The time has come to choose a side peeps. Either you agree with us that “Captain America: Civil War” is right up there with “Captain America: Winter Soldier” and “The Avengers”, or you’re against us. And yes, by all means, go ahead and pick either Team Cap or Team Iron Man.
The build up to Marvel’s mightiest heroes going head to head in a superhuman smack-down has been irresistibly enticing. The fact that it arrives on the heels of last month’s letdown in DC’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” feels all the more satisfying because “Civil War” delivers on its promise of the title. In a huge way.
An opening action sequence sees Cap, Falcon, Black Widow, and Scarlet Witch on a mission in Africa to stop the scarred mercenary Crossbones and his squad of Hydra operatives. Things go as planned, until they backfire. Yet again, innocent blood is spilled and governments around the world want the Avengers accounted for.
A United Nations resolution proposes that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are put in check as Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross presents the team the chance to sign the Sokovia Accords: a document that would decide exactly when and where the Avengers are needed on the field. However, not every Avenger is ready to submit.
Tony Stark – driven by guilt after being confronted by a woman whose son died in Sokovia – is in support of Ross and the Accords. Remember, it was Stark’s mistake that Ultron was set loose on the world. This is a guy with a lot of remorse but it’s still the same Stark we know and love. He’s just a tad jaded.
Steve Rogers on the other hand, is pretty much against it after his last experience of working for an untrustworthy organisation that left a bitter taste. Rogers believes that the superheroes should be left alone without the government interfering in their affairs. This in turn, forces the rest of the Avengers to pick a side.
The film does a commendable job in justifying the conflict between these characters. To quote Carl Greenwood, “It makes sense that the Avengers split, it makes sense why Iron Man and Captain America are literally at each other’s throats. It makes sense in a real way, far more than a ‘Oh you knocked down my building saving the world, so I should probably strap on a green rock and kill you’ type logic.”
The dispute here flows seamlessly, and the violence is just as emotional as it is physically. We see Rogers caught between 2 friends. He’s a good man who is forced to make difficult choices, and the film never offers him an easy way out. Stark certainly has his good reasons for sticking to his ideologies and their differing views is essentially the crux of “Civil War”.
In the words of Helen O’Hara, “You can come out of this thinking that Rogers and Stark were both in the right, or neither, but you can’t dismiss the viewpoint of either out of hand. This film also has the enormous good sense to show intelligent characters trying to talk things out before they get to the super-punching – and sometimes even during.”
“Civil War” doesn’t just revolve around a singular impressive performance. There are a total of 12 superheroes included in this epic clash, and it’s a comic book fan’s wet dream to see a wide range of powers, abilities, and characteristics on display here. We see Scarlet Witch’s inner turmoil; Vision coming to terms with being “human”; Black Widow finding herself torn as the Avengers are forced to pick sides; and Hawkeye who isn’t retired anymore.
In the midst of all these established giants, 3 new recruits are thrown into the mix. T’challa aka Black Panther, who has a serious grievance against Cap’s bestie, the Winter Soldier. Actor Chadwick Boseman cleverly lays down the ground work here for Black Panther’s solo outing. Even Ant-Man receives more than a short cameo.
But it is Spider-Man who almost steals the show. Tom Holland’s version is the youngest Spider-Man we’ve seen in the cinema so far. Wide-eyed and not quite in control of his powers yet, Holland nails Peter Parker’s combination of eager adolescence and witty characteristic. It’s probably too early to call the young actor the best Spider-Man (let’s wait for his “Homecoming” film first) but his performance is promising.
Bucky Barnes remains as blank and frosty as he was in “The Winter Soldier”. The audience will buy into why Barnes is worth saving because Sebastian Stan and Chris Evans sell their life-long bromance properly. Their friendship, which stretches back to the first “Captain America”, is what makes “Civil War” feel like the 3rd instalment of the “Captain America” film series rather than “Avengers” 2 1/2.
Too often, blockbuster films are ruined by big villains and unoriginal final acts. Yet, an equivalent of Loki or Ultron is nowhere in sight. There’s not even a whiff of Thanos in this movie. There is however a meddling manipulator in Helmut Zemo who takes advantage of the Avengers’ existing fracture. Without giving too much away, pay attention to what Daniel Bruhl’s character says throughout the movie.
Then again, who needs a big baddie when you’ve got Captain America and Iron Man going head to head? Both protagonists and antagonists. With “Civil War”, you get Ant-Man v Spider-Man, The Winter Soldier v Black Panther, Hawkeye v Black Widow, Scarlet Witch v Vision, and of course, Captain America v Iron Man; all these extraordinary supers rolled into one.
There’s no doubt that the big battle scene between all of the Avengers at the airport is the ultimate superhero brawl ever with every character getting a moment to stand out. If you’re going to twist, break, or manipulate the laws of physics, you should aim for it to be creative and engaging.
So who prevails between Team Cap and Team Iron Man? The real victory here obviously goes to Team Marvel.
P/S: If you didn’t already know, stay back for 2 extra bonus scenes post credits. Don’t say we didn’t tell you ;)
“Captain America: Civil War” is already showing in local cinemas.
For more information, hit up the movie’s website.