Let me start by saying that I’ve never been a fan of Captain America as a character, he’s a bit too goody goody for my liking. However, things change and this change is good as you realise he is human after all. I watched this film thinking that I don’t agree with his point of view and yet I could understand (because of who and what he represents) why he made it. This actually gives us a logical reason why super heroes would fight against each other (and not just because some lame villain had taken over their minds). It is a tad strong to lead to Civil War but “s**t appens” as they say in Predator 2.
I was close to starting this review by striking out
Captain America: Civil War and replacing with Avengers 3 as it far from focuses on Cap. How they persuaded Chris Evans to share so much of his film with everyone else (particularly Robert Downey Jnr) I don’t know but I’m damned glad they did (and hats off to him for embracing it). Both Chris and Robert get opportunities to show there acting chops with moments of personal grief/anger and everyone else gets their slightly smaller moments to shine and, to some extent, progress their own character (a major achievement by the writers considering just how many characters are involved).
The action set pieces are all excellent with a particularly enjoyable chase sequence. The Russo brothers manage to film action in such a way that you can follow what each character is doing without it being to choppy (an oft used device to cover up dodgy looking fighting sequences). For example, you see Captain America’s shield bounce of the walls to hit someone rather than have it implied that is what its done. I guess it helps to have a huge effects budget but they do manage to make it all look, for want of a better word, awesome.
As well as continuing to develop known characters (Ant Man, Vision, Scarlet Witch etc.), we are also introduced to Black Panther, a relatively unknown Marvel character who’s never been that exciting but comes across as cool and slick in this film (and makes me want to see his solo movie). Plus, re-introduced to yet another version of Spider-man. This version of the webslinger (innocently played by Wolf Hall’s Tom Hollander) has gone back to basics with a younger and naive kid who fires out jokey quips as fast as he does webbing. You can see he’ll be a great addition to this universe.
Unlike the super serious and just not that much fun DC universe, Marvel (or should I say Disney) manage to slip in humour and not in a corny way. The interaction between Spidey and Iron Man is particularly worth a mention as it brings light relief in amongst the serious posturing and I welcome the news that Robert Downey Jnr will pop up in the new Marvel/Sony Spider-man film.
Verdict: Overall Captain America: Civil War is an exceptional super hero ensemble film and easily one of the best super hero films so far (with only The Dark Knight slightly better and on par with the original Avengers). The next few years worth of super hero films are going to have a hard job following this but I’m looking forward to them trying.
And don’t forget to stay for the extra 2 scenes after the credits.