WRITTEN BY ARSH VOHRA
Average IMDb: 7.5/10
Average Rotten Tomatoes: 86.7%
One of Marvel’s best selling superheroes, Captain America, was one of the first to get his own origin story in the MCU. Starting with ‘The First Avenger’ and ending with ‘Civil War’, we follow Cap as he fights Hydra then...Hydra again and finally Iron Man? The three films comprising Cap’s trilogy are some of the best rated in the MCU and rightfully so.
‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ came out in 2012 and follows Cap in WW2. It provides a compelling origin story and stands out in Marvel’s cannon because it, frankly, is a period piece. The colour editing and direction is one of the best we’ve seen from Marvel and it creates an atmosphere and mood which is unique to this film. A lot of Marvel films look sameish; however, the look of this film is unforgettable. Having said that, the villain is highly underdeveloped. I wasn’t scared of him or sympathetic towards him, he was just a run of the mill villain who was certainly the worst part of the film. The romantic subplot was sweet nonetheless, but I would have liked to see more scenes between Cap and Carter to appreciate them together.
Ensuing this, ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ brought us the Cap we know today. Introducing Falcon, and giving Black Widow a lot more depth, this film did a lot of things correctly. I usually hate repurposing villains, but Hydra was executed better here than in the first installment. It made sense for Hydra to continue being the villain because it brought into question what all of Cap’s sacrifices achieved initially. The fight sequences were exhilarating and seeing how the world views Cap in the present day was a welcome addition to the story. Hydra, as an organisation, was scarier in this film, yet none of the individual ‘bad guys’ were given enough time to be particularly captivating. Moreover, the Russo Brothers’ direction in this film was a headache. Their use of handheld cameras was displeasing and the rapid cuts in the middle of fight scenes made them extremely hard to watch. Apart from that, ‘The Winter Soldier’ was a solid sequel.
‘Captain America: Civil War’ is undoubtedly the best in the trilogy. Released in 2016, it feels more like an avengers movie than a Captain America one. Nevertheless, it manages to keep the focus on Cap and Bucky. This film starts off slow, and in a similar vein as ‘The Winter Soldier’; however it slowly builds up to be one of the best Marvel properties till date. It introduced Spider-Man and Black Panther which, at the time, had comic book fans geeking out. At the same time it questioned the morality of being a superhero with great class. Even minor characters like Black Panther were able to get complete character arcs. Seeing where Cap started from and where he reaches by the end of this movie made me appreciate who he is as a person, and makes his conclusion in ‘Avengers: Endgame’ more impactful. Thankfully, the Russo brothers decided to leave the handheld camera for the fight sequences later on in this movie. Majority of them were executed brilliantly. The major fight which pits most of the MCU’s heroes against each other is one of my favourites in all of the movies. This film sets the precedent for the rest of the films in phase three, and is truly one of the first great movies to come out of the studio.
These three films provide Cap with a remarkable arc. Rogers starts off as a young man, full of spirit, but lacks everything else he needs to achieve his primary goal. He loves serving his country, obeying orders and being America’s golden boy. He wants to be the best he can but the world isn’t kind to him, and he can’t deny that being an idealist in a corrupt world is fruitless. By ‘Civil War’, Cap chooses to stand his ground and chooses to become a criminal rather than a pawn for the government’s of the world to play with. He puts everything on the line for his beliefs and relationships. He chooses what’s worth fighting for and not what he is told to fight.