Captain America: Civil War


★★★★★

Directed by Joe Russo and Anthony Russo Starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Sebastian Stan, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie & Don Cheadle Film Review by Chris Olson


Superhero fatigue is a real thing. Cinema has been utterly dominated by Marvel over recent years, and now their stranglehold is to be coupled with Disney's Star Wars films which look to monopolise the winter market, like the Empire that stole Christmas! So why should audiences embark on yet another comic caper of these established characters out for another jaunt of smashey smashey? Well, basically they should because Captain America: Civil War is the perfect antidote to superhero fatigue and one of the best in the series. Following on from the previous Cap film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as well as The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, the plot sees our merry band of villain-busters being called to agree upon a self-imposed sanction of their activities in the hope of reducing the smashey smashey. This decision is the catalyst for the film, with the characters falling into two camps, for and against, and the internal strife (or civil war) this causes. There is one set opting to sign the accord (headed by Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark) and those who don't want to submit to the agendas of a U.N council (led by Chris Evans as Captain America). When an explosion goes off during the signing of the accord, and Cap's pal Bucky (Sebastian Stan) is implicated, these two sides becoming opponents in a battle more serious than just quipping at each other.


It is great to see Marvel still delivering fantastic movies. The quality seems to stay on a level or upward trajectory and Civil War is a monumental jewel in its cinematic crown. The ensemble is fantastic together, with characters that previously suffered from weak exploration, being given enough screen time for audiences to genuinely connect with their roles in the MC Universe. This is not just a Cap and Iron Man film, every character, from the beginning and those introduced later, has an importance and significance which makes for a much more fulfilling viewing experience than say Age of Ultron. Even though the film does manage to set up several other events for later films, these do not come across as brutally crowbarred in. The action is perfectly intense and fun, delivering some of the best visual spectacle in a blockbuster in a long time! Which is a pretty Marvel-ous achievement. One sequence at an airport has to be up there as one of the best action scenes in a comic book film, and the well executed narrative does well to add depth and emotion to what could easily have been just another smashey smashey. Another sequence involving a chase has a Nolan-esque quality to it, reminiscent of The Dark Knight.


Watch the Movie Trailer for Captain America: Civil War above

From the outset, the Russo brothers deliver a film that you never feel worried that it will falter or that you are ever in unsafe hands. The pacing is perfect to let the action sequences shine between the more dialogue driven scenes, humour is injected in a myriad of ways without resorting to feeling overly jokey or quippy. What was fantastic to see, in a film which could so easily have suffered from superhero fatigue, that it actually delivered a brilliant character piece - letting us explore where some of our favourite characters are now (like Tony Stark's more conscientious approach or Cap's rebellious streak) as well as paying attention to the newer generation in ways which were engaging. I for once actually cared about Falcon (Anthony Mackie)!! Reluctant to call any film perfect, there were minor faults with Captain America: Civil War which were completely forgivable. Things like sidelining Vision (Paul Bettany) or avoiding more common sense reactions to big events for the sake of a larger narrative (seriously Cap, Bucky is bad luck whichever way you cut it, don't side with him!), are ultimately fine because the narrative is still really strong with them and Civil War is one of the best Marvel films in terms of combining all past, present and future elements.

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