Wow. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect going into Captain America: Civil War. Yeah the trailers were cool and it marked the debuts of some of Marvel’s finest heroes in their Cinematic Universe, but this story in particular seemed a bit risky to me due to the sheer scale of the comic book. Nevertheless, my quarrels and reservations were squashed really bloody quick.
If Avengers Assemble was the culmination of the Marvel Universe at the time, then this is the climax. All of the huge events you’ve witnessed so far (New York, Washington, Sokovia) lead up to this defining moment. Things will never be the same after this movie, there was so much conflict between heroes you’ve spent countless hours watching and growing fond of, and I loved it. Of course it was strange watching Captain America and Iron Man exchanging blows, but that’s the power of this movie and this storyline.
Thunderbolt Ross, who first appeared in The Incredible Hulk, is now the Senator for the United Nations and is leading the stampede against the Avengers’ free reign. After the aforementioned disasters, Ross proposes the Sokovia Accords: legislation that requires the Avengers to operate under the Government’s orders. The incident that set ups the Accord in the movie is different to the comic book but cleverly re-imagined to fit the current universe.
The writers and directors dealt with the introduction of T’Challa and his father T’Chaka wonderfully, all whilst tying it into the story perfectly and practically showing T’Challa’s transformation into Black Panther without spending a whole movie doing so. Chadwick Boseman plays this new character very dominantly and his presence is truly felt whenever he’s on screen (I really can’t wait to watch his own solo venture in 2018.)
Civil War is the best Marvel movie ever, period. It juggles each and every main character perfectly, everybody is giving their chance to shine and each actor turned up when they needed to. The Vision comes to grips with his humanity, Scarlet Witch is dealing with the consequences of her powers, Hawkeye doesn’t know when to call it a day, Black Widow doesn’t know where to stand, Ant-Man comes up huge when it’s needed most – oh and Spider-Man, well, let’s discuss him next.
The Spider-Man we see in this movie is the best version of Spider-Man, and Peter Parker, I’ve ever seen. He’s poor, awkward, incredibly geeky, and hilarious… all characteristics that the character is defined by. Peter acts as a 15-year-old would around his idols and it was pure entertainment the whole time. Tom Holland delivered a joyous performance with amazing quips and spectacular action sequences. It was great to see Peter under the wing of Tony as he joins the ranks of his super-peers, which makes it all the better that Iron Man will appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming. He fit into the story well and came in handy when Team Iron Man needed him.
The main bulk of the story is focused on Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes, exploring their friendship as Bucky gets back to his normal self. There’s moments of the 40’s Bucky that we know and love, but for the most part he’s blank and lethal much like in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Chris Evans has somehow further cemented himself as the definitive Cap, continually developing the character deeper and deeper with each appearance – it’s hard not to root for him.
This is where the amazing writing is truly evident: I could never actually pick a side. As soon as I decided I agreed with Iron Man’s agenda, Cap would say something that made sense and made me emphasize with him. This helped me enjoy the huge airport fight scene though, as I was just witnessing the spectacle in front of me instead of cheering on a particular set of characters.
Even though the movie contained the most amount of superheroes in a Marvel movie yet, it still felt very much like a Captain America flick. It’s as much of a Winter Soldier sequel as it is a direct sequel to Avengers: Age of Ultron, it’d be fitting to coin it Avengers 2.5. The fact that this isn’t even an Avengers movie has got me wanting the Infinity War installments to drop right this second – I need to see how the Universe moves forward from here!
The movie had a couple of villainous characters, with the most prominent being Zemo. He basically played a puppeteer: pulling the strings of the opposing characters and getting them to take each other down since he isn’t powerful enough to do so himself. Zemo is one of the more interesting bad guys in a Marvel Studios movie, he has some depth and his motivation is purely based off the events of prior movies so his inclusion doesn’t feel forced, at all.
Forget Batman v Superman. I just witnessed Ant-Man v Spider-Man, Winter Soldier v Black Panther, Scarlet Witch v Vision, Hawkeye v Black Widow, and Captain America v Iron Man. Each and every one of these battles excited me more than DC’s blockbuster from earlier in the year, and they spent half as much time setting the stage. This movie truly lives up to the hype surrounding it, it’s a shame that it’s unlikely to become Marvel’s highest grossing movie yet because it’s certainly their best.
Captain America: Civil War fires on all cylinders, it's Marvels biggest movie yet and it's definitely their best.
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