‘Captain America: Civil War’ (2016, 12A)

The long-awaited next instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, does ‘Captain America: Civil War’ live up to expectations or has it left fans divided?

After the events of ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ and the virtual destruction of Sokovia – all because of the Avengers – the group of superheroes is given a set of rules governed by Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt), who some may recognise form 2008’s ‘Incredible Hulk’. These rules, the Sokovia Accords, split the Avengers and see Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans) going toe-to-toe in this latest action blockbuster.

As to be expected with a Russo brothers film, ‘Civil War’ is action-packed. It’s the classic blend of the ingredients that make a good Marvel movie: a considerable chunk of action, interesting yet not too complex plot, some slight bits of humour and an impact on the story of the rest of the Marvel films. Because of this, I loved it.

Although this is a Captain America film, very little of my enjoyment is because of the character or his relationship with The Winter Soldier, arguably who this film is really about. My eyes were mainly on the newest characters to the Marvel films, namely Black Panther and Spider-Man. Played by Chadwick Boseman and Tom Holland respectively, these two characters bring some very different personalities to the Marvel movies. Panther is quite a dark character and motivated by personal problems, the complete opposite of Spider-Man who is young and light-hearted. Unlike previous cinematic versions of the character, this new Spider-Man is exactly what I wanted. He’s young, funny and just better than previous iterations of the hero.

Now for what makes a superhero movie – the action. As with ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, my favourite Marvel movie (my full review can be viewed here), you’re thrown right into the action with ‘Civil War’ with the new Avengers fighting Crossbones A.K.A. Brock Rumlow from ‘The Winter Soldier’ (played by Frank Grillo) in Nigeria. This sets the tone for the film and you’re immediately hooked and interested. The biggest action-sequence comes about three-quarters of the way through the film and lasts a good fifteen to twenty minutes. This whole sequence is amazing and definitely my favourite part of the film. It’s the first time we really see the two teams fighting against each other and the emotions and feeling really get through to the audience. Add that with some really good special effects and acting and you have the best twenty minutes of any Marvel movie.

I can’t fault much with ‘Civil War’, however I do have a few gripes. For one, the supposed villain – Zemo – was terrible. Played by Daniel Brühl, I didn’t really understand why he was in the film and thought it would’ve been better if the film focused more on the Iron Man-Captain America battle and not on this almost sub-plot happening in the background about Zemo. I also came out of the theatre thinking ‘hang on, why did he have this?’ and ‘why did he do that?’. I hope that these questions are supposed to be asked and not just poor work by the writers, and that the answers will be explained in later films.

Overall, I did really enjoy ‘Civil War’. It’s everything a Marvel movie should be – action-packed, fun, interesting and generally really enjoyable. However, a weak villain and some small gripes has lowered my enjoyment of the film, meaning I’ll have to give ‘Captain America: Civil War’ nine-out-of-ten.

9/10.

 

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