Captain America: Civil War is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and stars (this is a long list) Chris Evans as Steve Rodgers/Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon, Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye, Paul Bettany as Vision, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Paul Rudd as Scott Land/Ant-Man, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter and Daniel Bruhl as Zemo. The film also introduces Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther and Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man.
As you can see, this is a pretty full roster of Marvel characters and you’d think that would ruin the movie but it did not. It’s pretty safe to say that Civil War was one of the most anticipated movies of 2016, if not of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The question is, did it deliver on what it promised? The answer is yes. Yes it did.
The main plot of the film is basically Tony Stark and Steve Rodgers disagree over whether or not they should sign the ‘Sokovia Accords’ which is a law that puts the Avengers under the government of the United Nations in order to prevent other catastrophes such as Washington DC (The Winter Soldier) and Sokovia (Age Of Ultron). The different heroes chose sides with Tony’s side trying to bring Steve’s side to justice for breaking this new law and not signing. Pretty simple right? Of course, but don’t forget about the villain of the film Zemo.
Lets start with the good. There is so much in this movie. I can’t even comprehend how much there is. I’m going to try and pick out what, I thought, were the best bits of the film.
First Up: Spider-Man
Leading up to this movie there was intense pressure on Marvel to get Spider-Man right, and they got it spot on. Tom Holland is amazing as Peter Parker and Spider-Man, something that can’t be said about the previous actors who played the role. The character is witty when he’s in the suit and interacting with the other characters but he is also friendly and funny when he’s just at home. Within the movie we basically get two sequences with him in, Tony Stark goes to get Peter Parker to join his side and then Spider-Man joins the battle at the airport scene (more on that later). In both sequences Tom Holland delivers his lines perfectly showing that he is ready to act among the big stars like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans. From a plot point of view, Spider-Man doesn’t play a huge role except offering Team Iron Man something a little different, but saying that, when he takes part in the airport battle the other heroes do not hold back on the 17 year old. He takes down both the Falcon and the Winter Soldier and also stands his ground against Captain America. Overall there is hope for the future of Spider-Man and with Tom Holland, and Marvel finally pulling the strings, you can expect big things from the small man.
The Airport Fight
As I’m sure most people are aware, there is a fight scene at an airport which was shown in the trailers for the movie. If you think the trailers have shown too much for this scene you are so so wrong. The sequence is incredible. Not only do you see heroes teaming up against heroes but you see the single battles taking place between each of them. You get up close and personal with each hero and some of the punches and landings will make you wince and wonder how they could even get up from that. I’m not going to ruin one of the big parts of this sequence for you, because that would be unfair. But it’s safe to say that this will be one of the best action sequences you will ever see in the MCU or even Movie history for that fact. Each hero believes they’re fighting for the right side, each hero believes what they are doing is the right thing and that makes for an incredibly compelling and passionate fight sequence.
Chris Evans in this film, my god. Although this movie was dubbed ‘Avengers 2.5’, it is very much a Captain America film. No matter what happens, the focus always returns to Steve. The only problem I have with Steve is his loyalty to Bucky. Yes they were friends but he still killed a lot of people when he was the Winter Soldier and the fact that Steve helps him escape the authorities just makes things a lot worse. But that’s a nitpick. Overall you can see why Steve opposes the Sokovia Accords, and because of how he presents his argument I found myself not knowing whether or not I should be on the side of Steve or Tony, especially when going into the film I was strongly on #TeamIronMan. The fact that Evans and the filmmakers managed to pull me both ways is a huge credit to this film and how compelling it is.
Of course, I couldn’t talk about one side without talking about the other. Downey Jr. shows a fantastic emotional range in this movie. You can see how damaged and guilt-ridden he is by the damage the Avengers have done and you can see that he wants to make it all better but doesn’t know how. On top of this, in the final act of the film Tony finds out that Bucky killed Tony’s parents in 1991 and the response is pure rage. Tony wants Bucky dead and he’s willing to go through Steve to do that. this leads to a final confrontation between the 3 heroes and the emotion Downey Jr shows is heartbreaking. I cannot give his performance enough praise. As well as this, it was also Tony’s idea to bring in Spider-Man which was obviously a good move.
All Marvel movies have amazing scores and this one is no different. The music easily shows the emotion and tension within the scenes and it builds throughout the whole movie. There is a scene at the end of the film, when Tony finds out about his parents, where the music is slowly building. It’s got a heartbeat pulse sound to it that slowly gets faster. This increased my own heartbeat, as I’m sure it did with everyone else in the audience, which built the tension in the scene as you could see Tony slowly realise what is happening on screen and decide that he’s going to kill Bucky.
Even though he only has a small role, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man literally steals every scene he is in. He adds another layer of humour to the film as well as providing some surprising new abilities that weren’t seen in the stand alone Ant-Man movie. It’s safe to say that Paul Rudd had a big impact on the sequence’s he was in…
Okay, so now for The Bad
I might be the only one here, and this is only a small thing, but I felt that Black Panther was under-used in this movie. Don’t get me wrong, he is fantastic when he’s in it but I just felt he had no real effect on the plot other than to add numbers during the big fight scene and to help introduce Wakanda.
Final After Credits Scene
Another nitpick. As we now know, Marvel movies have a habit of putting an extra scene at the end of the credits. The mid-credit scene in Civil War was great but the last one was a bit of a dead rubber. All it did was show Peter Parker find something on his wrist and it just projected the Spider-Man symbol onto his roof. Yes, this is great to see that we’ll get more Spider-Man but I just felt that something a little bit more interesting could have happened.
Once again, the villain of the Marvel Movie isn’t as good as the hero. Not that Zemo or Daniel Bruhl playing him wasn’t great. The performance was outstanding with Bruhl creating a sinister villain who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. It was just that his motivation wasn’t great. He wanted to tear the Avengers apart by making them fight each other (like Loki in The Avengers) and the reason for this was because the Avengers killed his family and he wants revenge (like Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in Age Of Ultron). However, I am glad he was left alive because I can see him coming back and being a great villain when he final gets more power.
There you have it then folks. My views on Captain America: Civil War. I strongly urge you all to go and see this film. It is a masterpiece of action and directing as well as storytelling, you won’t regret going to see it. The humour is great, the action is great, the drama is great. Everything is brilliant about this film. It also contains one of the best fight scenes in movie history, so you don’t want to miss out on that.
Captain America: Civil War: 5/5