Captain America: Civil War – Film Review

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I watched Captain America: Civil War a couple of days ago and I have been putting off writing my review because I was so overwhelmed by the amount of characters and stories in one movie, yet the Russo brothers somehow managed to juggle it all perfectly and make an incredible superhero film.

The film opens with Captain America (Chris Evans) and his new team of Avengers – Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) – on a mission in Lagos. Scarlet Witch screws up and an office building is set on fire, killing many innocent people. This leads the UN to call for control and they want the superheroes to give them up their weapons/costumes and independence. Black Widow agrees, but the others don’t. She is on side with Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), War Machine (Don Cheadle), and The Vision (Paul Bettany).

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Things become worse when it seems Captain America’s old buddy Bucky, aka The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), is involved in bombing the Vienna UN headquarters – but did he do it? Captain America believes he was framed, Iron Man disagrees. What they don’t realise is that they are being manipulated by Helmut Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), who is trying to make the Avengers implode from within.

That is a lot of characters to begin with but there are so many more – we have Sharon Carter/Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp), who helps out Cap, while Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) is recruited to help him in a major battle, plus Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who comes out of retirement. Iron Man recruits Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and then Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), whose father was killed in the UN bombing, is also after revenge. It’s a good job the Hulk and Thor are absent (which is mentioned but not explained).

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Did you get that?! It sure is a lot to take in – but at the time it’s very easy to keep track of because the main guys’ allegiances make sense (although I thought Black Widow should have been with Cap). I always thought Cap would be more for the government control and the egotistical billionaire Tony wouldn’t – but the explanations and character development for them here makes me understand their position. The writing is brilliant and it makes you believe why they are doing things and that their actions are true to their beliefs. That is something Batman v Superman simply didn’t achieve – a feasible reason for former allies to battle each other.

The main battle at an airport is incredible – you get to see so many superheroes go head-to-head with each other and it is enjoyable yet very overwhelming to watch. I definitely want to see that again. The action side of things are nailed, the plot makes sense and the standard Marvel quips and jokes are there – mostly thanks to Stark, Falcon, Spider-Man and Ant-Man. It is also more political than before and deeper emotionally – there is a revelation towards the end that really makes Iron Man’s dual with Cap believable. So good. You know that deep down Cap and Iron Man won’t kill each other cos they are buddies but their fight still felt pretty traumatic to watch.

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Some of the characters aren’t used much but I wouldn’t call them underused – they were employed were needed. There is a lot going on and many characters are involved so using people unnecessarily would lose the tone and pace – the Russos really pack it all in. Everyone was used to the right proportion in regards to their importance to the story. I have always loved Tony Stark for his witty banter but my other favourite was Spider-Man and I didn’t expect that. I loved Andrew Garfield’s version so I was not down for Tom Holland but he was very good. He only gets one scene as Peter Parker, but he NAILS it. This is a great launching pad for his own movie.

The only issue I did have was that the villain seemed almost irrelevant. Sure, he orchestrated the whole civil war but he also had a final showdown planned – and that didn’t happen. Some of team rushed to stop him and then it didn’t happen! So that felt a bit pointless… unless that’s to be continued for next time. There’s a distinct lack of resolution.

But that is the only criticism I have which is impressive for a film that could have easily gone catastrophically wrong because they are so many moving parts. So massive bravo to the Russo brothers for doing such a terrific job.

In cinemas Friday 29th April 

Trackbacks

  1. […] out my gallery below – click thumbnails to enlarge. You can also check out my review here – the movie is out in the UK on […]

  2. […] As you can tell, I am bummed so I needed to vent. I love the Marvel movies and I love attending their premieres so it is so disappointing, especially when Westfield is nowhere near my home. I won’t be seeing Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Sebastian Stan, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Emily Van Camp, Anthony and Joe Russo, Jeremy Renner or Anthony Mackie tonight – but I feel like I can’t complain too much as I was lucky enough to attend the press conference yesterday (read about that here). I have also seen the movie, and you can read my review here. […]

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