Howdy people of the internet, so after waiting two painstakingly long days to get back to my laptop I’m here to give you my review of Captain America: Civil War. I’ve seen the film twice in IMAX (once at the midnight screening and again on the same afternoon) and I’ve had a lot of thoughts in my head about this film, and a lot of it is spoiler-based, but I’m going to try my hardest to be as vague and spoiler-free as possible. Alrighty then, let’s begin. 🙂
So the story can be described as the following:
“After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team.”
What should be clarified straight away is that Civil War is definitely Captain America 3 first and foremost, as the story furthers what we learnt in The Winter Soldier, but it also acknowledges the larger world of the MCU by introducing most of the main heroes so far, but also adding new characters and stories in this film. What I loved more so than anything else was that there was drama, real drama and it was material that was raw, emotional and effective. This is easily the most layered and emotional film in the MCU to date dealing with the themes of freedom, accountability, revenge and friendship being handled in a realistic and captivating manner. Not only do get to see Captain America try his best to keep his best friend safe, and butt heads with Iron Man with their different ideologies, but also see our heroes weigh out the pros and cons of their actions, pick sides based on their beliefs and clash. It was not only interesting, it was also complicated morally and ethically too. You’re given both sides of the argument and luckily both sides are effective at what they’re trying to convey, you’ll probably be conflicted during and after the film ends as well. If I have any issues with the story it was probably just a few changes in some of the character motivations which would have elevated the film a little more, but I have to hand it to the writers and the Russo brothers for juggling so much material and making it work in a coherent and stylish manner.
With the cast they were all brilliant, and while some stood out more than others, everyone has a reason to be in the film and have their moments to shine and some of the best moments in the film are just with characters talking and interacting. Firstly there’s Chris Evans who was brilliant as Steve Rogers/Captain America, he’s a faced with difficult choices, and yet found a way to be just as heroic, charismatic and true to his beliefs while also being a leader and friend to his allies. Robert Downey Jr. killed it as Tony Stark/Iron Man, just when I thought I’d seen everything from this character, we find out there’s still more to learn. In this film Stark was very still very humours, but also passionate, vulnerable and driven and while he seemed like the bad guy, at the same time you understood his viewpoint. Scarlett Johansson was wonderful as Black Widow, it was cool to see her character more in line with The Winter Soldier version where she was intelligent,logical and showed off her skill set on and off of the battlefield. Sebastian Stan also did well as Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier continuing to be an interesting and tragic character with good ties to Steve Rogers, and speaking of ties to Steve, Anthony Mackie also did a great job as The Falcon, their bond continued to grow and get tested with the appearance of Bucky and I liked how funny Falcon continues to be.
Oh and Black Panther, dear god, he was brilliant! Chadwick Boseman was everything I wanted him to be and everything, as T’Challa/Black Panther he was intelligent, driven, honourable, tenacious and when he threw down, damn! He was insanely athletic, flexible and animal-like and I adored his treatment in this film. Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen as The Vision and Scarlet Witch were brilliant, I love how they had developed a grew since Age of Ultron, but found new hurdles and personal issues to fight through, Vision continued to have a lot of funny and thought-provoking dialogue, while Scarlet Witch had a good few light-hearted and dramatic moments that developed her character in great ways. Jeremy Renner looked like was having a great time as Hawkeye and I really enjoyed his scenes, the same could also be said for Paul Rudd and Don Cheadle as Ant-Man and War Machine, both of them bring back what you loved about their characters and have great moments in the film.
William Hurt’s performance as Thunderbolt Ross was also great, he’s changed a great deal since The Incredible Hulk, but I really enjoyed his role as the government official attempting to keep the Avengers in check. It was great to see more of Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter as she had more to do and had a good few memorable moments in the film, and Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross was delightful and tough and I’m sure we haven’t seen the last from him, and the return of Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow/Crossbones while brief was really cool. Daniel Brühl as Baron Helmut Zemo was interesting, while he’s not utilized in a conventional way and won’t please fans of the comics, I thought his role was very smart, though I believe the film would have worked without him. And finally Tom Holland as Spider-Man, holy crap! Marvel Studios nailed it! If you’re like me you’ve seen Spidey done five times and he’s been done well in certain areas but not completely comic book accurate. But here he’s the most accurate Spider-Man the to date with right balance of action and humour. He’s introduced in a logical and natural way, and seeing Holland as Peter Parker inside and out of the suit was delightful as he felt so fresh different to the actors who’ve come before him.
When it comes to the presentation it was pretty solid. Visually the film is very nice, the cinematography is great with some wonderfully shot action sequences, good editing and wonderful CGI. The fight scenes are some of the best in the MCU so far with really creative, acrobatic and versatile action for everyone involved whether they be superpowered or not, and there’s the much-talked about epic fight sequence in the airport which for me was one of the most beautiful fanboy moments I’ve ever seen. It was like a comic book come to life in the best way possible. However I will say for everything I liked, I will say that the shaky cam in some of the fight scenes was a little chaotic, and the visual effects in certain parts of the film felt a little lacking in detail and didn’t mesh as well with the live-action footage, but those are nitpicks for sure. As for the film score, Henry Jackman returns to compose and his score definitely feels in line with Winter Soldier, but was also a little more dramatic and heroic than before. However this score while it works within the film, it didn’t have any standout tracks or a theme that I can remember like some of Marvel’s previous films.
In conclusion Captain America: Civil War was a lot of fun and solid follow-up to Winter Soldier. While it won’t change the game for the superhero genre, it did dive a little deeper into those thought-provoking and emotional territories that the MCU hadn’t fully embraced beforehand, and with some awesome action, an intriguing story and well-developed characters, this is an adventure that people won’t want to miss out on especially if you’re fans of these films and comics.
So are you going to see Captain America: Civil War and if you’ve seen it what did you think of it? Please sound off your thoughts in the comments below ane I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀