Captain America: Civil War
Captain America: Civil War is the thirteenth instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the second of this year’s “they fight for a bit then they’re mates” superhero movies, after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. This is a 100% spoiler free review so rest assured that this won’t ruin the movie for you.
The Avengers are divided over legislation allowing government intervention from the United Nations, meaning that they would only be able to act as heroes when they are called upon to do so. After reflecting upon the civilian casualties from previous Avengers outings and the hand he’s had in causing those events, Tony Stark (Iron man) is all for the plans. Steve Rogers (Captain America) however, thinks the world is best protected by the Avengers acting autonomously without interference from organisations with their own motives. Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier) then comes into play and complicates matters on both sides of the debate, stretching Tony and Cap’s friendship, forcing the two heroes into recruiting their own teams to go head to head.
Things the movie does well
Every single main and side character has a perfectly rational reason for making the decisions they do. At no point do we the audience turn around to the person sitting next to us and say “wait, what’s he doing now? Why’s he done that?” From an action perspective we get spectacular superhero fights which look and feel as if they were taken right from the page. We also get the close quarters hand to hand fights that the Russo brothers shot so well in The Winter Soldier.
With all that said to pull off good action sequences you need high stakes and Civil War really does ramp them up and deliver. During these scenes you will feel more invested in these characters than you did in either Avengers film. Watching two people go toe to toe is much more captivating than seeing Thor smash some Ultron robots with a hammer for 20 minutes.
Tony Stark himself is a much more flushed out and relatable character than we have seen him before. The weight of his past actions comes to the forefront and we see him as more than just a walking quip machine with a little goatee. Although he does get some trademark lines in the films lighter moments.
If you’re worrying that Civil War will be lacking in humour without the usual Tony “it’s the way I tell em’” Stark, then you don’t have to look far for the comic relief either. Both Ant-man (Paul Rudd) and our brand new web slinger, Spider-man (Tom Holland) absolutely nail it, producing bigger laughs than the idea of Hawkeye going up against the Hulk. Holland’s performance has made me really excited for his first solo outing in 2017’s Spider-man Homecoming. Alongside Spider-Man all the other new characters, including Black Panther are given their own introduction which only adds to the story always feeling appropriate and never forced.
Things this movie could have done better
In all honestly, not a lot. There are no blindingly obvious plot holes and any gripes I may have with Civil War are minor and in spoiler territory. There is at least one moment I picked out involving Falcon where the adjustment from CGI to real life is a little jarring but it’s only a split second. The casting is strong for the most part, but there is one capable actor who has little to do and disappears without any fanfare. Who knows, maybe he or she will have more to do in future instalments of the franchise. I usually have this problem with most movies, trailers give far too much away. This isn’t done on a BvS scale, however it doesn’t take a genius to work out in what order the scenes will fall and who else is present at the time.
All in all this is certainly one of the strongest movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, possibly only rivalled by Guardians of the Galaxy and The Winter Soldier. There is both a mid-credits and post-credit scene so be sure to stick around right until the end, or don’t. Whatever. I’m not the boss of you, live your life.
Solid 9.0/10 or 38 thumbs up, I don’t know how to rate movies.
David Burd / @yourpaldavid
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