Now Showing: Captain America: Civil War

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Lilly Ball , Contributing Writer

By the time that “Captain America: Civil War” had introduced itself to the world through its overwhelming trailer, it had already caused quite the stir.

Marvel fans and cinema addicts alike were thrilled at the concept of a film featuring so many of the universe’s most popular heroes. Entrusted with a $250 million budget, directors Anthony and Joe Russo managed to overcome the confusion that accompanies such a large cast, and create a film as riveting as it is moving, allowing raw emotion to take center stage.

“Civil War” begins exactly one year after the events of “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” (in which The Avengers unintentionally destroyed the fictitious country of Sokovia in their attempts to defeat the evil Ultron) in Lagos, Nigeria.

The Avengers are once again fighting off evil, this time in the form of Brock Rumlow, who is attempting to steal a biological weapon. In the disarray resulting from the fight, tragedy occurs, and civilians are killed as Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olson) accidentally destroys a building. This being a reference to the popular comic book of the same name.

After the events in Lagos, the United Nations has grown tired of the disorder that follows all of the Avenger’s victories. The UN proposes the “Sokovia Accords,” a plan to form a panel that will guide and control the Avengers, but the proposition is met with mixed emotions.

Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man (Robert Downy Jr.), supports the accords in hopes that they will calm his guilty conscience, while Steve Rogers, who is Captain America (Chris Evans), strongly disagrees.

As tensions rise between the two, the rest of the Avengers debate their stances.

Days later, a UN conference meant to ratify the accords is bombed, presumably by Bucky Barnes, (Sebastian Stan) Rogers’ oldest friend. As Rogers attempts to retrieve Barnes himself to ensure his safety, the opposing sides are solidified, and it appears that the Avengers are doomed to succumb to their egos.

As easy as it would have been to fill the two hour long running time with tedious action scenes, much of the film focuses on the power play between Iron Man and Captain America, and the integrity of the Avengers as a whole.

Caught up in the seemingly limitlessness of their own power, the Avengers fail to see the carnage left behind each of their battles, until it is shoved in their faces. Suddenly, they are no longer heroes, but rather unwanted vigilantes, lacking the support of the public and each other.

“Civil War” is bold enough to question the point of it all, giving those who were lost in the chaos a voice.

Such a stimulating film could not have succeeded without the support of a sound screenplay, and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have once again impressed me. With “Captain America: Winter Soldier,” it was clear that the franchise was moving past their attempts to cover up flimsy plots with violence, and “Civil War” demonstrates the perfect balance between action and character development.

Downey is finally able to portray emotions beyond impudence as Tony Stark, revealing how deeply his character was affected by his parent’s death.  He still embodies the self-titled “genius billionaire playboy philanthropist” in every possible way, but it appears as if Stark finally has some regrets.

Marketed for its new additions to the Avenger family, “Captain America: Winter Soldier” is much more than an introductory film, but rather the biggest cinematic feat Marvel has attempted yet.

The film is an important stepping stone for the franchise, as it evolves its genre from generic fantasy, to drama, questioning the sanctity of its heroes along the way.