. Rarely do politics and family issues go in the way of having fun. And while fun remains top priority here, Marvel manages to stimulate the mind just as things go boom.
Nor does the action extravaganza feel overbearing. Civil War manages to outdo many of its contemporaries by focusing on a streamlined story as much as the battles. There is no godlike being that unites the two sides in the end. In Civil War, the bad guy wins, and there is no happy ending. The MCU is forever changed and it will be interesting to see what the future holds.
Characters take center stage in a refreshing twist, turning newcomers Black Panther and Spider-Man into powerful scene-stealers that will likely be among the lead stars of the next phase of this universe. From Tony Stark to Hawkeye, every gear has a role in the machine, and the main two are still played by their actors as if they were made for them.
If the plan still is to keep stepping up their game then Feige has a lot to live up to starting in 2018 with Avengers: Infinity War, which has the same writers and directors, with him returning as the sole producer. Being the real-life Thanos ain’t no problem if the ball’s been rolling forever and creative risks are still being made. In Feige we trust.