Captain America: Civil War (2016)-Film review

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Captain America Civil War is the latest film in the ever growing Marvel Cinematic Universe and is the 3rd Captain America film, although it seems much more like the 3rd Avengers film as it features the majority of hero’s that we’ve seen before (excluding Hulk and Thor), and introduces the characters Black Panther and Spiderman to the growing pool of superheroes. Based very loosely on the 2005 comic book series of the same name, this film pits the Avengers against each other, as leading Hero’s Captain America and Ironman disagree over a decree to turn the hero’s into assets of the UN; Ironman believes they need to be controlled, as when they are left to their own devices innocent people can sometimes get hurt, whereas Captain American believes they shouldn’t be weapons for a government as they can be corrupted. The film is very much about this clash of ideology between these two powerhouses, as all the characters we’ve come to know and love are forced to take a side and fight people they once saw as friends. It also continues the story of Bucky Barns a.k.a. The Winter Soldier that was started in the last Captain America film. The film is directed by the Russo Brothers and stars the returning cast of Chris Evans, Robert Downy Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Rudd, and introduces Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther and Tom Hollan as Spiderman.    

It’s hard for a film with this big a cast of popular characters to handle them all being together well. It runs the risk of trying to give every character an equal role which would feel messy and overcrowded. The Russo brother’s do a good job in making a few characters the main ones and leaving everyone else in supporting roles. Captain America, Bucky, Ironman and Black Panther lead this film while the other characters take more of a back seat, which makes this film feel focused, meaning that when everyone does appear it feels more significant. Civil war had a lot of mouths to feed but doesn’t feel overly stuffed full of characters as it doesn’t attempt to give everyone equal screen time. I feel like every character did have a clear moment to shine though so no one felt useless (for example Antman’s not in the film for long but he had one of my favourite parts in the whole film). Every character is handled very well.
We’ve seen a lot of the actors in these roles before, and I’m happy to say they all bring the same energy that they’ve had in the other films. The performances still feel fresh and changing and no one stood out as being bad, they’re all fun and exciting performances. Evans and Downy Jr’s performances are both very compelling and interesting. The clash between the two is believable because both of their ideologies are fully thought out and understandable. It’s hard to decode who I agreed with the most as neither of them are really wrong. As for the new characters, Spiderman is great fun and Hollan brings a lot of wit to the role making it feel fresh and new. This is impressive considering he’s the 3rd Spiderman in the last 10 years, and while he’s not a leading character of the film, he is certainly very memorable. Boseman’s portrayal of T’Challa (Black Panther) was brilliant, it was very layered and thrilling. He brings a more serious tone than we’ve seen before from these Marvel films. I’m really excited for both of these new characters standalone films as they both got off to a really good start.
The tension is brilliantly built up throughout the film and when it climaxes it feels earned and is so much fun. The action is well shot and at times very gritty. You feel a rush of excitement when the characters fight each other because you don’t know who to root for and it feels like there’s something at stake and there are risks. The moment when the teams clash is one the most entertaining and exciting things I’ve seen in a comic book film and it is done so well. The film is paced very well, and it isn’t stuffed full of set-up’s for future films like other franchise films can sometimes be. My only real complaint isn’t really an issue, just something that could have been a little better, and that’s that the film also included a third party villain who was manipulating events. He was kind of unnecessary in the film and wasn’t particularly memorable, but the film didn’t dedicate too much time to him so it wasn’t annoying or distracting.

If you haven’t liked any of the previous Marvel films then Captain America Civil War probably won’t change your mind about them, but if you enjoyed the Avengers and other superhero films then I’m positive you will love this film just as much as them. It is exciting and tense while also being fun and just generally very entertaining. It’s one of my favourite Marvel films to date and I highly recommend it.

P.S. I couldn’t help grinning at some of the cool stuff that happens in this film, it made me feel like a child again. Annoyingly the audience in my showing were very annoying. There were loads of people on phones and the door kept opening so light shone on the screen. If it had been a worse film it would have been harder to ignore but thankfully the film was too good to allow that to ruin it.


Author: The UK Reviewer

Avid pop culture fan wanting a medium to talk about films, games, books etc

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