By Tony C. Lesesne
The big debate on social media this week and for the next month or so is which side are you on in the battle between #TeamIronMan (Iron Man) and #teamcap (Captain America). That debate will likely catch fire when CAPTAIN AMERICA – CIVIL WAR hits theaters this weekend. Now before we get into the epic battle, let’s briefly explore that whole Cap vs Iron Man issue. No, I’m not going to give you any spoilers because that would suck. Besides, you guys have insisted that I learn how to write brief, concise reviews without giving away the critical essence of a film. Anyhow, the trailers alone get pretty close to spoiling everything.
Here’s the deal. I saw the film and I’m telling you right up from that this is one of the best super hero films I’ve ever witnessed. Really! Here’s why; at the heart of the story is a powerful expose on friendship, loyalty, patriotism, political relevance, and revenge. All of these elements make for a great deal of emotion, passion, anxiety and ferocity. These are the elements that turn friends into rivals and change the course of one’s very core when a conflict is introduced. Trust me on this, the conflict are epic as well. The coolest thing about the film that helps us all stay in the moment is the fact that it kinda picks up from the previous Captain America films – especially the conflict centering on the relationship between Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Bucky, his childhood friend and loyal savior now called The Winter Soldier.
From a character standpoint, the two opposing leaders of the opposing sides are clearly Captain America and Iron Man. Let’s start with Captain America – who is as clean-cut and focused as ever, showing that he’s the kind of guy you want as a loyal friend for life. It pays dividends. I mean he’s so wholesome, and patriotic, and basically just a pretty cool guy so it’s easy to love “Cap” and what he stands for. Just when you enjoy his “nice guy” demeanor, he turns around and totally pulverizes the enemy is a way that makes you go DAYUM! Besides that, don’t forget that he’s a phenomenal military strategist with a mind for battlefield excellence and natural leadership abilities far beyond the norm.
And then there’s the charming, witty, super-cool hyper geek turned war technician we affectionately know as Tony Stark AKA Iron Man. Really, who can resist the charm, sarcasm and brilliance of Tony Stark. Stark is in full bloom in this film and we see him at his best and at his worst. In the film, we get a better understanding of the inner drive that shapes his perspective and reveals a segment of his character flaws from a clip highlighting his early years as a college student. The clip also exposes the tragedy that forces Stark to elevate his game. It’s a fascinating study in character development.
And then, there is the introduction of Black Panther; a brilliant and fascinating addition that adds more flavor and electricity to the entire story line. He was the scene-stealer showcasing a level of elegance, dignity, style and fierceness.
Black Panther is the first black superhero in comic book history and is skillfully played by the incredible Chadwick Boseman. His out of uniform character is T’Challa, the prince of fictional African country Wakanda who moonlights as a warrior hero (Black Panther).
The rest of the Avengers are in top form, each of which bring a level of comic relief and kick-ass thunder and lightning to the table. Add to that a powerful element in the story that threatens to rip the very core of their alliance right from the start. All In by saying this, you won’t ever see a more dazzling fight scene sequence then you see in this movie. I mean from start to finish the fight scenes I just simply spectacular. But beyond that there is an incredible achievement from the writers to be able to pack this many characters and one story and still give each of them volume, substance, and a heart that we can follow.