After razing Harlem and Sokovia in previous Avenger missions, the Hulk and Thor have vanished and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) seems to have retired Iron Man while he and Pepper Potts take a break. Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) has retired and is living quietly with his family.
Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Vision (Paul Bettany), War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) are in Lagos, Nigeria, hoping to catch a group of terrorists headed by the Hydra Agent who had infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D until exposed by Captain America. The terrorist is now known as Crossbones.
The group has Intel the terrorists plan to steal a deadly virus held in a high-tech lab. They strike and the fight begins, and as the fight continues, buildings and cars are destroyed and innocent people are killed. The terrorists split up and no one is sure who has the virus.
Falcon finds the terrorist with the vial and shoots him. Black Widow grabs the vial. Captain America’s fight with Crossbones comes to a shattering halt when the Hydra agent tells him Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier) remembers him. In a split second, he trips a bomb vest and vanishes.
Scarlet Witch uses her powers to lift the bomb off the ground but not quite high enough before she loses control and it goes through a building as it explodes, taking out an entire floor of a hotel, which partially collapses.
This disaster is the last straw.
Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) gathers the Avengers at their headquarters and informs them their days of self-governing are over. They soon will have an oversight committee from the United Nations who will evaluate world events and tell the Avengers where they are needed and what they will do. One hundred seventeen countries are signing a pact to do just that, the Sokovia Accords.
The signing ceremony is set for three days later in Vienna. If they don’t sign, they must retire. If they act without permission, they will be arrested and imprisoned.
He gives the group a copy of the document and the discuss on begins.
Surprisingly Stark and Black Widow are in favor of some regulation, but Captain America says he will fight evil where ever he is needed, with or without permission and well not agree to be bound by the pack and will not sign it. Falcon agrees with the Captain.
Scarlet Witch, also known as Wanda Maximoff, has Vision to keep her company. She is devastated by her actions and knows right now she is the most hated person on the planet.
Stark, Black Widow, War Machine and Vision will sign. Captain America, Falcon, Hawkeye and Wanda hold out. Thor and the Hulk cannot be found, a fact not lost on the Secretary of State, who has hunted Bruce Banner before as an Army general.
Special guests in Vienna are the King and Crown Prince of the Wakanda Nation. Members of their tribe were killed in the hotel fiasco in Lagos. King T’Chaka (John Kane) is the keynote speaker.
His son T’Challa (Chadwick Bozeman) watches outside and realizes the ceremony is about to be bombed and shouts for everyone to get down, but not in time.
He holds his dying father in his arms, and becomes king of his people, but he has a few scores to settle first.
A photo of the bomber is broadcast and is identified as the Winter Soldier. Captain American knows this is a lie, Bucky has been living quietly in Bucharest. He sees a newspaper and knows he has to run.
He gets home to find the Captain already in the apartment with Intel that the German CSG9 are about to storm the apartment. Bucky and the Captain fight their way out, joined by Falcon, determined to discover who has set Bucky up, when a new threat emerges, Black Panther, whose uniform and claws are made with Vibraniam, the same element of Captain America’s shield.
In an extended fight scene, the four augmented men fight it out while ducking bullets from the German tactical team. The fight ends when War Machine joins the Germans and arrests the fighting men. When Black Panther’s mask is off, he is revealed to be the new king of Wakanda, T’Challa.
Not far away, a quiet man gets his breakfast from a hotel maid and looks over his papers, which include a lot of intelligence on the Winter Soldier. He is interested in a specific date and already has killed a Hydra agent in his search.
The mystery man is delighted to learn of the arrests and starts the next step in his plan.
While Captain America, Falcon, and T’Challa are taken to meet with Black Widow, Bucky is placed into a portable containment cell, a clear cell, where he is shackled by the chair.
T’Challa will extradite Bucky to Wakanda to stand trail as a terrorist after he is cleared by a psychiatrist.
The doctor is Zemo, the man in the hotel room. He starts using Hydra’s protocol to take Bucky’s free will and convert him to the Winter Soldier. Though he tries to resist, he is unable to do anything but become the killing machine Winter Soldier. He breaks his bonds and escapes.
Stark uses some fast talk to try to get Captain America’s signature on the accords, but it doesn’t work. His and Falcon’s equipment are taken from them but they are able to watch what happens to Bucky and realize the man down there is not the doctor, who was found dead in a hotel room, along with facial makeup so the man will look like the Winter Soldier.
They discover the man is Zeno (Daniel Brule) and he is from Sokovia. He has asked the Winter Soldier what happened in December 1991 and discovers the Winter Soldier took the chemical compounds to make five more soldiers just like him. Zemo also knows where the soldiers are kept in Siberia and heads that way.
Captain American gets some help from Mi6 agent Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) and he and Falcon get unexpected company from Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch. They escape and hunt the Winter Soldier while Black Panther follows them all.
All sides know there are specialized jets in a hanger in the Berlin’s airport and it’s there the big battle is staged. Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch arrive with Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Iron Man brings in his ace-in-the-hole, Spider-Man (Tom Holland).
The sides align and one of the best fights in superhero history begins. Things are destroyed. Ant-Man and Spider-Man show why they deserve to be members of the Avengers.
The fight ends with Captain America, Bucky, and Iron Man arriving in Siberia and discovers Zemo’s master plan. He has set up a fight with the three most powerful Avengers and wants to watch them die for deeds done in Sokovia.
“Captain America: Civil War” is a nearly perfect action movie. The script is tight, the fight scenes are Oscar-worthy, the special effects amazing and so, so cool. Stark has cooked up new ways to become Iron Man, his recruitment of Spider-Man is hilarious — he may wind up dating Aunt May (a beautiful Marisa Tomei).
Ant-Man and Black Panther are also great additions and both bad-ass. It’s interesting to see which side each viewer will choose, and why.
In short, I can’t wait to see it again.
[Photo via Disney/Marvel]